Creamed Corn Tamales

 

This last weekend was my Aunts birthday and we had a mexican themed diner for her. I made these Creamed Corn Tamales. I found the recipe in an old Food Network Magazine, November 2011 from Chef Santos Loo. We really liked these tamales even though my family has renamed them, sweet corn cakes. I guess that is what they tasted like to us. I was also thinking that these would be good with some green chillies and some Monterey jack cheese. They are not like a traditional meat tamales, they are more simple and have a slight sweetness. The kids loved them and we will be making them again.

The ingredients are:

  • 25 to 30 dried corn husks
  • 2 1/2 cups masa harina (instant corn flour)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can cream-style corn
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  1. Soak the corn husks in a bowl of hot water until pliable, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the dough: Combine the masa harina and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the corn and 1/2 cup hot water until combined. Add the butter and mix with your hands until evenly distributed.
  3. Remove the corn husks from the water and shake dry. Unfold the husks on a clean surface (discard any small husks or husks with holes). Put about 1/4 cup dough down the center of a husk; fold in the long sides to enclose the filling, then fold in the top and bottom to make a packet. Secure with kitchen twine. Repeat with the remaining dough and husks.
  4. Set up a steamer basket in a large pot filled with 2 inches of water. Arrange the tamales standing up in the steamer and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook until the tamales are firm, about 1 hour. Remove from the steamer and let rest 10 minutes before unwrapping.

 

Mexican Chocolate Cake

 

The dessert I made for our Cinco De Mayo dinner was this Mexican Chocolate Cake. I found the recipe in an old Gourmet magazine (April 2004). This cake was perfectly moist, the glaze like frosting was rich and delicious, and the hint of cinnamon was perfect. We all really enjoyed this cake.

The ingredients are:

For Cake

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Glaze

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 5 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: a 9-inch tube pan or 12-cup bundt pan

Make cake: 

  1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter cake pan well and dust with flour, knocking out excess.
  2. Melt butter (2 sticks) in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, then whisk in cocoa. Add water and whisk until smooth, then remove from heat. Whisk in separately sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
  3. Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl, then sift again into cocoa mixture and whisk until just combined (don’t worry if there are lumps).
  4. Pour batter into cake pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 45 to 55 minutes. (my cake was done at 42 minutes)

Make glaze:

  1. Melt butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over low heat, then stir in half-and-half and confectioners sugar. Add chocolate and cook, stirring, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in salt. Cool glaze until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spoon glaze over top and sides of cake (cake will still be warm) and spread with a small offset spatula or knife to cover completely.

Cooks’ note:

Cake (with glaze) can be made 2 days ahead and kept at room temperature in a cake keeper or covered with an inverted bowl.

 

 

Oven-Baked Arroz Con Pollo

 

Happy Cinco De Mayo Everyone! Today my day is going to be spent on a soccer field so my family got together last night. We had lots of yummy mexican food but most of all we spent precious moments together…. My grandfather tried to get on the trampoline with the kids and all of us women about had a heart attack thinking he was going to hurt himself. The kids thought it was great though (love you grandpa)!

One of the things I made for the night was this Oven-Baked Arroz Con Pollo. I got the recipe out of the Spring Phyllis Hoffman Celebrate magazine. This Oven-Baked Arroz Con Pollo was very good, full of rice, beans, corn, chicken, chiles and topped off with cheese!

The ingredients are:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups salsa verde

Chicken:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 4 cups shredded chicken (I used an already made rotisserie¬†chicken to save time)
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. To prepare rice: In a large saucepan, combine broth and water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add rice, onion, corn, and garlic. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. Stir in pinto beans and salsa verde. Spread in a single layer in a 13×9-inch baking dish.
  3. To prepare chicken: In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, Add flour to melted butter, stirring until smooth. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until light brown. Add milk, stirring until smooth. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Add sour cream, stirring until smooth. Add chicken and chiles, stirring well. Spread in a single layer on top of prepared rice. Top with cheeses. Cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is lightly golden and edges are bubbly.

Shrimp, My Way

 

Here is another recipe out of my cookbook, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. We all really enjoyed this shrimp recipe. The Cumin in this gave the shrimp a southwestern flare and I loved the chunks of garlic in it. The ingredients are:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 or 4 big cloves garlic, cut into slivers (I used 4, YUM!)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds shrimp, in the 20 to 30 per pound range, peeled, rinsed, and dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh spicy paprika (I had regular paprika so I used that)
  • Minced fresh parsley leaves for garnish
  1. Preheat the broiler and adjust the rack so that it is as close to the heat source as possible.
  2. Very gently, in a large, broad ovenproof skillet or baking pan, warm the olive oil over low heat. There should be enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan; don’t skimp. Put the garlic in the oil and cook for a few minutes, still over low heat, until it turns golden.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the shrimp, salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Stir to blend and immediately place under the broiler. Cook, shaking the pan once or twice and stirring if necessary, but generally leaving the shrimp undisturbed, until they are pink all over and the mixture is bubbly. This will take from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the heat of your broiler. Garnish and serve immediately.

Carnitas Hash

This last weekend the family and I went out to breakfast. My husband ordered Carnitas Hash. Neither one of us had ever tried this before but the waitress said that it was one of her favorites, so my husband decided to try it. He really liked it and asked if I could try to make something like that at home for him. This is what I came up with.

  • Package of Carnitas (I found this at Costco and all it needs is to be heated. The great thing is that this package comes with two pouches of carnitas. I can use one for my husband’s breakfast and the other I can make burritos for the kids for a quick dinner on a busy night.)
  • 1 large potato (I microwaved the potato for 2 minutes before I peeled and diced it. This lessens the frying time of the potato.) peeled and diced.
  • Diced onion (as little or as much as you would like
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Oil to fry the potato and onion in
  1. First I fried the potatoes and onion on medium high heat until they started to get a nice brown carmelized color. This is the point where I seasoned with salt and pepper (remember the carnitas comes seasoned so don’t over do it).
  2. In a second frying pan I fried up the carnitas until it was heated through. Then added it to my potatoes and onions.
  3. In the same frying pan as I used for the carnitas, I fried up some scrambled eggs in the bit of pork fat left from the carnitas. Topped the eggs with some cheddar cheese and served it all with warm flour tortillas. That way my husband could make a breakfast burrito if he wanted to.