Mexican passion shines bright in North Rocks
When Mary Dias and her husband arrived in Australia during the 2000 Olympics, she couldn’t find the ingredients and products to cook her Mexican dishes.
“We used to alternate with my parents one year they’ll come to Australia for holidays and the following year we’ll go for holidays to Mexico. Every time they and us brought the suitcases full of products. However, I found the products didn’t last so my husband and I decided to bring our first container of Mexican products to Australia and buy a tortilla machine and the rest is history. We have been bringing more products in every container and now we are also importing South American products.”
Mary Dias is the founder of Fireworks Foods, an importer and manufacturer of tortillas, corn chips and a wide range of Mexica, Latin American and USA products. Located in North Rocks, Fireworks Foods has been in business for 16 years and Mary’s passion for authentic Mexican and Latin American ingredients is still as strong today as when the business first opened.
When asked why she chose to set up in North Rocks, Mary explained how she fell in love with the suburb.
“I arrived in Australia in 2000 when the Australia Olympics were just starting and we were living in Liberty Grove close to Concord West Train Station, the apartment was beautiful but it was very noisy. One day in our way to visit my sister in law we drove by North Rocks Road, they had an open house and we just felt in love with the suburb. It’s very quiet, there are possums, kookaburras, cockatoos, blue lizards, rosellas, frogs and many parks around us.
For us North Rocks is the place” to grow a family, our neighbours are great and a bonus there is a small industrial area in North Rocks just a walking distance from our home.”
You can visit Fireworks Foods shopfront at 217 North Rocks Road where Mary and her team are always welcoming you to sample from the wide range and recommend the most authentic products for your Mexican feast.
Cochinita Pibil in slow cooker
2-3kgs Pork Shoulder preferably bone in
50grs El Yucateco Achiote Paste
½ cup Orange juice
¼ cup White vinegar
¼ cup Lime juice
½ Teaspoon ground cumin
½ Teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
½ Teaspoon ground pepper
8 Garlic cloves crushed
¼ White sliced onion
2 tablespoons salt
24 Corn Tortillas Carmelita
2 Purple Onions thinly sliced
¼ cup Fresh orange Juice
¼ cup Fresh lime juice
1/8 Teaspoon dried Mexican Oregano
1/3 teaspoon sliced Habanero El Yucateco (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
½ Cup fresh coriander roughly chopped
4-6 Sliced lime
Salsa verde, roja (optional)
To Prepare the Pork Pibil:
Add the achiote paste, orange juice, vinegar, lime juice, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the blender to make the achiote marinade.
Rub the pork all over with the achiote marinade (wearing plastic gloves the achiote can stain your hands), cover and let the marinade to work overnight or at least 2-4 hrs.
Place the pork inside the slow cooker with all the achiote’s marinade juices, top the meat with the crushed garlic and the sliced onion. Cook on low for 9-10hrs or on high for 6-8 hrs. Until the meat is soft and tender and it falls apart. Shred the meat with 2 forks, keep the meat warm inside the slow cooker.
To Prepare the Pickled Onions:
Place the sliced onions in a colander on top of a casserole.
Pour the hot water on top of the onions using the colander drain well the onions.
Transfer the onions to a clean serving bowl, add the orange and lime juices, salt, oregano and the sliced habanero.
Combine well and set aside.
You can keep the pickle onions in a jar in the fridge for 3-4 days you can use them in tacos, tostadas, sandwiches, hot dogs, etc.
You can prepare the pickled onions the night before or at least 1hr before, keep in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
To Prepare the Tacos:
Have all your ingredients ready on serving dishes on the table for the guests to make their own tacos: Pork Pibil, coriander, lime, pickle onions and salsa (optional). Warm the corn tortillas (following the package’s heating instructions), keep them warm in a tortilla warmer. Top the tortilla with the shredded pork, pickled onions, coriander, lime juice and more salsa.
Serving Suggestions: You can serve the Pork Pibil in a plate with beans and Mexican Rice on the side of the tacos.