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Fall is here! Clean out that fridge and freezer!

Well. Just six weeks ago my husband and I moved from one side of the country (east) to the southwest again. Now that the move is over fro...

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tools of the trade - Tamale Husks, Fresh Pintos and Serrano Chicken

I have my corn husks for tamale making!
Got a bag of Maseca Corn Masa Mix to make the Tamales.

I am going to make fresh pintos tomorrow. The beans will be for the 3 doz Bean and Cheese Tamales and I shall also make 3 doz Serrano Green Chile Chicken tamales for New Years Eve along with the traditional Cinnamon Sugar Bunuelos which I learned to make from my grandmother/mother.

Here is the basic recipe for fresh PINTOS:

1 lb beans, cleaned
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 t. crushed black pepper
4 oz. tomato sauce
2 strips bacon, chopped coarsely
baking soda
1/4 cup cilantro, fresh torn
4 quarts of water + 1 beer

Clean beans, add a good handful of baking soda and cover overnight in a non-aluminum bowl with water to cover the beans. The next morning, rinse the beans three times, discarding water each time.

Add garlic, pepper, tomato sauce, bacon, and water + beer as well as cilantro. Cook for 6 hours or until the beans are tender and the bean skin curl when you pull them out of the water. Add cilantro -- if you have not doe so already. Add 1 t. sea salt AFTER the beans are cooked as it will cause the beans to burst when you add salt while they are cooking.

Use immediately!

Great with a big hunk of buttered cornbread!

Amount Per Serving
Serving Size 545g
Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 260
Calories from Fat 10340%
Total Fat 12.29g15%
Saturated Fat 1.78g7%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 95mg 4%
Potassium 826mg 24%
Total Carbs 19.5g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4.9g16%
Sugars 0.61g0%
Protein 22.67g36%

Serrano Green Chile Chicken:
1/4 Onion sliced thinly
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/4 t. Cayenne
1/4 c. Cilantro, chopped
2 cups fresh Green Chile sauce (buy my cookbook for the recipe) or use Hatch GREEN Chile Sauce
2 - 4 Serranos, minced
2 T Olive Oil
1/2 t Sea Salt
1/2 t  Pepper, ground

Add oil to a hot pan, add onion and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent. Add Chicken and Serrano's saute until just browned and turn. Add Cayenne, Green Chile Sauce, salt and pepper and simmer covered until the sauce thickens and chicken is no longer pink. Take chicken out. Shred it with two forks and return back to the pan, thicken sauce as needed. Correct seasoning and reserve for chicken tamales.

 Soaking Tamale husks in preparation of spreading corn masa and filling them before steaming the tamales.

 Here is a photo of the finished product, without the tamale husk, a Bean Tamale -- steamed and ready to be consumed with a little sprinkle of sea salt.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Holidays are about here so - it's time to think "Tamales"

The closer it gets to Christmas, the more those of us who make tamales start to think about what types we will make for the Holidays to share with family. While I have never sold them, I do give them away! Here is a "FAST AND DIRTY" recipe for pumpkin tamales - one of the many sweet varieties you will find.

makes 3 dozen

40 or 80 corn husks, cleaned and soaked
7 c MASECA (this is corn flour used to make the tamales)
2 c brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
2 t sea salt
2 t ginger
1 t cloves
1 t nutmeg
2- 28 oz cans pumpkin
4 sticks butter, melted
2 c warm water, add more as needed
2 c pecans, toasted (or walnuts)
2 c raisins, soaked in alcohol

Soak the corn husks in water in a large pot - make sure to add a small plate on top to weigh them down. Soak for 3 hours. 

Add MASECA to another large bowl, add water (you may add 1/4 c. corn oil to soften the consistency and bring out the corn flour taste) and then add the rest of the ingredients plus more water as needed to get the dough to a thick consistency of VERY THICK oatmeal.

Drain the husks, re-use the pot to fill with tamales to be steamed for 1 1/2 hours.

Spread 1/2 c over the middle lower third of the tamale husk. Fold one side of the husk over to the other side, do the same with the other side, fold in half and place tamale standing up (add more tamales filling in all spaced) in pan with extra corn husks or use crushed foil so the tamales do not touch the bottom of the large pan.

Place water or a mixture of cinnamon sticks/water (for sweet tamales) in approximately 1/3 of the pot and bring to a boil, lower temp and simmer until the tamales are done - you may need to add more water to keep the tamales from burning due to the steam created.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Luscious Home Made Caramel Rolls

Came across this recipe which I had to share.

As many of you know I recently moved to Alabama and have been shopping for furniture lately, well let me tell you --  there are some mighty fine, interesting little eateries stuck in the middle of these furniture show rooms. Not to mention cafe's which sit along along side of the big showrooms. Found a few mom and pop shops mainly.

Today I noticed this one little place, stuck in the middle of the Ashley Showroom furniture store in Hoover. One thing which stuck out in my mind is that the sales people kept disappearing off the floor to go hit this little cafe in the middle off the showroom, people were walking in for the single purpose of finding this little cafe to get food there. I told my husband let's go check this out. They had some wonderful great fresh made burgers (Stephen loved them), a wonderful greek salad with fresh feta (my choice).

Home-made sweet rolls, delicious pastries and so I had to go talk to them and ask about their cafe. Turns out is was a family run business which recently had a write-up in the local newspaper! So, here  one of those recipes -- try and make it for yourself at home (I love sweets) - enjoy!

A great simple single rise method of making sweet rolls.

Single-Rise Home Made Caramel Rolls:

• 1⁄2 cup packed brown sugar
• 1⁄2 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 1⁄3 cup light corn syrup
• 1⁄4 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
• 3⁄4 cup pecan halves, toast lightly
• 11⁄2 cups good whole wheat flour
• 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 t salt
• 2 pkgs regular active dry yeast
• 1 cup water
• 1⁄4 cup butter or margarine
• 1 egg
• 2 to 21⁄4 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 T butter or margarine, softened
• 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 t ground cinnamon

Grease 13x9-inch pan with shortening or spray generously with non-stick spray.
In small bowl, mix all topping ingredients except pecans until well blended;
spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle pecans evenly in pan.

In large bowl, mix whole wheat flour, 1⁄4 cup granulated
sugar, the salt and yeast. In 1-quart saucepan, heat water
and 1⁄4 cup butter until very warm (120°F to 130°F). Add
warm liquid and egg to flour mixture; beat with electric mixer
on low speed until moistened, scraping bowl frequently. Beat
on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in
enough all-purpose flour until dough pulls cleanly away from
side of bowl.

Cast flour on a smooth surface, knead dough for 3 minutes. 
Roll the dough away from you, grab it and slap it back towards you, 
pinching the dough lightly where it hits the floured surface creating 
a side seam. Next, with a rolling pin, roll dough to 15x7-inch rectangle. 

Spread ~2 tablespoons butter over dough. In small bowl,
mix 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle
evenly over butter.

Starting with 15-inch side, roll up dough tightly; pinch
edge of dough into roll to seal. Cut into 12 slices; place cut
side down in pan over topping. Cover loosely with plastic
wrap; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 45

Heat oven to 350°F. Uncover dough; bake 30 to 35
minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan 1 minute. Place
heatproof serving platter or tray upside down onto pan;
immediately turn platter and pan over. Remove pan.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Bake 35 to 40 minutes.

1 Roll: Calories 420 (Calories from Fat 180); Total Fat 20g (Saturated Fat 10g); 
Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 310mg; Potassium 180mg; Total Carbohydrate 53g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 6g