Saturday, December 3, 2011

tamale party

first of all, have we shared the joy that is our new kitchen?  i think with all the catch-up posting we forgot to mention the fact that we are now cohabitational.  one of the greatest parts about this new arrangement is the kitchen.  to begin with, the kitchen itself is wonderful - lots of counter space, good work flow arrangement (we can chop side-by-side without elbowing each other).  additionally, the spices, oils, and random ingredients that used to be divided between two different kitchens can now live together in OUR kitchen cabinets.  it is truly an amazing thing.
we also like living together because, well, it means we can see each other all the time.
moving right along.  we had another couple over for dinner to show off our lovely new home.
we opted for a mexican theme but we wanted to be adventurous and try some recipes we've never made before.
we decided upon black bean and corn tamales (based on a recipe from two blue lemons) and tortilla soup
here's the info.
*before you begin, if you've never made tamales before i'm going to tell you now that they take a lot longer to cook than i had originally anticipated - like over an hour.  not sure why i thought this was like a simple, quick steaming procedure*
tamale ingredients:
2 ears of fresh corn  - remove husks carefully as these will serve as the wrapper for the tamales
2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups masa harina - it's corn flour and can easily be found at the local grocery store in the "latino" aisle
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 serrano chili, minced
handful of fresh chopped cilantro

alright so you start by making the masa: boil the water with salt and olive oil, remove from heat and add the cumin and masa.  once it's cool, form the masa into 1-2 inch balls and set aside while you prepare the filling.
remove the corn husks - remember, be careful! and save the husks.
slice the kernels off the cob.
saute the onion and garlic in olive oil.
add tomatoes and spices and cook until the tomato breaks down.
add beans, corn and cilantro.
once the beans are warm, you're ready to begin tamale assembly.
make an X with two corn husks and place a ball of masa in the middle.
spoon the filling on top of the masa
carefully wrap the corn husks around the masa and filling.  don't make this more complicated than it has to be - just make sure everything is contained in the corn husk.
once you've wrapped up all your little tamale packages, prepare a bamboo steamer over a pan with some water.
place your beautiful packages into the steamer and cook for about an hour.
basically you're looking for a soft, almost cake-like texture in the masa.

adventure dish number 2: tortilla soup (don't let the long list of ingredients frighten you - it's a simple recipe)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 peppers (red/green/yellow/orange), chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1/2 cup green onion
3 tbsp cumin
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 jalapeno, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
sat and pepper
chili powder
cayenne pepper
lime juice

use a large soup pot to saute the onion, garlic, peppers, zucchini and corn in olive oil
add the tomatoes, spices, cilantro, lime juice and vegetable broth
cover and simmer
see, it's easy.
serve with tortilla strips for some extra crunch
please excuse the fact that there are no pictures of the soup...i made it while the photographer was at work.

1 comment:

  1. This was amazing! Thanks for this wonderful recipe