Sorta Healthy Blue Corn Tamales

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Tamales Take Practice, Flavor And Love

You could say this recipe is a hybrid. In this guest recipe my sister used our traditional tamale recipe but swapped out a few ingredients for slightly healthier ones.

The reason I say it’s sorta healthy is because she used coconut oil instead of “manteca” or lard. Gather the family, this is a perfect time to gossip or catch up with each other while spreading the masa on the corn husks.

Ingredients

  • Dried Corn Husks
  • Baking Powder
  • Blue Corn Masa Mix
  • Chicken Broth
  • Coconut Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Chile Ancho
  • Chile Cascabel
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Salt

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It’s All About The Broth

Grab a pot and place the chicken, water, garlic, onion and some salt to cook. It’s better to use chicken with the bone in. It’s more flavorful than boneless. While the chicken is cooking prep the chile.

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After toasting the 2 different chiles on the comal soak them in cold water. One adds the spicy flavor and the other a bright red color but I forgot which one does which.

Hydrate The Corn Husks

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Put the corn husks in a large container with water. You want them to be soft and pliable.

Pull The Chicken Apart

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Once the chicken is done separate from broth and pull apart. Careful it will be hot.

Blend The Chile

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After removing the stems from the soaking chiles place them in the blender with garlic, a dash of cumin, salt and some of the chicken broth.

Heat The Specified Chile Pan

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In our family we reserve a special pan that we use just for dishes that involve chile. The reason is “Carraspera.” This is that uncontrollable cough that happens when the chile is being fried.

Pour a small amount of canola oil and fry the chicken and chile in the pan. Stir, mix and make sure there is good ventilation in the room. The chile smell will be strong.

Mix The Masa

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Now comes the fun part. Mix the blue corn mix, a teaspoon of baking powder, about 3 large spoonfuls of coconut oil, broth, and salt to taste.

Mix and mash with hands for a good 5 minutes. A good consistency wont stick to the bowl if it does add some more blue corn. If it’s too dry there will be several cracks and you should add a bit more broth.

Spread The Masa

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This part might be the most difficult of tamale making. Grab a corn husk leaf and place it in the palm of your hand. Using a large mostly flat spoon grab the masa and begin spreading across. Try to distribute it evenly across.

Before I forget make sure you place the masa on the smooth side of the leaf. One side will have small ridges you can usually tell by feeling it or looking up closely.

Fill Them Up And Pack Everything In

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Fill the tamales with the chile and chicken mix. Fold the sides over and then the top. I love how our specified chile pan has no handle.

Stack Correctly

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tamal_24.jpgStack the tamales in a steamer with the open part facing upwards. Try to make a teepee shape when stacking.

My sister used a pressure cooker but you can use anything that will steam them. Depending on how many are being cooked it could take an hour or two.

We cooked about a dozen and they were done in about a hour and a half. You’ll know they’re done when the husk peels away from the masa. If it sticks leave it on there a little longer.

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

Torta De Jamon – Better Than A Sandwich

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Just Like Chavo Del 8

If you grew up watching Chavo del 8 this is going to make a lot of sense. If you haven’t get ready for a simple but delicious Mexican version of a ham sandwich.

Ingredients

  • Bolillos (how ever many you plan on making)
  • Ham
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Refried Beans
  • Queso Fresco
  • Mayonaise or crema

All Bolillos Are Not Equal

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I recently discovered these bolillos from Artisana are the closest thing to the bolillos street vendors use in Mexico the other option would be sourdough bread but that’s not quite right for this.

Slather Those Frijoles On

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Please don’t use canned beans. Always have a pot of cooked beans on the stove for occasions like this. To make them simply heat up a pan with some oil throw the cooked beans on there and smash them down with a spoon. It’s quite relaxing.

Begin The Stacking

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After the beans and mayo begin to stack the ham, veggies and cheese on top. Odds are you will put too much in your torta. It happens.

Fit Everything Inside

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Press everything together and take a bite to sample.

