Greetings to all those attending the wondrous Hippfest Silent Cinema Festival!  Passes are only £20 for 5 days of fabulousness, do sign up, it’s all online!  Wherever you are in the world, whatever the time difference, do grab a pass as most things are available for 48 hours so you can watch in your own time zone at your own leisure.

I am beyond myself with excitement!  Louise Brooks in Prix de Beaute!

Marlene in The Woman Men Yearn For!

Mary Pickford in Sparrows!

My hair has grown so much in lockdown I can probably attempt a plait like this!  There are talks and tours and all sorts.  It is going to be FABULOUS!  I’ll be hooking up my laptop to my video projector so that I can see all of these on the big screen!  TWO WEEKS UNTIL HIPPFEST! Whoopeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The lovely folks who run Hippfest invited me to make a cookalong video so I’ll be demonstrating how to make two cocktails and Mary’s version of enchiladas.  DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE SOLD OUT MESSAGE – tickets are still available and the £20 pass includes everything. All the wonderful films, talks by silent movie experts, my cookalong video and lots more treats.

If you are cooking along with me on Saturday 20th or Sunday 21st here is what you’ll need on your shopping list.  Don’t be daunted by the list, these enchiladas are easy to make and utterly delicious!  I would recommend doing all your chopping between movies to get all your bits and bobs ready.  Make the smothered onions and Spanish Sauce when there is a gap in the programme and assemble your enchiladas half an hour or so before you want to eat them.  Any queries about the recipe, just get in touch via the Contact Page.

For enchiladas that serve 4 you will need

  • 4 green bell peppers (2 for the sauce, 2 for the filling)
  • 3 onions (2 for the sauce, 1 for the filling)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup / 80g butter, or vegan alternative (half for the smothered onions, half for the sauce)
  • 1 lb / 450g beef mince or vegan mince
  • 2 cups / 450g passata (tomato puree if you are in the USA or if you are in the UK you can add water to tomato puree to use instead of passata as our tomato puree is thicker)
  • Tablespoon chilli powder
  • Teaspoon tabasco sauce
  • A beef or vegetable stock cube or bouillon powder
  • 8-12 radishes*
  • A couple of fresh chilis or pickled jalapeños
  • 120g cheddar cheese or vegan alternative (Plus around 1 cup / 100g for topping if you like)
  • 8 tortillas (a wheat and corn mixture is best for rolling)
  • A couple of spring onions (optional)

I used fresh red chilis in the video, but this time I used chopped pickled jalapeños.  Yum.

* In the video I say to use a couple of radishes per tortilla but mine were quite big, so I only used about one per tortilla.  Also, the second time I made the smothered onions I sliced rather than chopped them and they were like the onions you get at takeaway burger vans and I loved that!

You will also need a large baking dish (or two smaller ones) that you’ll be able to fit your rolled up enchiladas in.  My dish for 1/2 the recipe is 7-inch x 10-inch, four rolled tortillas fit into this perfectly.

For the Mary Pickford Cocktail you will need

  • Pineapple Juice
  • Bacardi rum (white or golden)
  • Grenadine
  • Ice

For the Hippfest Sparrow you will need

Mary Pickford’s Enchiladas

Mary’s recipe was published in the 1930s and is rather difficult to follow, so in the demonstration I’ll be adapting it and breaking it down for the modern cook.

You’ll need about an hour to cook the smothered onions, about an hour to cook the Spanish sauce (these can be cooking at the same time) then around an hour to assemble the enchiladas and cook them.  If you are a speedy chef or have a kitchen helper, you could probably make the whole dish in just over 2 hours but I am a slow cook so I definitely put aside a little longer when I am making the recipe in one go.

If you want to prep some of the ingredients ahead of cooking the sauce and assembling the enchiladas you can do the following.  Chop two of the peppers and 2 of the onions into fairly small chunks (I leave them fairly chunky but if you want a more elegant sauce, feel free to chop away).

Finely chop or crush your garlic cloves.  Make up your stock and fry up your mince.  Grate the cheese.  Slice the spring onions.  Slice the radishes, your fresh chili or jalapeños, one of the onions and one or two of the peppers for the filling.  You can have all your bits and bobs in little bowls ready to make the sauce and filling when you are ready.

You can make the smothered onions ahead of time and keep them in a bowl in the fridge.  Ditto the Spanish Sauce.

I think I have made all of this sound more complicated than it is!  See you at Hippfest!

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