This is a great version of Sinaloa-style tamales. Sinaloa is a state in Mexico where my father was born—Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco are all in located in Sinaloa. These tamales are simple to make with the Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce. We offer these tamales in our shop at Christmas, as it is a traditional Christmas tamale in my father’s birthplace and a family favorite.
Makes 18 Tamales
1/4 cup olive oil 1 small to medium onion, diced 1 medium potato, diced 1 carrot, diced 1 zucchini, diced 2 pickled jalapeños, minced 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1 medium tomato, diced 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup finely chopped green olives 3 or more cups Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce (page 36) 2 cups cubed cooked chicken 31/2 cups Basic Fresh Masa (page 22)
Heat the oil in large pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potato, carrot, zucchini, jalapeños, and salt and stir to combine. Sauté for 15 minutes or until the potato and carrot are barely soft. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add the tomato, raisins, olives, chile pasilla sauce, and chicken. Fold well.
Taste and adjust the salt.
Assemble the tamales (see pages 5-6), using 1/4 cup masa and 1/4 cup filling for each tamale.
Transfer to a steamer and steam for 50 minutes.
Super Easy Red Pasilla Chile Sauce
A simple version of the famous red chile sauce, this recipe cuts the preparation time down from 2 hours or more to 45 minutes. If you have leftover sauce, make enchiladas or chilaquiles. If the sauce is too hot, add 16 ounces of tomato sauce. If you want more heat, use New Mexico hot dried chiles instead of the pasilla chiles, which are milder.
Makes 7 Cups
1 (2-ounce) package dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded, or 4 tablespoons prepared chile paste 2 (28-ounce) cans enchilada sauce 1 teaspoon oregano 2 teaspoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/4 cup olive oil
Place the cleaned chiles in a medium bowl and pour boiling water to cover, place a dish on top to keep the heat in, and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until the chiles are completely soft. Place the chiles into a food processor or blender and process until you have a smooth paste, then add the enchilada sauce, oregano, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper and process or blend until well combined, about 5 to 10 seconds.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the sauce, cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally to make sure the sauce doesn’t burn. Set aside to cool. The sauce can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.
Basic Fresh Masa
To make this type of masa dough, my grandmother used lard, and my mother used vegetable shortening or a combination of both. I switched to butter. Traditional cooks use even more fat than what is called for here, but I think this 1:5 ratio of butter to masa is perfect. Feel free to use your preference of lard, shortening, butter, or margarine.
Makes about 60 Tamales
1 pound butter or margarine, softened 5 pounds stone ground fresh masa (unprepared) 2 to 3 cups stock (chicken, pork, beef, or vegetable) 2 tablespoons salt (or less to taste)
Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add one-third of the fresh masa alternating with one-third of the stock, then add the salt. Beat until well mixed, adding more stock if needed, turn the mixer to high, and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the dough resembles spackling paste.
Take a small piece (about 1/2 teaspoon) of the dough and drop it into a cup of cold water. If it floats, it is ready; if it sinks, whip for another minute and test it again. Repeat this process until the masa floats.
Note: The fresher the masa, the faster it will become light and fluffy enough for use.
Mexican ceviche versus Peruvian ceviche, this recipe from Mexican Flavors, Contemporary Recipes from Camp San Miguel (Andrews McMeel, August 2014) by Hugh Carpenter, Teri Sandison, might help you decide.
Salmon and Scallop Ceviche
Serves 6 to 10
It’s important to use flawlessly fresh fish here. The fish is “cooked” by soaking in a lime juice bath for 3 hours. It is then tossed with extra-virgin olive oil, serrano chiles, and other seasonings. Placed on a little guacamole at the fat end of endive leaves, this recipe is a colorful, flavorful, textural marvel. You can substitute other fish, such as tuna, swordfish, and sea bass. For presentation variations, serve the ceviche on rice crackers, tortilla chips, or thinly sliced hothouse cucumber.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, minced 1 serrano chile, minced, including the seeds 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and tender stems 1 small whole green onion, minced ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ½ teaspoon salt ¼ pound fresh salmon fillet, skinned and pinbones removed ¼ pound fresh bay scallops or fresh sea scallops, thinly sliced ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice ½ cup Guacamole 16 endive leaves
Combine the olive oil, ginger, garlic, chile, cilantro, green onion, red bell pepper, nutmeg, and salt in a covered airtight bowl and refrigerate. This can be completed 8 hours before serving and kept refrigerated.
Cut the salmon crosswise into ¼-inch slices; then cut across the slices to make ¼-inch pieces.
Mound the scallops together and cut into thin slices—these do not have to be all the same size. Place the salmon and scallops in a medium bowl. Cover with the lime juice and refrigerate for 3 hours. To serve, drain the salmon and scallops. Stir the seafood into the ginger-cilantro mixture until evenly combined. Place about 1 teaspoon of the guacamole at the fat end of each endive leaf. Add a spoonful of the ceviche. Arrange on a serving platter and refrigerate. This can be done 2 hours before serving.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Mexican Flavors, Contemporary Recipes from Camp San Miguel -Andrews McMeel, August 2014- by Hugh Carpenter, Photographs by Teri Sandison)
In Italy, where they make savory pies from almost every vegetable imaginable, kale is a popular choice, especially in Tuscany, where it’s known as cavolo nero or black cabbage. Teamed up with pancetta, onion, garlic, ricotta, eggs, and grated pecorino, its slightly bitter flavor is complemented rather than hidden. This is another great solo dish or delicious accompaniment to plain grilled meat or fish.
