Posts Tagged With: achiote

Honduran Nacatamales

Honduran Entree

NACATAMALES

INGREDIENTS – DOUGHNacatamales-

6 cups masa harina or corn flour
1 cup lard, shortening, or butter
1 teaspoon salt (1 more teaspoon later)
3 tablespoons orange juice
5 tablespoons lime juice
4 cups chicken stock

INGREDIENTS – FILLING

⅔ cup rice
2½ pounds pork
3 large potatoes
3 garlic cloves
1 green bell pepper
1 large onion
1 sweet green chile pepper
1 medium tomato
3 tablespoons cilantro
1½ tablespoons cumin
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon achiote paste (or ½ teaspoon paprika plus ½ teaspoon vinegar)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Makes 18 nacatamales. Takes at least 3 hours.

INGREDIENTS – ASSEMBLY

12 10″-x-10″ banana-leaf squares*
A roll of aluminum foil
Multiple big pots (4½ or larger. Extra pots enables you to cook more nacatamales at once.)
Good restorative drink to keep you going.

* = Banana leaves can be found in Mexican or Asian grocery stores. If they can’t be found, just use the tin foil without them. Oh, banana leaves are curved, not square at all. Bastards.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

electric beater
cooking twine or butcher’s twine

PREPARATION – INITIAL

Soak banana leaves in large pot. You really need to make the banana leaves flexible.

PREPARATION – DOUGH

Add masa harina, lard, and 1 teaspoon salt to first, large mixing bowl. Mix with electric beater set on low. With electric still set on low, slowly add orange juice, lime juice, and chicken stock. Mix until it has the consistency of mashed potatoes. Rev up electric beater to high setting or until it starts to become fluffy. Cover dough and let sit for 30 minutes.

PREPARATION – FILLING

While dough is sitting, cook rice according to instructions on package. Cut pork into ½” cubes. Peel potatoes. Slice potatoes into ½” cubes. Dice garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Add pork cubes, cilantro, cumin, pepper, salt, and achiote paste to second, large mixing bowl. Mix with hands until pork cubes are well coated with spices.

Add vegetable oil, coated pork cubes, and potato cubes to pan. Sauté on medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes soften. Stir frequently. Add garlic cloves, green bell pepper, onion, sweet green chile pepper, and tomato. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently.

PREPARATION – ASSEMBLY

Remove banana leaves soaking in pot. Heat water on high heat until it is scalding hot. Add banana-leaf square to pot. Keep leaf in pot until it becomes flexible. Remove banana leaf. Place ⅓ cup of dough in the middle of the banana leaf. Smooth dough with wet hands until it is about 2″ from the edges of the banana leaf.

Add equal amounts of pork cubes (about ⅓ cup), over the middle of the dough, followed by cooked rice (about 2 tablespoons) and potato cubes (about 1½ tablespoons). Add another ⅓ cup of dough over potato cubes. Smooth top layer of dough gently with wet hands. Fold bottom edge of banana leaf over filling until it reaches the top half of the leaf Gently fold in edges to make a square. Gently–Don’t break the banana leaf–tie kitchen twine around filled banana-leaf square.

Place the filled banana-leaf square over the center of an aluminum-foil square. (The aluminum-foil square large enough to wrap the banana square. Tightly fold bottom edge of foil over filled banana-leaf square. Tightly fold sides of aluminum foil over banana square, then the top side. Tie the aluminum-foil covered square like a parcel with kitchen twine. Repeat process for each banana leaf. There should be a banana leaf softening in the pot while constructing each nacatamale.

Put metal rack in bottom of each pot. Add water to each pot until level is ½” above the racks. (Aluminum cookie cutters work quite well as a substitute for wire racks.) Bring to boil using high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Add a single layer of nacatamales to rack. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add water as necessary to keep level ½” above the rack. Remove nacatamales from pots. Repeat for each batch of nacatamales. Remove all twine and tin foil and serve to adoring guests.

If your sweetheart makes this for you, propose marriage immediately.
TIDBITS

1) Nacatamales were invented by Señor Naca Tamale, chef to the royal governor in 1689. They were delicious, so much so that Governor Alfonso Bondigas knew he would win a million pieces of gold if he could send just one nacatamale to the Spanish king, Charles II.

2) So, in 1690, Governor Bondigas sent 100 nacatamales with the annual fleet carrying gold to Spain. They got eaten by the crews.

3) In 1691, Governor Bondigas sent 200 nacatamales with the fleet. 100 got eaten by the crews. The rest got eaten by gourmet rats.

4) In 1692, Governor Bondigas sent 400 nacatamales. The sailors devoured 100, the gourmet rats another 100, and the rest spontaneously combusted. No one saw that one coming.

5) Pirates captured the annual Nacatamale fleet in 1693, tamales having by that time become more valuable than gold.

6) In 1694, the Honduran governor sent 1,600 nacatamales with the nacatamale fleet. Unfortunately, First Mate Pedro Migas placed the nacatamales in the same room where he dried the crew’s socks. When half of the socks fled to a parallel dimension–a journey they continue to this day–they took all the nacatamales with them. By the way, culinary quantum physicists say trans-dimensional aliens took a great liking to nacatamales and can often be found at nacatamale stand through out Central America. You have to look closely for them; their disguises are excellent.

7) In 1695, Governor Bondigas tried catapulting the nacatamales to Spain. They only made it two miles out to sea where they utterly destroyed a pirate fleet. Karma, you bet.

