So, the other week I decided I was going to try to make tamales. I love tamales, but I some time this year tasted a very delicious tamale, so now, all the others are just okay in comparison. Here's the blog: http://thefoodho.blogspot.com/2008/06/el-salvadoreno-revisited.html I was going to attempt to steam them, to see if they would be lighter than boiling. So I bought premade masa from Pancho's and I bought ground pork - of course. I made my mole sauce, then I cooked the pork with it. I added some seasoning to the masa, maybe salt, pepper, cumin and coriander, I think. Anyway, I wrapped the tamales in banana leaves, and I forgot to wrap them in foil packets.
So then I was going to steam them, but the FP took the pasta pot for cooking class. That was a big bummer. So I tried to rig a steamer.
Yeah, I know it's weird that I love asian food and all, and I don't have a bamboo steamer. I know. I'm not sure why. I'm sure if I had had one, at some point the FP would have started using it for cooking class and eventually worn it out, lost it, or broke it. That's what happens with our stuff.
Anyway, what does one need to cook? A bunch of fancy expensive stuff from Williams Sonoma? Nah, not really. A chef knife. A cutting board. A pot. A saute pan. A baking pan. A peeler is nice, but I suppose, you could peel things with a knife. I have trouble though due to my arthritis or carpal tunnel problem in my hand/wrist. I swear. I'm not being a pussy or anything. I remember when I worked at the Mango House, we would make this mango curry. It was so good with the jerk pork chops. But we had to peel a lot of mangoes. I'm not sure how many, possibly 12 cases? Anyway, it sucked. It hurt. But I was a martyr for the profession. I really don't know what it is that I have, since I never go to the doctor, but it doesn't feel good, and it makes me feel old beyond my years.
So getting back to my steamer. I had a smaller pot. I had a metal steamer basket. So I set the steamer basket on top of the pot. I had some turkey stock that the FP had left over, so I put that in for liquid. I put the tamales in and covered the top with foil. And even when I covered the top with the foil, I didn't think about wrapping the tamales. Maybe I did think of it, but I was lazy or thought I'd try it without the foil. But it seems like I should have, because that's the way I've done it in the past.
After 20 minutes, I checked the progress. It seems that there was steam leaking out of the foil. The tamales didn't seem to really be steaming at all. Then a while later I checked. I looked at the pot, and all the liquid had evaporated. So I gave up and put more turkey stock in the pot and boiled the tamales instead. They were dense and glutinous. The mole was good though, really hot though. So I tried to make a pupusa. It was actually not too bad.
So I guess I'll try to recreate the mole recipe, because that was the thing that tasted good.
1 onion sliced
4 cloves garlic smashed
3 ancho peppers rehydrated
4 new mexico peppers rehydrated
20 oz canned tomato
3 inches ginger
1/4 c golden raisins
1/2 c brown sugar
1 oz cocoa
1 black tea bag
1 T cumin
2 T coriander
1 oz salt
So I sauteed the onion and garlic. Then I added the peppers with some of their liquid. I let it come to a boil, then turned the electric stove down, which takes several minutes.
If you want instant gratification, do not by an electric stove. It's kinda funny because I once said I would never live anywhere with an electric stove, and what did we do, move into an apartment with an electric stove!
Then I tea bagged the mole. Why tea? Well, I wanted coffee, but we didn't have any. I wanted that dark bitter caffeiney taste. So I let the tea steep a bit, then I squoze the liquid out of the tea bag and mailed it to Dennis Kucinich.
Then I added the rest of the ingredients. I let them cook for a few, then I poured it all in the blender and made a fiery authentic sauce that takes me back to that trip we took to Mexico. What a long journey, yet so amazing. The perils, the boredom, the anticipation, the uncertainty, the excitement. You know, getting on the trolley downtown and riding all the way to the border and crossing by foot to another country?
Anyhoo, I browned some ground beef and thought of having a hombrewich night, but alas, I didn't have any hamburgesa buns and only a little ground meat!