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In our classes, Jane teaches the healthful benefits of good cooking along with the fun of knowing the best techniques for cooking and preparing dishes from around the world. You'll learn tips such as how to know when the gluten is developed in bread baking to how to make satiny smooth sauces to quick ways to cut an onion and so much more.
To celebrate the holidays, New Mexico style--following are three of the top favorite traditional recipes--
Dried Corn with Pork and Red Chiles
You may serve this either as a side dish or main dish. I like to layer toppings such as fresh shredded cabbage, fresh lime juice and fresh chopped onion and cilantro.
Yield: 15 to 16 servings
1 pound dried posole
1 quart water, or more
2 pounds pork, steak or roast, cut into ½" cubes
1 Tablespoon salt or to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin, or to taste
¼ cup caribe chile or to taste
1 Simmer the posole in unseasoned water until it becomes soft and the kernels have burst open; it usually requires 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
2 Brown the pork in a cold, well-seasoned frying pan; adding no fat or oil to the pan. Saute until very browned, then add to the posole. Deglaze the frying pan with 1 cup water, stirring to loosen the brownies sticking to the pan. Also add to the posole.
3 Add remaining ingredients, using one-half the cumin and cook the stew for 1 or more hours, to blend the flavors. Just before serving, add the remaining half of cumin. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ideally, this dish should be started the morning before it is to be served, to allow the flavors to develop.
TRADITIONAL TAMALES WITH RED CHILE BEEF FILLING
These were my Mother’s all-time favorite tamales. They are delicious, especially when served with the red chile sauce recipe that follows.
Yield: 5 to 6 dozen tamales
1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
Beef boullion or broth
1-1/2 tablespoons butter or bacon drippings
1/2 teaspoon garlic (1 clove), minced
1/2 cup ground pure hot Pecos Valley Spice Co red chile
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground Mexican oregano
1 to 2 cups reserved meat stock
- 1. Simmer the meat in just enough beef boullion or beef broth to cover and cook until tender. Reserve the stock. Cut the meat in very small cubes or chop in a food processor. In a heavy skillet, brown the meat in the butter
- 2. After the meat has browned, add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, cool slightly and add the ground chile. Season with salt and oregano. Add a cup of meat stock and simmer the sauce uncovered, stirring regularly for 15 to 20 minutes. Continue to add stock little by little as it blends in to make a thick, smooth filling. The balance of the stock can be used in making the red chile sauce.
The Masa (Cornmeal Mixture):
3-1/2 cups warm water
6 cups tamale masa
2 cups lard (1 pound)
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1. Add 3-1/2 cups warm water to the masa to make a very thick mixture that holds together. Immediately add ½ cup cool water and mix in with your hands to prevent any lumps from forming. Continue to periodically add COLD water, about ¼ cup at a time until the masa is the texture of pudding.
- 2. Using medium speed on an electric mixer, cream the lard with the salt until very fluffy and it floats on cold water. Combine the lard with the masa and mix well using the lowest speed of the electric mixer.
5-6 dozen corn husks, soaked in warm water
1. Soak the corn husks in hot water until soft and pliable. Cool to room temperature before rolling the tamales.2. Spread about 2 tablespoons of masa mixture on each softened corn husk, making a rectangle about 3 by 4 inches and leaving at least a 2-inch margin of husk around the edges. Next, place a strip of the meat filling in a strip down the center of each tamale, being careful not to place too much filling in each.
3. Twist the top of the tamale and tie with a bow. Fold the bottom of the husk up and loosely tie the bottom end with a strip of corn husk. If you plan to freeze the tamales, do so at this point, before steaming them.
4. Stand the tamales upright on a rack with the bottom or wide end down in a large kettle or pressure cooker. Before the rack is completely filled, add water to wick up about 1/4-inch into the rack. Steam the tamales in a conventional steamer for 45 minutes, or in a pressure cooker under 15 pounds pressure for 20 minutes. Serve with sauce, either the thinned meat filling in this recipe or the Red Chile Sauce.
Note: Any leftover masa or meat mixture can be frozen. Leftover filling can be added to the Red Chile Sauce. The steamed tamales can also be frozen. Each can be frozen for up to a year!
RED CHILE SAUCE
This is the basic red chile sauce used to create enchiladas and to serve over burritos, chile rellenos, tamales, and chimichangas.
Yield: 2-1/2 cups
2 Tablespoons butter, lard or bacon drippings
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground pure mild red chile, such as Pecos Valley Spice Co.
1/4 cup ground pure hot red chile, such as Pecos Valley Spice Co.
2 cups beef stock or water
1 garlic clove, crushed
Pinch of ground Mexican oregano, such as Pecos Valley Spice Co.
Pinch of ground cumin, such as Pecos Valley Spice Co.
3/4 teaspoon salt (if not using stock)
- Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir until smooth and slightly golden.
- Remove pan from heat and add ground chiles. Return to heat and gradually stir in stock. Add garlic, oregano, cumin, and salt, if using, and cook, stirring, about 10 minutes. Simmer at least 5 more minutes for flavors to blend.
Sauté 1 pound ground beef, or beef cut in very small cubes. Omit the shortening, and continue as directed above. Use for enchiladas.
(New Mexico’s State Cookie)
These spicy, anise-flavored cookies from New Mexico are rich, crisp, and very easy to make. They are the state cookie of New Mexico and one of my holiday favorites. Stored in a tightly sealed container, they can be frozen up to six months. They are a shortbread made preferably with lard and were first made to celebrate the Mexican Army’s victory over Napoleon’s Army on May 5—the first Cinco de Mayo! They are made in the Fleur de Lis style to emblesize "stamping out the French"--the Fleur de Lis is part of the design of the French flag.
Oven Temperature: 350°F Baking Time: 10 to 12 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups lard, chilled
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 teaspoons anise seeds
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
About 3 tablespoons brandy, apple juice, or milk
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° Beat lard and 1 cup sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Add eggs and anise seeds, and beat until very light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to creamed mixture in four different additions with some of the brandy each time, mixing on the low speed of the mixer to combine the ingredients after each addition. Mix thoroughly to make a stiff dough. Place dough on a long piece, about three feet of waxed paper at one end. Bring the long end of the paper over the top and press to about one inch or slightly less in thickness and refrigerate until chilled.
- Roll out dough between waxed paper to just under 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with flour dusted cutters into the traditional fleur de lis shape or into 3-inch rounds. Combine the 3 remaining tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow bowl; dip unbaked cookies into the sugar-cinnamon mixture on one side. Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until tops of cookies are just firm. Cool cookies on wire racks.