Saturday, December 22, 2007

Tamale Time!

It's time for our somewhat annual tamale party. My first lesson in tamale making was about 12 years ago, when a friend invited us to his mother's home in San Jose on Christmas Eve. We got there early enough so that I could help make the traditional tamales. Big vats of pork and masa, baskets of husks, and I was hooked. I've been trying to make them every year since, and sometimes we even have a party to go with them. Tomorrow is the big day so today means prep, prep, and more prep. On the menu:

  • Garlic/rosemary almonds
  • Plaintain chips
  • Mini ricotta corncakes with chipotle cream
  • Seviche shooters
  • Tamales – 2 types (gringa carnitas and shredded beef)
  • Black beans
  • Fresh fire-roasted tomato salsa (courtesy of brilliant daughter)
  • Pickled peppers (a precious jar saved from the last batch my godfather made)
  • Espresso biscuits
  • Mini mocha brownies
  • Ginger-orange sables
  • Florentine bars
  • Nanny's Shortbread
  • Cinnamon sledges
  • Espresso walnuts

  • As you can see, many of these recipes have been posted in the past. Only one of the items, the plantain chips, will not be homemade. Two don't really have a recipe: seviche and black beans. Both are very easy to make. Here is the down and dirty in 100 words or less:

    The seviche is just a combination of raw shrimp and scallops, tomatoes, purple onion, peppers (what kind depends on your heat tolerance), garlic cilantro, a bit of salt. I just chop up everything very fine, cover the ingredients with enough lime juice and let it sit in the fridge overnight. The lime juice cooks the seafood and results in a refreshing and tasty appetizer. As for the black beans, I have to say I cheat a bit, particularly when other things are going on. I cover the dried beans with water, plus another cup or two and bring to a boil. Then I turn it down, cover it, and cook until almost tender. I then toss in salt, cilantro and a jar of Trader Joe's Garlic Salsa, then continue to cook until tender. Simple, but darn near as good as doing everything from scratch…and a whole lot easier.

    As for the desserts, I'll just have to write up another post with those recipes. But right now, I got some tamales that need making……

    1 comment:

    Lubna said...

    Hi Mrs B
    Wishing you and your loved ones a great New Year.