Makes one 9-inch pie, about 8 servings
One 9-inch cake pan, 2 inches deep, lined with Olive Oil Dough, using two thirds of the dough for the bottom crust and the remaining dough for the top Fine sea salt 1 1/2 pounds kale, leaves separated from the lower and interior stems, washed, and drained, see note 2 ounces pancetta, cut into N-inch dice 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing 1 cup, about 4 ounces, finely chopped white or yellow onion 1 clove garlic, grated on a Microplane Freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 pounds whole milk ricotta 4 large eggs 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/2 cup/1 1/2 ounces finely grated pecorino Romano
Note: If you find kale that has long, thick stems, start with 2 pounds.
1. Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and return to a boil. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well, pressing the kale against the colander, cool, and coarsely chop.
2. Combine the pancetta and oil in a large pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the pancetta has colored but is still soft, about 2 or 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate covered with paper towels to drain.
3. Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until softened, about 10 minutes, stir in the garlic, cook for a few seconds, and then stir in the kale. Heat through and taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
4. Set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 400°F.
5. To finish the filling, whisk the ricotta and eggs in a large bowl and whisk in the parsley and pecorino. Fold in the kale mixture and the pancetta.
6. Scrape the filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly. Roll the remaining dough for the top crust and use a pattern to cut it to a 9-inch disk. Fold the dough at the side of the pan down over the filling and place the disk of dough on the filling and folded dough. Cut several vent holes in the top of the pie and brush with oil.
7. Set the pie in the oven and lower the temperature to 375°F. Bake until the crust is deep golden and the filling is set, 35 to 40 minutes.
8. Cool the pie on a rack and serve at room temperature.
Olive Oil Dough:
This is my new favorite dough for savory tarts and pies—it is easy to prepare, rolls out like a dream, and bakes to a tender texture. There’s just enough olive oil flavor to complement the filling it surrounds. It’s a perfect example of the fact that baking doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. You can substitute this dough for Flaky Buttery Dough in any of the savory tart or pie recipes. Makes enough for 1 large tart or single-crusted pie (double the quantities for a double crust), or 8 or 9 individual 41/2-inch tarts
11/2 cups/200 grams unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into dry-measure cup and level) 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 cup/80 grams olive oil 2 large eggs
This dough keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Use a mild vegetable oil such as organic, coldpressed safflower oil for a milder flavor. Double all the ingredients for a two-crust pie.
1. Use a fork to stir together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the oil and eggs. Use the fork to beat the eggs and oil together, then gradually draw in the dry ingredients a little at a time until the dough starts to hold together.
3. Scrape the contents of the bowl to a lightly floured work surface (it’s okay if there are still some dry bits) and fold the dough over on itself 4 or 5 times, gently kneading it smooth. Kneading too much might make the oil separate from the dough.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic and keep at a cool room temperature if you’re using within a few hours; refrigerate for longer storage.
Go veggie fungi with this burger from Shroom, Mind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms (Andrews McMeel, September 2014) by Becky Selengut.
Spicy Black Bean, Poblano, and Oyster Mushroom Burgers with Red Onion Jam
I eat beef, so when I decided to create a mushroom-based vegetarian burger, I wanted it to be as satisfying as a beef burger without it being beef-like (most vegetarians will tell you that’s not really the point). The few times I’ve tried veggie burgers, I’ve been amazed that people could regularly eat them; it would take a lot of mustard and ketchup for me to get past how dry most of them are. This is one of several recipes in this book that you can make for vegetarians (or really, anyone) who is an avowed mushroom hater. The mushrooms take a background role in these burgers, providing texture (from a shorter cooking time on the stems) and umami. The feta just starts to melt when the burgers are done browning, forming little pools of awesome. This is a perfect dish to make if you have leftover beans and rice in the house. Keep in mind that it is really important to squeeze your hands together when forming the burgers. This helps to bind the mixture and keep them from crumbling in the pan. That being said, this is a messy burger affair, so tuck a napkin into your shirt when eating. There is a fair amount of prep involved in making these, so feel free to double the recipe. Freeze any uncooked burgers on a baking pan and then pack them away in a container or freezer bag for another day.
