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Monday, March 12, 2007

Tamales blancos

Best I have ever had - again from Sue Style cooking class in London.

  • 10 tablespoons lard or shortening
  • 2 cups tortilla flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 20 dried corn husks, soaked in warm ater for 30 minutes and drained, or 20 sheets of parchment paper 8 x 6 1/2 inches.

Cream the lard or shortening until light and fluffy. Mix the flours to a dough with the warm water and add the stock. Gradually add this mixture to the creamed fat with the baking powder and salt. Continue beating for a few minutes more until really light and well-mixed: a ball of the dough will float when dropped into a cup of cold water. It should be about the consistency of cake batter.

Place about 2 tablespoonsful of the dough on the bottom end of a soaked corn husk or into the middle of a paper sheet. Fold the sides up and over, and the ends up. Lay face down so they don't unwind themselves while you finish filling the rest. If yu have some spare corn husks, tear a few lengthwise into strips and use the strips to tie around the tamales, to secure them.

Set up steamer: pour in water to a depth of about 1 1/4 inches and bring to a boil. Put in the folded tamales. Cover and steam for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The tamales are done when, on opening a parcel, the dough comes away cleanly from the husk or paper. makes 20

Mole de guajolote o pollo

I have prepared this in haste as we return from Mexico where we had a mole at the San Isidro Lodge near Cerocahui- so please proofread before you start. As you can see - this is a long process. We are now off to Peru - hope to post a few good recipes when we return.

  • 6 1/2 lbs chicken
  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt
  • 1 Tablespoons sesame seeds for garnish

Dry the chicken pieces well and brown in hot oil in a large, heavy flameproof casserole until golden all over. Drain excess oil. Add water to cover, the carrot, onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaf and salt to taste and simmer until just tender, 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool in the stock while you prepare the mole sauce.

  • 8 chiles anchos
  • 4 chiles mulatos
  • 2 chiles pasilla
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 3/4 inch piece cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch of aniseed or fennel seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 3 large tomatoes (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1/2 cup sultanas (or raisins)
  • 2 Tablespoos oil
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 fat slices homemade-tupe bread, cut into cubes
  • 2 stale tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1/3 cup green, shelled, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 ox semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • salt

Toast the chillies gently on a griddle or ungreased heavy frying pan until supple and fragrant, pressing down well with the back o f a spatula. Remove the stalks, cut open and scrape out the seeds and tear the chillies in rough pieces. Soak in hot water for a least 20 minutes.
Toast the peppercorns, coriander seeeds, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed or fennel seeds and sesame seeds on the same griddle. Set aside to cool.
Grill the tomatoes, garlic and onion until blistered and nicely toasted. Quarter the tomatoes (don't skin them) and onion. Slip the garlic out of it coat. Set aside
Using a large, wide pan, fry the sultanas (or raisins) until plump in 1 tablespoon of oil, then remove. Fry the almonds, bread cubes, tortilla strips and pumpkin seeds, adding more oil if necessary and tossing andstirring until evenly golden. Be careful with the pumpkin seed: they are apt to explode. Set aside to cool, with the sultanas (raisins).
Drain the chillies, then blend them in a blender or food processor until smooth with half the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Using a large, heavy flameproof casserole into which everything will eventually fit, heat a thin film of oil until nearly smoking. Throw in the chilli puree and fry, stirring until thick and reduced.
In the same blender jar or food processor, blend the remaining tomatoes, onion and garlic with the toasted seeds, spices, sultanas (raisins), almonds, bread and tortillas. Do it in two batches if you can't fit it all in. It should be really smooth - add a little stock from the chicken only if necessary. Add this mixture to the chilli puree in the casserole, mixing well, and continue to cook, stirring, until really thick and pasty. Stir in the vinegar and chocolate pieces, plus enough chicken stock to give a light coating consistency. Season to taste with salt and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Add the drained chicken pieces to the sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
To serve, arrange the chicken pieces on a large serving dish. Coat with the sauce, sprinkle on the sesame seeds and serve with plain tamales. Serves 12

This recipe was from my cooking class in London with Sue Style - She has a mexican cookbook published by Hamlyn - She lived in Mexico City of a number of years before moving to Switzerland.