Posts Tagged With: masa harina

Texas Chili

American Entree

TEXAS CHILI

INGREDIENTStexaschili

3 pounds beef chuck or sirloin
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 tomatoes
1 7-ounce can green chile peppers
½ cup chili powder
½ teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
½ tablespoon oregano
2 tablespoons masa harina or cornmeal                                                                                                                                       This chili is kept in place by gravity.
2 teaspoons brown sugar

SPECIAL UTENSIL

slow cooker

Serves 8. Takes 1 hour preparation plus 4 hours in the slow cooker.

PREPARATION

Cut beef into 1″ cubes. Add lard and enough beef to make a single layer to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until beef starts to brown. Remove beef when browned and add it to slow cooker. Keep lard in pan. You will need to cook in batches.

While beef browns, dice garlic and onion. Seed and dice jalapeno pepper. Dice tomatoes. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeno to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes of until garlic and onion soften. Add tomato, green chiles, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, masa harina, and brown sugar. Cook on low-medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir until well blended and occasionally after that. Transfer all contents in pan to slow cook. Cover slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or until meat is tender to the fork.

TIDBITS

1) The four forces of the universe are: gravitational, molecular, atomic, and electrical. I might be remembering this wrong. You don’t me running the universe. Anyway, gravity is important. It keeps the chili in your bowl from floating. Molecular forces keep the meat in your chili from vaporizing into billions and billions of beef-chuck atoms. Atomic forces keep the beef-chuck atoms ripping themselves apart in a nuclear explosion; no chili is worth that. Finally, the electrical forces in chili are weak. That’s why the electrical wires in your homes are made from copper, not chili.

Chef Paulcookbookhunks

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with 180 wonderful recipes is available on amazon.com. My newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, is also available on amazon.com

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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

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

Arepas, Venezuelan Griddle Cakes

Venezuelan Entree

AREPAS
(griddle cakes)

INGREDIENTSArepas-

2 cups masa harina (or masarepa or white cornmeal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or more as needed)
no-stick cooking spray
1 cup queso blanco (or mozzarella)
no-stick spray

Maybe a bit more masa harina or water depending on the dough.

SPECIAL UTENSIL

baking sheet

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine masa harina and salt in large mixing bowl. Add warm water. Mix with spoon. If dough is dry, add a bit more water. If dough is wet, add a bit more masa harina. Dough should be easy to handle and not stick to your hands. Let dough sit for 10-to-15 minutes.

Divide dough into 16 equally big balls. Flatten balls with your fingers, making dough circles about 1/2″ thick. and 2″ across. Add vegetable oil to skillet. Add about 4 dough circles, arepas, to skillet. Cook arepas on medium heat for 3-to-5 minutes on each side until they just begin to brown and blister. Repeat for all arepas.

Remove and open arepas. Slice open arepas and fill them with 1 tablespoon queso blanco. Close arepas. Spray baking sheet with no-stick cooking spray. Put sheet with arepas in oven. Bake arepas at 350 degrees for 10-to-15 minutes or until they puff up or turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Diced green chiles also taste great inside an arepa. Be adventuresome with the fillings.

TIDBITS

1) In September, 2013, I ran for the position of El Presidente of Venezuela. My running mate was the talented author, Candace C. Bowen.

3) Oh, Bacon & Chocolate Party lost badly in Venezuela. We suspect massive bribes to the electoral commission by the winning candidate. An alternative explanation is that our tactic of campaigning to non-Venezuelans was flawed. Moreover, our campaign chest of $0.00 often proved a hindrance to effective electioneering.

4) We are sadder, but wiser politicians. This experience will help us when we run for president and vice president of the United States of America in 2016.

5) Bacon & Chocolate Party, https://www.facebook.com/BaconChocolateParty, strives to promote prosperity and world peace by ensuring plentiful and affordable supplies of bacon and chocolate. We are against GMO foods and are friends of the bees.

6) Okay, we are not great friends of killer bees. In fact, we generally run away from them.

7) Whatever happened to the big killer-bee scare of a few decades ago? Did they get lost? Did they have trouble entering a destination into their bee-sized GPS units and turned around and headed by mistake to frigid Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America?

8) This seems a mite far fetched. They probably mated with contented bees to produce a new strain of irritable bees. Cranky bees sure, but not angry to kill anyone.

9) I get cranky when I don’t get enough sleep. Do you think bees sting people because they are cranky from a lack of sleep as well? Maybe their sleep is so light that they skip their dream cycles. Maybe we should put machines that play soothing music near their hives.

10) I see a Nobel Prize for Agriculture in my future.

11) What do bees dream about? They’re not telling us.

12) Dream, Dream, Dream was a great song by the Everly Brothers.

13) The Aaron Brothers played Major League Baseball. Hank Aaron hit 755 home runs. His brother Tommie hit 13. The Everly Brothers hit zero Major-League home runs and none in the minors leagues for the that matter. However, the Everly Brothers had many more hit songs than the Aarons.

14) Hank Aaron did have a candy bar named after him. Advantage Aaron brothers.

15) Most brothers enjoy honey. Honey is made by bees. Bacon & Chocolate Party looks out for the welfare of bees.

16) Bacon & Chocolate, promoting brotherly love since 2013.

– Chef Paul
cover

My cookbook, Eat Me: 169 Fun Recipes From All Over the World, is 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

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