Tamale Dinner part 2

Anniversary Menu

Salad of greens, radish, green olives, and cilantro
with lemon and olive oil dressing

Guacamole and chips

Margaritas with equal parts tangerine and lime juices,
100% Agave, and a touch of Tuaca

B.T. McElrath Chocolates

To kick off the new year, I will begin to post stand-alone recipes on a separate blog.  You can read them at http://culinaryconstruct.blogspot.com/, and I will link to the recipes on this page.

Chicken and Peppers Stew
Only 1 1/2 cups of the stew is needed for the tamales. Save the leftovers for soup, or add mushrooms and tamari and serve over rice for a quick chow mein.

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Cumin, chili powder, Mexican oregano, lime zest, salt and pepper
Several tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
1 red pepper
1 Poblano pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
2 jalapenos
1/2 white onion
1 clove garlic
Juice from 1/2 a lime

Season chicken liberally with cumin, chili, oregano, zest, and salt and pepper.

Chop peppers, onions, and garlic into thin strips. Saute in olive oil in batches over medium heat; set aside.

In same pan, sear breasts on both sides over medium heat. Add chicken stock and bring to simmer; add cooked vegetables and cover. When chicken is just done (thermometer reads 165 degrees) remove breasts and allow to cool.

Keep pan uncovered and allow stock to reduce by half. When chicken is cool enough to touch, shred and return it to the pan. Finish with lime juice.

20-30 dried corn husks
1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening
2 cups masa harina
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or stock, heated but not simmering

Soak husks in hot water at least 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

Combine masa, baking powder, and salt.

Process 1/3 cup lard or vegetable shortening until creamy. Continue to process on pulse while adding masa mixture 2 tablespoons at a time to lard. Process continuously while slowly adding warm broth; dough is ready when a small portion of it floats in a cup of water.

Spread 1 tablespoon of dough on prepared husks. Top with 1 tablespoon of stew. Fold husks around the dough; tie with kitchen string if husks do not remained folded.

Single layer folded tamales in steamer and cook over boiling water (water should be no more than 1 inch from the bottom of the steamer) 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until corn cakes pull clean away from the husks. Be sure to keep on eye on your water, as much of it evaporates during the cooking process.

Serve warm tamales with salsa, sour cream, and avocado.


frimp said…
I've seen avocado leaves for sale in some Mexican groceries, what can you do with them?
patrice said…
Interesting questions, frimp. I wondered this myself as I purchased corn husks at my local Mexican grocery store. I turned to Rick Bayless for answers. http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/glossary?id=9 He uses them as we would use bay leaves - in stews and sauces for flavoring. In a quick Internet search I found many physical benefits touted. I'll give it a try and let you know what I think.

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