...*a glimse into the daily life of a chef*...

...this blog is a place for me to record and reflect the passion that i put into my everyday life.

Friday, March 12, 2010

1 tamaLe, 2 tamALe, 3! TaMaLe'

i love tamales...but how can you not, they are so unique, so delicious, inventive, and alot of work, full of love. So i have come up with a million ideas on how to make it easier, but they are never as good. so i have learned to stop comparing what i make to a tamale itself, and started just trying to interpret the flavors of the tamale...so here it is, the first time out of the gate, but its good and smart, and most of all it draws on the Midwestern soul with in me...so as i cringe to call it a casserole, i guess that is what it is, a one pot wonder of love, so dig out your earthen ware casserole dish and get ready to take your taste buds on a wonderful ride across the border and into tamale heaven :o)

Mexican Chicken and "Dumplings"

 2 large chicken breasts, oven roasted (or grilled) and shredded
1 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can pinto beans in liquid
1/2 can creamed corn (reserve 1/2 for "dumpling")
2 cans mild or hot diced green chiles
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 4oz cans tomatillo sauce
1 T cumin
1 T ancho spice blend (optional if you can't find it)
Mix all above ingredients in the bottom of your casserole dish and preheat oven to 375

In the store you can buy either powdered masa or 
you can in some places buy the ready made masa 
(check the freezer section in some places)
***to use the powdered kind i just pour 2 cups of masa powder in a bowl and slowly add water and need it until it is the texture of play dough, but for this you need it just a touch softer more like cookie dough***
when you have the masa to the right consistency add the rest of the creamed corn and 1 t salt then drop it on top of the mixture in the casserole just like dumplings or crumble topping
Bake until masa is firm and filling is hot.
Serve up with sour cream, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.....
if you you are feeling crazy, sliced avocado...

you could also serve it with a roasted garlic salsa (recipe below) or any salsa you like!

Roasted Garlic Salsa
1 cans fire roasted tomatoes
8 roasted garlic cloves 
(direction on previous blog)
1 T cumin
1 diced small red onion
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 can diced green chiles
2 green onions, grilled and chopped (optional)
Mix and enjoy!

...this is my first recipe for a friend of mine that needs recipes that are egg, nut, peanut, and fish free...hope she likes it, i was so inspired after talking to her- i love to help people and make their tummies happy! i'll continue to work on helping her with recipes, but this was a good start for me...i've got the ball rolling in my favorite direction, south of the border. I might make alot of Mexican recipes because i love their culture, there food, and margaritas....well the isn't much i don't love about it, so happy eating!

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