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Destapa La Fanta

 

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Pop open that glass bottle of Fanta and take this time to admire your torta. Slice it in half and share with someone you love.

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

Prickly Pear Juice Recipe

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Keep Tweezers Nearby

For those that aren’t familiar with prickly pears or “tunas” as we call them in Spanish, they will prick you.

Ingredients

  • 6 Prickly Pears
  • 1 Cup of Sugar (borrow from the neighbor if your out)
  • 6 Cups Of Water

Cut Without Fear

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There are several methods to handling the tunas. I’ve seen people burning the tiny needles off and using tongs to avoid getting them stuck on fingers. Where I’m from in Mexico people just peel them right off the cactus.

 

 

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Avoid the small circular spot on the tuna and place the tips of your fingers to hold it in place. Cut the top part of the prickly pear and make a shallow cut down the middle only piercing deep enough to cut the skin.

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Place the tuna down and peel back the outer layer to pull the piece of fruit out.

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Once you’ve cut them all out its time to throw them in the blender.

Bathe In Water

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I usually place about 3 cups of water along with 3 of the prickly pears. Only do half the recipe at a time. It wont all fit in the blender.

Add A Lil’ Bit Of Sugar And Blend

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The cool thing about adding in the sugar while it blends is you don’t have to stir it in. The blender does it for you!

Strain The Mix Not Your Eyes

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After blending for about 6 Mississippi’s it’s time to pour the mix through the strainer and into your container.

Ice, Ice Baby

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Cool the juice off in the fridge or fill a glass with ice and pour it in.

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

 

 

Refrescante Topo Chico Drink

 

Sparkling water? As if.

This Agua Mineral can cure the worst hangover. IMG_6217

Ingredients

  • Ice
  • Lime
  • Topo Chico
  • Tajin

Extra snack fun

  • Cucumber spears
  • Lime
  • Salt
  • Tajin

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Topo Chico Is A Drink Best Served Cold

Fill your glass with ice and start squeezing those limes away. I usually put extra lime in mine.

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Fill the glass to the top with Topo Chiko and watch the water show. It never stops bubbling.

 

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Sprinkle Tajin on top and then sprinkle a little more because you can never have too much.

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Cut up the cucumber throw some salt, lime, and Tajin. Drop a couple of the cucumber spears in your drink and enjoy.

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Cóctel de Camarónazo

I had a terrible shrimp cocktail from a restaurant near the Kema Boardwalk once. It had three shrimp on ice with ketchup for dipping sauce. It was a boring and expensive appetizer. I expected something with spice and vegetables just like the kind my mom makes. Here’s my mom’s recipe so you won’t get stuck eating boring shrimp cocktails.

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Trust me its not just three shrimp and ketchup in a little white paper cup. There’s crunch, flavor, and spice.

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds of shrimp
  • 4 Limes
  • 1 Large tomato
  • 1 Celery stick
  • 2 Avocados
  • 2 Jalapeños
  • 1/4 Large red onion
  • Handful of cilantro

 

  • Tomato sauce (8 oz.)
  • V8 (5.5 oz)
  • 1/4 Cup of Ketchup
  • 4 Dashes of Tabasco
  • 1 Cup of Shrimp Broth
  • Saltine Crackers

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Tell The Shrimp To Chill Out

For cooked shrimp just let those guys defrost then squeeze the juice from all the limes over them. For uncooked shrimp place them in a pan with a cup of boiling water for about 1 minute or until they turn slightly pink. Separate the broth and shrimp. Pour the lime juice over the shrimp and place in the fridge to chill out along with the broth.

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Chop Everything

Start chopping all the veggies! The onion, tomato, celery, cilantro and jalapeño should be chopped pretty small. The avocado will have the chunkiest cubes.

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Mix it up

Put the cold shrimp in a larger bowl and add the tomato sauce, v8, ketchup, tabasco, and shrimp broth. Stir and taste. You might need to add a little salt or more tabasco. Add in the veggies and mix. Bust open the package of crackers and enjoy!

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