Friday, February 20, 2009
After Gringa Carnitas Come Gringa Tamales
Back in June of 2007 I did a post on Gringa Carnitas. I wanted to make some real Mexican carnitas but could not find a solid recipe. So I made something approximating it, cooking it in an unconventional way and with a few unconventional ingredients like orange juice. The result was delicious and I have made it many times since that first test recipe.
Recently I tested a recipe for my Healthy Eating column, which I have dubbed Gringa Tamales. Again, it is an American version of a Mexican classic that is healthier and quicker and will appeal to many. It requires only a half-hour of prep time and half-hour of cook time and can be altered to use a variety of ingredients.
The basic recipe is a masa mixed with store-bought rotisserie chicken. But you can amp up the masa with chili powder or pureed chipotles. You could use ground beef or chicken, leftover steak, or even the Gringa Carnitas. Vegetarian? No problem. The recipe calls for cheese already, just add in some black beans, maybe some chopped bell pepper or canned chiles.
I made a batch and cooked them, and anytime someone was hungry they could microwave to reheat. You could also reheat using a steamer. We tried them topped with salsa verde, avocado crema, regular salsa, and sour cream. Because the basic version is somewhat bland in flavor (appealing to younger children), we found a combo of green or red salsa and either sour cream or avocado crema (or guacamole) to yield the most flavor.