Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Tamales

Making Tamales has been one of the goal in my list of goodies to make for the Holidays, and here it is.  Pork Tamales and my testing with blueberries and cheddar cheese.     I am so glad my grand-children and family enjoyed them well.
Most of the recipes were following the direction on the MASA (corn meal) package.
 Tamales sauce was pre-made many months ago, and kept frozen in mason jar in the freezer.  Defrost it and add to the slow cooker.   Quarter 2lb pork tenderloins lengthwise and sear them all around.  Transfer to the crocker pot with tamale sauce.   Slow cook it over night.    Turn off and cool as quickly as possible.    Shred the pork apart.     Refrigerate in a container overnight or until ready to roll.

 Wash and sanitize the sink.    Add hot water and soak and wash and rinse the corn husks, at least 2 times.  Discard any corn husks with sign of mold as well as other pieces on top or bottom of the molded piece.

 Follow the instruction on the MASA mix to make masa mixture.
 Add more liquid - water or stock to make sticky mush rather than 'dough'.

 The picture here shows the masa spreaded on the husk, but i found out that spreading the masa 3/4 way to the top would be better than what I did, so that when I fold the pointing side to the wider side, the masa spreaded on the pointy side of the husk would cover/enclose the goodies in the middle of the masa.  Otherwise, I ended up tediously having to add extra masa mixture on the top to enclose the goodies.
 For my grand-daughter - blueberries. 
 Test steaming two first for the taste.

 Test steaming the best way -
 The steamed masa slided toward the bottom when steamed vertically.  So, the best way is to steam flat in my steamer - overlapping each other.

 Made Shrimp Tamales with lime juice, too.

 After a few hours, 57 tamales to share with everyone.
Next time, I am hoping to do this again with the family together.  It will get done much faster.

Hot Cinnamon Rolls in Muffin Pan

One morning, I tried baking the normal cinnamon rolls that I make for my grand-children in a muffin pan.  And to my surprise, it turned out great.
Ingredients are the usual flour shifted with baking powder and salt, hand mix in the butter pieces, and formed into dough with cold milk.   Rest the dough, then, roll flat into rectangle.  Mix Ceylon cinnamon with sugar.  Rub the surface of the dough with soft butter, then, sprinkle with cinnamon mixture.     Roll up the dough and cut into the size to fit in the muffin mold.  Bake at 350'F till 'soft' golden brown.     Drizzle with optional frosting made with powder sugar and milk.


Dungeness Crab Cake

I know, I know, whenever you order crab cakes at the local restaurant, it's a disappointment.  You slice a piece with the fork and lift it up to look for a 'sign' of Crab meat, and all you see is this strand of "something" that you end up comforting yourself - 'that's the crab meat'.   As you place that piece of the crab cake into the mouth, surely you are convincing yourself that you that are biting into some sort of crab that taste like a 'ocean'.    Then, you take another bite, hoping that you will find a 'chunk' of crab meat, but yet again, it's another strands of something surrounded by corn meal and other mixtures.   So, I got tired of the cheap cheat of the restaurants, and I decided to make one myself.   For sure I have the Crab chunk in the crab cake I am making, and I enjoyed every bite of it.
 1 Cup of crab meat hand picked out of the shells - use chopsticks to do this to prevent shredding of crab meat.  Leave most of the meat whole.  Mix mayonnaise, chopped home grown scallion, chopped bell peppers, 1 egg, mixed with Panko crumbs, paprika, chili powder, salt and black pepper to taste.     After combining them well, add crab meat and toss together.   Careful not to shred the crab meat.

 I used the largest biscuit ring to form the cake.

 Deep fry it till brown.


Chickpea Salad with Lentil and Curly Parsley

The most we see the curly parsley being used is as a garnish on top of a dish or on a plate.   This salad contain garlic, red onions, French lentils, chickpeas, orange bell peppers, and curly parsley; sea salt and peppers, olive oils, red sherry wine vinegar, and served with Jasmine Basmati fried rice with raisins, chickpeas, flavored with cumin, turmeric, paprika, cayenne pepper.