Spicy Lime and Chipotle Mayo
½ cup mayonnaise (I love Best Foods/Hellmann’s) Finely grated zest of 1 lime 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (substitute spicy pure chili powder of your choice) ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
Red Onion Jam and Burgers
2 poblano chiles ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil 2 small red onions, small diced (about 3 cups) 1 teaspoon fine sea salt 1¼ cups Mushroom Stock (see below) 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 portobello mushroom, gills and stem removed, cap small diced ½ pound fresh oyster mushrooms, stems separated from caps and both small diced 1 bunch cilantro, stems chopped to make ¼ cup, leaves reserved for garnish 1 tablespoon tomato paste 2 teaspoons soy sauce 1 teaspoon ground cumin Freshly ground black pepper 1 cup cooked brown rice ¾ cup cooked and drained black beans, squished with a potato masher (leave some texture) 3 ounces French or Israeli feta 1½ cups panko bread crumbs 4 hamburger buns, toasted if you like
1 avocado Lettuce leaves Tomato slices
To make the mayo, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and salt. Taste and add more salt if you’d like. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
To make the burgers, over a gas flame or under the broiler, blacken the poblano chiles (you want all parts to be blackened). Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. After a moment, add the onions and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until all the liquid is evaporated; continue to cook until the onions are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes (add a little water if necessary if it gets too dry). Once the onions are browned and very soft, pull half of the onions out of the pan and reserve. Add the sugar to the pan and cook for a minute, then add the vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup stock. Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates. Scrape the red onion jam into a small bowl and set aside to serve with the rest of the toppings. No need to clean the pan—you’ll be using it again.
Remove and discard the skin and seeds from the roasted chiles and cut them into small dice. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, along with the chiles and the reserved sautéed onions. Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped portobello, oyster mushroom caps, and cilantro stems and sauté until lightly browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, cumin, and black pepper and sauté for another minute or two. Add the chopped oyster mushroom stems and sauté for another minute or two, adding a little water if necessary. Add the contents of the pan to a big bowl, along with the rice, black beans, feta, 1 cup of the panko, and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle mayo. Mix well, and form into 4 large burgers (see headnote). Spread the remaining ½ cup panko onto a plate and coat each side of the burgers.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. When the skillet heats up, carefully place the burgers in the skillet and cook until you get a nice deep dark brown sear on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Spread the chipotle mayo all over the insides of the toasted buns. Pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Add the burgers to the buns and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and cilantro leaves.
You will not be sorry you took the time to make your own. As you cook and are busy prepping vegetables and such, e.g., carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, parsley, and thyme, rather than toss or compost the carrot tops and peels, celery ends and leaves, onion ends and cores, shiitake and button stems, thyme and parsley stems, and any other produce bits you collect, save them. (Skip vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, or anything with a dominating flavor or color that you wouldn’t want in a mushroom stock—no beets!)
To make the stock, add these vegetable scraps to a quart-size resealable plastic bag that lives in the freezer. When the bag is full, you are ready to make your stock. At the market, pick up a small onion, some dried porcini, and a handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a little high-heat oil on a rimmed baking pan. Throw the shiitakes, along with the chopped-up onion, onto the pan, and toss with the oil. Roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little wine or water, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan. Dump the mushrooms and onions, along with the liquid, into a stockpot along with the contents of that freezer bag (no need to thaw) and a few rehydrated pieces of dried porcini (along with the strained soaking liquid). Cover with 3 quarts water, chuck in about 5 peppercorns, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should end up with about 2 quarts mushroom stock. Want to make vegetable stock? Do the same thing, but just use fewer mushrooms and more vegetables (and a big flavor bonus if you roast some of the vegetables as you would the shiitake and onion). If you want to make mushroom stock but don’t have a full bag of trimmings in the freezer, just use an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms (equaling roughly 1 quart) and follow the same general procedure.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission, from Shroom, Mind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms -Andrews McMeel, September 2014- by Becky Selengut, Photograph, Clare Barboza)
Won't break the bank cocktail from Downtown Italian, Recipes Inspired by Italy, Created in New York's West Village (Andrews McMeel, October 2014) by Joe Campanale, Gabriel Thompson, Katherine Thompson.
Roasted-Orange Negroni Sbagliato
This cocktail was inspired by the sparkling bright-red drink I discovered while studying in Italy.
The Negroni Sbagliato (“broken” or “mistaken” Negroni, because it features sparkling wine instead of gin) was inexpensive, and it quickly became my favorite drink.
1 wedge roasted orange (see Notes) 1 ounce red vermouth (such as Carpano Antica Formula) 1¼ ounces Campari Ice 1¼ ounces Lini Lambrusco Bianco, or other sparkling white wine Orange peel, for garnish
Place the orange wedge in a mixing glass and add the vermouth. Muddle the two so that the charred bits of the orange are released into the vermouth. Add the Campari and ice; cover and shake.
Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Strain the contents of the mixing glass into the rocks glass. Add the sparkling wine. Do not stir, as this will dissipate the bubbles. Garnish with the orange peel.
Notes: Roasted orange: To roast the orange, first cut it into 8 wedges and soak the wedges in red vermouth overnight. Roast them on a hot grill until they are charred and caramelized on both sides. You can keep them refrigerated, covered with red vermouth, for 1 week.
Preparation: This cocktail can also be made as a regular Roasted-Orange Negroni by using gin instead of sparkling wine (in the same proportions) and stirring with ice instead of shaking; strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Never shake the drink with the sparkling wine; the mixing glass will “explode” like a can of soda after being shaken.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Downtown Italian: Recipes Inspired by Italy, Created in New York’s West Village by Joe Campanale, Gabriel Thompson, and Katherine Thompson, Andrews McMeel Publishing 2014)