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!

Elote Asado Or Corn On The Cob

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Let The Flames Die Down

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Something magical happens when you’re handed an elote asado. It’s almost like love at first sight but better.

Anytime the grill happens to be fired up I take the opportunity to throw some corn on it. It’s majorly hot here in Houston but if someones already started the fire it would be a shame to not take advantage of it.

Ingredients

  • Corn
  • Powdered Cayenne Pepper
  • McCormick mayonnaise
  • Queso Fresco(as much as you want)

Add Chile At Your Own Risk

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When hitting up your local grocery store make sure to throw some mayo, cheese and chili powder into your shopping cart along with the corn.

You could just throw the corn in a pot of water and boil them but that’s not as fun as leaving them on the grill. Once they are on the grill cookin’ it up let them sit out there for a couple hours turning them every once and a while. It’s okay if they get a little charred.

For The Mayo Fans

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I tend to be picky when it comes to mayonnaise on my corn it has to be this McCormick one with the little lime wedge on the picture. It might just be me but I feel that this is the best mayo ever created.

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Slather up the corn with as much mayo as you want. I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much mayo on elote. Or prove me wrong.

When You’re Feeling Cheesy

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If your short on time use the dried parmesan cheese in the jar. Or if your feeling like taking it to the next level then shred up some queso fresco and sprinkle it all over.

Powder Chili Or San Jose?

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I didn’t happen to have the liquid chile and instead used powdered cayenne pepper. It tasted pretty good. Although I have noticed most refresquerias will use the other kind of chile.

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After adorning your corn on the cob open up a cold drink and make sure you have a napkin nearby. Cause it gets messy.

 

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!

Cheese Enchiladas Zacatecas Style

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You Won’t Find These In The Frozen Section

Im pretty sure there are at least 100 different ways to make enchiladas in the state of Zacatecas. This is the most common I’ve seen. Some people add beef or chicken to the stuffing but I leave it out. And don’t even get me started on green enchiladas or frijoladas.

Ingredients

  • 10 Chiles de Cascabel
  • 2 Chiles Poblano
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Salt to taste
  • Queso Fresco(as much as you want)
  • 1 Onion
  • Tortillas
  • Mexican Cream(if you’re a fan)
  • 1/4 Head of Lettuce
  • 1 Tomato

Prep The Chiles

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The darker chiles on the left are called Chiles Poblano. The ones on the right are called Chiles de Cascabel. Rinse the these chiles off and soak them in water for about a minute. Place them in a pot with 4 cups of water and cover with lid.

Let them sit in there for about 10 minutes or until you see them reach a roaring boil.

Crumble & Chop

While the chiles are soaking up on the stove grab the onion and queso fresco. Chop up or mince the onions, whichever you prefer. Crumble the cheese and mix together in a bowl with the onion. This will be your enchilada stuffing.

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Blend It Real Good

For this part blend the chiles and garlic. Don’t drain the water used to boil them put it in the blender as well. Strain the chile sauce into a large bowl. This will be sauce you dunk the tortillas into.

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After straining the chile, add another cup of water to the sauce. Now’s your chance to get salty and add it to the mix.

Gather your supplies. The next part has to be done quickly.

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Dip, Fry & Roll

Submerge the tortilla in the sauce. Try to get it 99% covered in the chile sauce. Place in the oil and let it cook for about 2 seconds on each side.

Don’t do any longer than that or the tortilla turns flimsy and falls apart. We have this awesome circle thing with a recessed oil frying area but you can just use 2 separate pans for this part.

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After frying the tortilla, take out of the oil and place cheese stuffing on top. Fold over the tortilla and roll over to create a taco roll.

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After The Fifth Enchilada It Gets Easier

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The remaining chile sauce can be frozen and used for chilaquiles. They are the much more casual version of enchiladas. I might do a recipe for those later.

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More Fresco And Crema

Serve these enchiladas with some fluffy Mexican rice and lettuce. Top them off with more queso fresco. If your a fan of Mexican cream now is your time to speak up and say put a little cream on that.

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Lil More Crema Por Favor

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Buen Provecho! Enjoy!