Our late night shopping evenings feature complementary wine, a 10% discount on books — and food from the Cake Shop, themed each month around our current culinary obsessions. In December, we were inspired by Phaidon's incredible bible of Mexican cookery.
Gayle decorated the shop with papel picado, Katy squeezed limes for a solid 45 minutes, and Natalia boggled our British tastebuds with micheladas — beer spiked with Tabasco, citrus juice and salt. Terry and her team assembled trays of ceviche, refritos and pumpkin-seed dip: we were particularly chuffed to hear the food being praised by a Mexican customer. And after we shut the shop for the night, John brought out a piñata. (There was also a spot of impromptu hairdressing.)
Here's Terry's recipe for pumpkin-seed dip, adapted from Mexico: The Cookbook:
This is wonderful served with tortilla chips. If you can't find tomatillos, roasted tomatoes or red peppers are a delicious alternative.
Ingredients: 100g dried chillies; 1 chopped onion; 100g dry-roasted pumpkin seeds; bunch of coriander; bunch of mint; 1 tin of tomatillos
Toast your chillies and your chopped onion, either in a roasting tray in the oven or in a large pan on the stove. Keep them on the heat for a few minutes, until they are just turning brown and smelling fragrant.
Put chillies, onion, mint leaves, coriander, tomatillos and pumpkin seeds into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add a little water, if necessary. Season to taste with salt.
We're planning more Mexican celebrations at the Bookshop in April, to coincide with the London Book Fair. Join us then...