Monday, May 04, 2009
tamales, a dinner, a project
I am still lacking kitchen time in my life. Don't get me wrong, I am loving life...enjoying old friends and family, making new friends, lots of laughter, conversation, and fun. But when I don't get to cook, I feel a certain emptiness. So when I had a mostly-free Sunday, I decided I had to not just cook, but do a cooking project. Something that involved multiple steps and lots of time. Not necissarily something difficult, though, just something, you know, meditative and satisfying. Being that tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, I had mexican on the breain. Tamales are a GREAT cooking project. You may recall when I made these. I sure do. yum!
This time I wanted pork tamales. I threw a pork roast in the crockpot with cumin, coriander, thyme, mexican oregano, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, a few fresh smashed garlic cloves, a chopped shallot, a sliced jalepeno, seeds and all, and a jar of salsa verde. That cooked on low all day, about 8 hours. For the tamale dough, I simply followed the directions on the bag of masa harina, tripling the recipe, and adding a chopped jalepeno for good measure. Once the dough was made and the cooked pork was chopped up and added back to it's cooking juices, I set up an assembly station at the kitchen table and set to work putting together tamales in some dried corn husks which I soaked for a few minutes in warm water. After I assembled them all, I steamed half of them and froze the other half for future fiestsas.
so you see, this really isn't a hard task, but it is time consuming. But it had the exact result I wanted.... it was relaxing yet productive. Very productive. I have 2 large containers of tamales in the freezer and one large container of them in the fridge. I made some fresh salsa to go with them... chopping vegetables is another good meditative process, I find. Tomatoes, red onion, jalepenos, tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt & pepper. Fresh, colorful, a bit spicy, a bit tangy. Paired with the tamales, some queso fresco and some avacado, this was a very satisfying and eye-appealing meal. A great way to spend a Sunday evening in the spring.
Check out my other Mexican food adventures...
Posted by ironstef