Nacatamales (Nicaraguan Tamales)

May 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15 tamales (large)

Nacatamales are similar to Mexican tamales but they are quite large and filled with a potato, rice, corn, vegetable and herb mixture and are typically served on holidays and special occasions. This recipe makes ½ size portions of the traditional tamale.

Ingredients

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime zest

For the filling

1 pound pork butt cubed (about 1 inch cubes)
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 medium green bell pepper, sliced thin
2 medium tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh corn, chopped fine
½ cup long grain rice, cooked al dente
3 potatoes, 1-inch cubes (about 1½ cups)
½ cup fresh mint, chopped fine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 3 limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice
Salt
Pepper
Banana leaf squares

Directions

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine the masa harina, lime zest, and 2 cups of the reserved pork liquid. Mix well. In a kitchen aid or with an electric mixer, mix the lard until fluffy or about five minutes. A little at a time mix the lard into the masa harina until fully incorporated. Mix in the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece of the dough floats in a glass of cold water.

For the filling & assembly

In a large mixing bowl combine the filling ingredients and mix well, making sure the rice is well combined. In the center of each banana, place about 4 tablespoons of masa harina mixture. Flatten with a spoon leaving about 1 inch around each border of the banana leaf. Atop that place about 2 tablespoons meat and vegetable mixture. Fold over the banana leaf like you are folding a present. Tie the wrapped package with banana leaf ties or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips from making tamales soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 45-60 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Guatamalan Red Chili Pork Chuchitos (Tamales)

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 20 tamales

INGREDIENTS

For the red chili pork

2 cups water
1 medium tomato, chopped medium
1 red chile, torn into pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped medium
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 pound pork butt
1 teaspoon salt
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

For the tamale dough

2 cups masa harina
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 cups pork stock, reserved from poached pork
½ cup lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Corn husk wrappers
Hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

For the red chili pork

Place water, tomatoes, chile, onions, garlic, spices, pork butt, salt and bay leaf in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until pork is falling apart and soft. Take off heat and cool. Discard the bay leaf. Shred the pork by pulling apart the fibers using a fork or your fingers. Place shredded meat into a medium sized bowl and add fresh herbs and combine. Set aside.

For the tamale dough

In a large mixing bowl combine masa harina and lime zest with 2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid from pork and mix well. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a kitchen aid mixer or with an electric hand held mixer, mix the lard until fluffy, about five minutes. Add the lard to the masa harina mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix well. The dough is ready (well mixed) when a small piece floats in a glass of cold water.

For the wrappers

For corn husk wrappers, place the corn husks in boiling, water for 1-2 minutes, take out and cool slightly before handling. In the corn husk, place about ½ cup of the masa mixture topped with shredded pork and herb mixture. Fold over the corn husk like you are folding a present and tie the package with a corn husk tie or kitchen twine.

Place the wrapped tamales in a steamer and cover the top of the tamales with a kitchen towel (to prevent drips and tamales from getting soggy). Steam tamales on medium heat for about 30-45 minutes or until soft and cooked through. Serve with hot sauce.

Spicy Italian Sausage

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 9 sausages

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, chunk bacon or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings, of your choice

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade of the meat grinder, grind the mixture following grinder instructions. If you are making or using the meat without the casing go right to that step. If you are making links put the mixture back in the mixing bowl and place in the freezer for a little while. In the meantime soak the casings in warm water and rinse a few times. Get out your sausage stuffer and slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube, this is the part that you will need to tie the sausages off. Remove the meat from the freezer and stuff it into the stuffer, if all the meat does not fit leave what will not fit in a bowl in the refrigerator. Turn the stuffer on and begin the process, air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil, the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine and tie up the ends, you can use kitchen twine. To make the links, pinch a section together, then spin the links and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Make sure both ends are tied off. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles, using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be resolved. Hang the links for about an hour and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight, use them or freeze them in about a week.

Pinchos Morunos

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 pounds pork butt or shoulder, fat trimmed
2 teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 teaspoons oregano (dried)
Salt to taste
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Cut pork into 1 ½-inch cubes. Put pork into a glass or ceramic bowl. Sprinkle paprika, garlic, oregano and salt over pork and stir to coat pork thoroughly. Cover tightly and place in refrigerator for 24 hours. Place pork cubes on skewers (that have been pre-soaked) and set aside.

Preheat broiler, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve warm.

Mango-Sage BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

January 14th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 15-20 Party Size Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

For the dry rub

1 teaspoon dried chipotle flakes
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon lime zest, grated finely
2 tablespoons coarse salt

For the mango bbq pork

4-5 pounds pork butt, cut into a few large pieces
½ cup mango purée
2 cloves garlic
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
¼ cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
Vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

In a small mixing bowl, mix all of the spices. Rub mixture all over pork butt pieces, and set aside. In the meantime, mix all remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth. These blended ingredients will function as your BBQ sauce.

In a hot and lightly greased cast iron pan over high heat, sear the pork butt pieces on each side until a brown sear is present. Place pork butt pieces and BBQ sauce in a crock pot on low, about 3 to 4 hours. Pull meat apart, and mix with sauce. Serve on party size buns.

Spicy Italian Sausage Baked with Tomatoes & Potatoes

December 6th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6 (makes 6-9 sausages)

INGREDIENTS

For the Sausage

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, slab bacon, or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings of your choice

For the Baked Sausage Dish

6-9 spicy Italian sausage
2 medium sized green peppers, seeds and pit removed, cut into long strips
2 medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon salt

PREPARATION

For the Sausages

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well, and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. If you are making links, put the mixture back in the mixing bowl, and place in the freezer for a little while. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the ened of the tube- this is where you will need to tie the sausages off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until your are ready. Turn the mahcine on, and begin the process- air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil- the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends- you can use meat or butchers twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times; repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week (or lose it).

For Baked Sausage Dish

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Place in an oven proff baking dish with a lid, and bake for about 1 hour or until potatoes are soft.

Three Bean Pork & Green Chili

November 29th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the Rub

2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons green chili powder
2 tablespoons salt
3 pounds pork butt, cubed in 1-inch pieces

For the Chili

Vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, pith removed, and chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and chopped
3 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 cup pinto beans, cooked
1 cup white kidney beans, cooked
1 cup black beans, cooked
1 cup water
Salt
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Cheddar or Cotija cheese, to garnish

PREPARATION

In a small bowl, mix spices for the rub, and rub all over the meat. Let sit for about 10 minutes while meat soaks up flavor. In a heavy bottom soup pan, add oil, and place over medium-high heat. Add the onions and jalapeño, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the seasoned meat, and sauté until meat is browned on all sides. Next, add the tomatillos, poblanos, cumin, cumin seeds, lime zest and juice, beans, and water. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Once boil is reached, turn to low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes and season with salt. Take off heat, add cilantro leaves and let stand for about 20 minutes before serving. Serve with cheese!

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