Saturday, August 13, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
This is a recipe purely inspired by the beautiful local, seasonal vegetables that can be found at Jean-Talon and Atwater markets at this sunny time of year. Wild mushrooms, fresh corn, peppers, tomatoes and chilis! The summer time bounty is always fun to work with! This is a play on the classic rajas y hongos and the delicious mix of earthy, sweet and savory flavors are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
4 ears of fresh corn
2 cups masa for tamales
¼ cup butter at room temperature
¼ cup lard
1 tbsp. sugar
¾ tsp. salt
1 1.2 tsp. baking powder
2 chile poblanos roasted, seeded and cut into strips (rajas)
½ cup queso Oaxaca shredded
Carefully remove the husks from the corn and set aside for later use. Discard the corn silk and with a sharp knife remove the kernels of corn. In a blender or food processor puree the corn to a chunky consistency.
Mix the masa with the sugar, salt and baking powder and add to the corn puree. Add the butter and lard and mix until smooth and fluffy. Fold in the cheese and rajas.
Spoon 2 tbsp at a time of mix onto a cornhusk and fold to close. Tie with a string or a piece of cornhusk. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. You should get about 20 tamales. Place in a steamer lined with more cornhusks and steam over simmering water for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Salsa roja de morita:
1 cup of smoked beer (in our case our own home brew)
2 avocado leaves
5-6 chile morita
4-5 chile pulla
2 large tomatoes cut into quarters
1 onion, cut into quarters
4 whole garlic cloves, with skin
4-5 branches of coriander
juice of 1-2 limes
In a small saucepan bring the beer to boil with the avocado leaves. Toast the chiles in a dry pan and add to the hot beer. Allow to rehydrate for around 20 minutes. Meanwhile in the same dry pan char the tomatoes, garlic and onion until black on all sides. Remove the chiles from the beer and seed and devein if you don’t want the sauce to be too spicy. Remove the garlic cloves from the pan and peel. Add the chiles to the pan as well as the peeled garlic and deglaze with the beer. Reduce to dry and add another cup or so of water along with the coriander. Simmer for around 15 minutes to soften the vegetables. Pour everything into a blender and puree until smooth. Add enough lime juice and salt to season the salsa to you liking and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.
Chorizo, wild mushroom and zucchini blossom garnish:
6 zucchini blossoms with small zucchini if you can find it, cleaned
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
4 fresh chorizo, casing removed
2 cups of wild mushroom (we used lobster and chanterelle)
¼ cup fresh coriander lightly chopped
salt and pepper
In a large pan heat the olive oil. Lightly brown the zucchini and remove from pan. Add the onion and chorizo and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the fat and juices start to run out. Now is a good time to add the mushrooms so that they absorb all this good stuff. Cook for another 7-8 minutes to nicely brown and caramelize everything. Add the zucchini blossoms back in and if you’d like you can deglaze with a little of the smoked beer used earlier in the salsa. Season everything to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with coriander. At this point your tamales should be ready.
Serve the tamales topped with the wild mushroom and coriander mixture and a generous serving of salsa morita. Fresh coriander leaves are always a welcome garnish. Enjoy!
Leftover tamales are great reheated and eaten with salsa or butter!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Barbacoa de Res
Our original inspiration for this was to do a play on a typically north American surf and turf, using the ever-popular beef and shrimp combo. One of our favorite dishes is barbacoa or pit braised meat. Usually wrapped in agave or banana leaves and flavored with avocado leaves this succulent dish cooks in the ground for several hours is totally worth the effort.
For our mini home version we used a pressure cooker, banana leaves and bone in beef (short ribs seemed like the obvious choice!). Being in Montreal in May the only avocado leaves we found were dry, but you will see even dried they impregnate with their subtle aromas. Rich chili marinade, salsa de camarones, green plantain tortillas and home made pickles rounded out this dish for us but the meat would be amazing in corn tortillas with your favorite salsa and a classic raw onion and cilantro mix. Try it out!!
3 lbs. beef short ribs
3 dried Ancho chilies
3 dried Guajillo chilies
1 dried Chipotle chili
1 cup of warm water
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp pork lard
1 tsp pineapple vinegar (completely replaceable by apple cider vinegar)
salt and pepper
6-8 avocado leaves
6-8 bay leaves
6-8 large squares of banana leaf
Seed and soak all the dried chilies in the warm water for around 20 minutes. Once re-hydrated place in blender with the clove, peppercorn, tomato, onion, garlic and blend with enough soaking liquid to make a loose paste. We used all of it and I would suggest the same. Heat the lard in a skillet and once melted add the mixture from the blender. Cook down to create a thick paste. This takes about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Once done cooking down season the mixture with salt, pepper and the vinegar.
Once the meat is cooked let rest slightly and serve with your desired condiments. This would also be great just accompanied by some nice rice and veggies. Enjoy!