Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Carne de Puerco con cerveza / Pork loin in beer

I was recently given a can of Guinness and as I'm not a big fan of stout, I thought I would put it to good use in a recipe. Guinness lends itself incredibly well to cooking, and as I discovered, especially when enhanced with chipotle chilles. The resulting recipe worked a treat and was absolutely delicious. Another crowd pleaser that's incredibly simple to make (serves 4).

1lb pork loin
1/4 tsp of salt andd pepper
pinch of sugar
350ml beer
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 onion, quartered
1 chipotle chile

Put the meat in a bowl and season with the salt, pepper and sugar. Pour in the beer and add the garlic, onion and chiptole. Leave to marinade overnight.

Pour the marinade into a baking tray and place the meat onto a rack on top. Roast for an hour at 160c basting occasionally. Shred the meat and keep warm. Boil the marinade until reduced by half and remove any excess fat. Blend until smooth and return to the pan. Simmer until thickened and then return the meat to the sauce. Serve with warm tacos and beans.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

More fun with masa harina: Tamal Pie

I'm working my way through the most enormous bag of masa harina and in an attempt to finish it off before we leave The States, I've been trying out various recipes. Although the following isn't as authentic as making tamales, it tastes just as good and requires a fraction of the time to prepare the dish.

250g masa harina
250ml warm water
50g lard (or butter), melted
200ml chicken stock
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

500ml red or green enchilada sauce
300g cooked and shredded meat
Grated cheese (something strong like a cheddar)
A large tin of spinach, well-drained
200g cheese, grated
Freshly grated nutmeg

Mix together the masa harina, fat and water in a large bowl. Slowly add the stock, mixing all the time. Add the baking powder and beat well; you should have a sloppy mixture similar to cake batter.

Butter a large dish and cover the bottom with the sauce. Spoon some of the dough mixture on top and then add the cooked meat (or cheese/spinach mix). Repeat with another layer of sauce, dough and meat/vegetables.

Cover the top with grated cheese and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 45 mins at 180c, then remove the foil and bake for another 15 mins. It should be bubbly and golden brown on top.

Serve with a fresh green salad and additional hot sauce on the side.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

A quick way to cook tamales without steaming

I love tamales but don't have the patience or the time to steam them for an hour plus. I've been searching the internet for a cheat's method of cooking and after trying out various ways, I think I've found one that works. If you follw my recipe for making tamales (or taking the dough from the tamal pie recipe), this should also work for you and you'll have cooked tamales in a fraction of the time.

Place tamale wrapped in clingfilm in the microwave. If you have made them using corn husks, place in a zip-lock bag with a little water. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes. I find this is aedequate for a small tamale (i.e. about 10cm long and 5 cm wide). If you have a bigger tamale and/or the dough looks wet, cook for another 30 seconds or until ready. Leave for 5 minutes before carefully unwrapping and devouring.
Photo credit: Warm 'n fuzzy