8) In 1696, Señor Bondigas noticed a little boy skipping rocks all the way across a small stream. Could this work with nacatamales? No.

9) Spurred by the efforts of 1697, nacatamale skipping became the premier event of the Spanish-American games. All Honduras went sports mad. Every young man in that land spent every spare moment practicing to win the gold medal in nacatamale skipping. This naturally left no nacatamales left to be shipped to Spain.

10) The banana bug wiped out the banana crop in 1698. No banana leaves, no nacatamales.

11) In 1699, banana growers all used their leaves to make beer. Banana-leaf beer was enormously popular that year. You can only find this beer in a few Honduran villages. The brand is El Banano.

12) In 1700, the Nacatamale Fleet finally made it to Spain with fifty million nacatamales. But Charles II had died two weeks before. His successor, Philip of Anjou, grandsom of Louis XIV exported them all to Britain as a good-will gesture. The British loved the nacatamale. Lasting global peace seemed likely. But the British gobbled the nacatamales up in just one week, got sick of them, and in revenge declared war on France. Wars would rage across Europe for another 245 years. The new Spanish King blamed Governor Bondigas who died broken hearted. However, the legacy of the good man lives on in the millions upon millions of postal packages wrapped in the manner of the nacatamale.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

Advertisements
Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Achiote Sauce

Mexican Appetizer

ACHIOTE SAUCE

INGREDIENTSAchioteSauce-

4 ounce achiote brick or dry paste
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup water
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
5 jalapeno peppers
2 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white vinegar

makes 4 cups

PREPARATION

Add achiote brick, lemon juice, orange juice, and water to mixing bowl. Stir with whisk until achiote dissolves. Remove seeds from jalapenos. (Be sure to wash your hands immediately afterward or touching your face will make it sting like the dickens.) Dice garlic, onion and jalapenos. Melt butter. Add onion, jalapeno, butter, chili powder, cilantro, olive oil, and vinegar to mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Goes well with Mayan tacos and nearly everything Mexican. Well, maybe not flan.

TIDBITS

1) And now a crossword puzzle for people who don’t like to be confused.CrosswordSquare-

ACROSS 1 ) The first letter in the alphabet.

DOWN 1) The word “apple” starts with this letter.

– Chef Paul

 

 

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Locro de Papa – cheesy potato soup

Ecuadorian Soup

LOCRO DE PAPA
(cheesy potato soup)

INGREDIENTSLocroDePapa-

AJI SAUCE

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon aji amarillo pepper
2  green onions stalks (3 stalks more later)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (1 1/2 tablespoons more later)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream (1/2 cup more later)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin (2 teaspoons more later)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (1/2 teaspoon more later)

SOUP

1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
1 scallion
6 medium potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon achiote or annatto powder
1 teaspoon cilantro
2 teaspoons cumin
2 cups water
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey jack cheese
1 egg
2/3 cup grated or crumbled queso fresco or Monterey jack cheese
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 avocados
2 aji peppers or cayenne peppers
3 green onion stalks
2 small tomatoes

PREPARATION AJI AMARILLO SAUCE

Mince green onions. Melt butter on medium heat in sauce pan. Add 2 green onion stalks, aji amarillo pepper, and oil. Sauté at medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until all ingredients are well blended. Stir frequently.

Put sautéed mixture in mixing bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, ketchup, lime juice, cumin, black pepper, and sea salt. Whisk together.

PREPARATION OF SOUP

Peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into 1″ cubes. Dice avocado, 3 green onion stalks, tomatoes, and aji or cayenne peppers.

Mince onion, garlic, and scallion. Put aji amarillo sauce, onion, and 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil in pot. Sauté at medium-high heat or until onion is tender. Stir frequently.

Add potato cubes to pot. Stir until spices coat potato cubes. Sauté for 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add water, chicken broth, achiote, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Simmer soup on low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Mash the potatoes in pot with potato masher until only small bits remain. Soup should be creamy. Stir occasionally. (No turning back, you’re almost there. Excelsior!)

Add milk, sour cream, egg, and mozzarella cheese. Simmer on low for 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado, green onion, aji peppers, tomatoes, and queso fresco.

Lavishly praise anyone who went to the store to get you all these ingredients. Serve and enjoy.

TIDBITS

1) Since 2001 the official currency in Ecuador has been the U.S dollar.

2) The exchange rate between the U.S. dollar in the United States and the U.S. dollar in Ecuador is 1:1. Hee! Sorry, that was the economist in me making a mad dash for supremacy.

3) The Ecuadorean flag is yellow for the nation’s diversity, blue for the sky and the sea, and red for the blood of those who fought in the war for independence.

4) There should be a Vulcan flag. Here goes. The Vulcan flag is yellow for the planet’s diversity, red for the sky, turquoise for the sea, and green for the blood of those who fought in the Federation’s Wars.

5) Ecuador was the first nation in 2008 to declare constitutional rights for nature. The Vulcan embassy is mute on this point despite numerous requests.

6) Wouldn’t it be way cool to have a contest to see who could visit the most embassies in Washington, DC? You’d have to get your contest book stamped by the embassy or pick up literature from the country about agriculture or something.

– Chef Paul

4novels

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World,  and novels are available in paperpack or Kindle on amazon.com

As an e-book on Nook

or on my website-where you can get a signed copy at: www.lordsoffun.com

 

Categories: cuisine, food, history, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: