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Posts Tagged ‘spicy’

  1. Pork Tamales

    May 16, 2011 by Lisa

    Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish that takes some effort to make, but are so worth it! Because of this, these days they’re mostly served at special occasions, like Christmas Eve or parties.

    I’ve made a couple of different fillings for this now, and I actually prefer the fresh pepper version to the more traditional dried pepper version which I find a bit bitter. The red sauce can be used for enchiladas as well. You can get the corn husks, and masa at mexgrocer.co.uk or the Cool Chile Company in the UK. Makes about 30 tamales. You can freeze the extras. Allow 2-3 per person, keeping in mind that some people won’t stop at 3!

    Pork filling

    • Large pork Shoulder roast (700g or so)
    • 1 medium onion, quartered
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

    Remove the fat from the roast and cut into pieces. Add garlic and onion, cover with about a liter and a half of water and bring to the boil, then lower heat to simmer and cook for 2-3 hours or until the pork is very tender. Remove from heat, shred the meat and set aside. Reserve the broth and cool (you can skim off the fat once it’s cooled.)

    Fresh Pepper Red Chili Sauce

    • 4 large Romano peppers
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 3 cloves, crushed
    • 3 peppercorns, crushed
    • 4 or so hot peppers, to taste. The mild red ones are my preference, but go as hot as you like.
    • 1 cup broth from bullion (vegetable or chicken)
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 tablespoons shortening

    Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds and stems. Wash hands after touching them and keep your hands away from eyes and other sensitive “bits”! Roast the red and hot peppers in a hot oven until just blistered. Place the peppers, garlic, salt, cumin, cloves, peppercorns and broth in a blender and blend until smooth. Melt the shortening in a large saucepan and stir in the flour until smooth. Starin the pepper mixture into the flour misxture and cook for 5-10 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Add the shredded pork to the sauce and set aside while you prepare the masa.

    Tamale Dough
    The directions are on the corn masa packaging, but in case they’re not:

    • 4 cups masa flour
    • 4 cups reserved lukewarm pork broth
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/3 cups lard or shortening

    Combine the corn meal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and add the broth, mixing well with hands. In a small bowl, beat the shortening until fluffy and add it to the masa mixture and beat until the dough is a bit spongey.

    Assembling the Tamales
    Soak about 30 dried corns husks in warm water for 30 minutes and rinse. Hold a husk with the pointed end facing down and spread a large spoon full of dough (about 2 tablespoons) in the centre of the husk (each husk should be 8 inches long and 6 inches wide at the top. If husks are small, overlap 2 small ones to form one. If it is large, tear a strip from the side). Place about 1 tablespoon meat and sauce mixture in the middle of the masa and fold in sides of husk and fold up the bottom. You can fold down the top or leave them open.

    Place the tamales in a very deep stockpot with 2 inches of water and a steamer basket in the bottom. Make sure the basket is raised an inch or two above the water (I used two steamers on top of each other) as you don’t want the water to splash onto the tamales. Make sure the pot doesn’t boil dry. If the tamales are open at the top, make sure the open top of the husk is facing upward. Cover with a wet cloth and steam for about an hour and a half or until the husk separates easily from the corn meal.

    Serve the tamales with the husk removed and remaining sauce poured over the top.


  2. Tuna Tataki

    April 1, 2008 by Lisa

    Tuna Tataki is simply fresh tuna seared lightly and sliced thinly. I like it with spicy ponzu sauce: light soy, lime juice, rice vinegar, dashi, 7 spices powder and a bit of tabasco for some extra spiciness.


  3. Sticky Chicken Wings

    July 9, 2005 by Lisa

    You know those times when you make a sauce and kind of change it everytime? Trying new combinations, quantities, whatever? Sometimes it works better than other times. This was a nice simple version of sticky sweet and spicy chicken wings that I now use exclusively.

    Sauce:

    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 3-4 tablespoons clear honey
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon Worchester sauce
    • Tabasco – some amount

    Cook over a low heat for 5 – 10 minutes.

    Oven cook the wings at 225C in a bit of olive oil until browned, turning once. Drain the oil and dump the wings into a bowl and cover with the sauce, stirring to coat them completely. Cook in the oven another 20 to 30 minutes.


  4. Pico de Gallo / Guacamole

    January 2, 2005 by Lisa

    Two simple fresh garnishs for all sorts of Mexican dishes.

    Pico de Gallo:

    • 2 or 3 chopped ripe tomatoes
    • 1/2 diced red or white onion
    • 1 or 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
    • handful of chopped fresh cilantro
    • a few splashes of tabasco or a chopped red chili pepper to taste
    • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least an hour.

    Guacamole:

    Same as above, but stir in two mashed avocados and the juice of half a lime (prevents avocados from going brown – for a while, at least).


  5. Ceviche

    January 1, 2005 by Lisa

    This Mexican style salad/side dish is a surprise to everyone who tries it. The fish is not cooked in the traditional way, but in lime juice which gives it a cooked texture and appearance and for all I know, fulfills the qualification of “cooking”. Serves 4 to 6.

    Ingredients:

    • 250-300g fresh white fish. I used halibut, but sea bass, snapper, plaice or just about anything will work.
    • 250g cooked prawns and/or tiny bay scallops
    • Enough lime juice to cover the fish. Since limes are not so juicy, you may supplement with lemon juice if you get bored trying to squeeze enough from a lime.
    • 1/2 a large onion
    • 1 small jalepeno pepper (or 5 or 6 slices of the pickled variety we get in the uk) or one or two fresh red chili pepper
    • 2 medium tomatoes
    • 10-20 pitted green or black olives
    • 2 or 3 large spoons full capers
    • 1/4 – 1/2 spoon cumin powder
    • 1/4 – 1/2 spoon dried oregano
    • handful fresh coriander
    • 60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil

     

    Remove the skin and slice the white fish into thin strips. Place in a glass bowl and cover completely with the lime juice. If you’re using uncooked scallops or prawns, put them in the bowl as well, otherwise, hold off until later. Cover and place in the refridgerator until the fish looks “cooked” – in other words opaque and flaky. This should only take a half an hour to an hour depending on the thickness of the fish or the size of the prawns/scallops.

    Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, pepper, tomatoes and olives.

    When the fish is ready drain off the lemon juice and add the chopped vegetables and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cover and return to the fridge for another hour or two. Some recipes suggest 24 to 48 hours, but I prefer the more subtle flavour when left not quite as long. On the other hand, my lunch of ceviche and avocado 48 hours later was quite fab.

    You could add all manner of things as well, like artichoke hearts, chopped avocado or black olives.


  6. Chili con Carne

    December 6, 0206 by Lisa


    Ooh, yum. My recent trip to the states gave me a taste for some American home cooking. I dragged a couple packets of corn bread mix home and made this easy chili with what I could find in the house.

    Ingredients:

    • 500gm beef mince
    • 1 large shallot or half an onion
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 can kidney beans
    • 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped roughly or 1 can chopped plum tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • several good shakes Tabasco (I think I did about 10) or chili powder to taste
    • 1 half a tube of tomato paste
    • salt and pepper to taste

    Brown the beef and shallots in the olive oil. Add the kidney beans, pasta sauce and fresh tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Mix the flour, cumin, tabasco and water into a paste and add it to the beef and beans. Cook an hour at low heat, stirring frequently. Longer is even better, when poss. Add more tabasco and salt and pepper as you like!