Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

From Dish Amelia:

A person makes beans for a lot of reasons…economy and health spring immediately to mind..I made these ones in honor of Rico, a very good bean maker, a remarkable “maker” in general. My dad gave me a bag of these Anasazi beans a while ago from New Mexico. They are in the pinto family, but maybe slightly larger and differently dappled. He also gave me the awesome micaceous pot I used, which is as fabulous for cooking beans as it is to look at.  He also gave me a number of old New Mexican cookbooks, (almost all pamphlet-size, as old regional ones often are), which I consulted before riffing on the bean making. He actually gave me all those nice items at different times, they just happened to convene at the perfect moment early in this New Year.  (Thanks Dad). And here you go Rico.

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2.5 cups dry beans

3 cloves garlic, smashed

A few pinches dried New Mexican red chile

1 tsp sugar

1 tablespoon lard

2 tsp kosher salt

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Wash the beans and then cover them with an inch of water and let them soak overnight.

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It’s great if you have a bunch of work to do at home the next day, and you can mind the beans. (It doesn’t take forever, and there are ways of shortening the process, but if you have the time, why not take the long way. It’s prettier. )

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Put the beans and the remaining soaking liquid into your pot. Add the smashed garlic and tsp of sugar. Bring this to a boil. The first time it does this it will kind of foam up, so turn the heat down a little and it goes away.

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Cook the beans, giving them a stir once in a while. You may need to add a little water as it evaporates. One of the benefits of the form of this pot is that it’s deep and the shape sort of restrains the way the contents evaporate. Cook for 2 hours. When beans are tender and nearly done, add the salt, chile and lard. Stir a bit and let it come together maybe fifteen minutes more. They really taste fantastic. These Anasazi beans cook a little faster than regular pintos, which could take up to four hours. The beans should be getting somewhat dry, but I like all that soupy business with rice etc, so you be the judge. Here’s to health, wealth, and timing.

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Ed’s note: SLD is very proud to announce that two of Dish Amelia’s SLD recipes have been published in the Edible Brooklyn Cookbook! Take a moment to look back at Wanna Get Lucky? Eat Black-Eyed Peas & Collard Greens and OMG Appletinis!. Congratulations, Amelia!

From Dish Amelia:

The past few weeks have been filled with special food. All food you make at home can be special in its own way of course, but holidays can include some additional dishes that are more prestigious due to their complexity, valuable ingredients, or timely significance. For Christmas I made a ham. That week I also made Gypsy Stew, and then for new years day I made Black-Eyed Peas. (There was also salad, cake, cookies, mashed potatoes, pierogies, borscht, and more cake, and more cookies.) So there’s been a lot of food in the fridge, and eating has been more of a game of how to reassemble the current pieces into an equally nutritious and interesting meal as the ones before, until everything is accounted for and put to use. And man, the ham has really gone far! So instead of one recipe, or the several mentioned, here is how they met for breakfast.

These Huevos Rancheros use the ingredients listed, placed on a plate in this order:

Tortilla (some decent storebought wheat ones) (heated for a few seconds on a pan or zapped)
Potato (1 large one, grated, squeezed and forgotten periodically in a cast iron pan until crispy)
BEP’s (with ham and green chile)
Red chile sauce
Fried egg (C’mon now)

The Black Eyed Peas this year featured frozen and canned ones, and chopped green chile left over from the Gyspy Stew, and cooked with the Christmas ham (which included whole grain mustard, maple syrup, and Riesling). This makes so much sense I can’t believe I never thought of it before. The ham was the smallest one they had, a real nice fancy 3.25 lb Hudson Valley smoked one. I based my ham on this recipe from Bon Appetit. Also, I loved discovering that I could slice superthin curls from my now frozen ham and then dice it into tiny geometric pieces that would not have been possible at room temp. The ham was wonderful with pan juice gravy on Christmas, as ham sandwiches all week, giving smoky backbone to the BEPs and to a soup — which I’ve yet to make.

And speaking of that, here’s to the future! I wish you health, happiness, love and luck in 2012!

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From Dish Amelia:

Dish Danielle and I made these wonderful red chile pork tamales last month for our New Mexican dinner party. They are totally traditional, except perhaps for their petite size and dressy styling. New Mexican tamales are steamed in a corn husk, and are usually filled with some combination of the region’s very particular kind of red or green chile, and either meat (pork or chicken) or cheese. They are best for a party or to keep in the freezer; since you can’t really make one or two of them, you have to make a whole batch. It is also a wonderful excuse to use lard, which is one of my favorite ingredients, as it performs like nothing else.

For the Masa:

Masa is the dough that envelopes the filling, and is a made with fine cornmeal that has been treated with lime (calcium hydroxide, the mineral). The cornmeal/lime is called Nixtamal and is sold at Mexican grocery stores. The brand I used is Maseca, and I basically make the dough that is on the side of the bag. This recipe makes about 16 large tamales or 30 party size tamales.

2 cups Nixtamal
some stock or water (have a cup on hand)
corn husks (for each tamale you are making) – they sell these also at Mexican groceries. Gently separate them and submerge in a casserole dish of warm water, and weigh it down with the lid of a pot. They are ready when they are translucent and pliable. I also cut skinny strips to use as ties.
a bowl of red chile pork (thank you Dish Danielle) or I also like to use grated gruyere with strips of roasted, seeded and peeled poblano or NM green chiles. Whatever the filling, it can’t be too soupy.
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup lard (or Crisco, if you must). Use the best you can find-refrigerated or frozen, I bought mine frozen at the fancy butcher. Don’t use the shelf stable variety, that is just frightening.

Mix dry together in a bowl. Add stock and use your hands to combine, until it forms a soft moist dough. It will smell amazing.

Beat lard in a mixer till fluffy, and add dough mixture until incorporated and has a spongy texture.

Using a spoon, put a lump of masa in a husk. With the back of the spoon smear the masa evenly, so it coats the husk. Be careful not to lay it on too thick, because you want these tamales to be delicate and a good proportion of meat to dough, not just thick steamed corncakes.

Once you tuck the meat inside, put a dab more dough and roll the tamale in your hand, all the dough will stick to itself. Really it doesn’t feel like anything else. Make sure it is neatly encased and either fold the husk over (for a large size tamale) or tie the ends (party size tamales).

When you have made them all, put them in the freezer for later use or layer them in a large pot with a steamer basket. They will need to steam for about an hour. Keep checking on the water to make sure there still is some. When they are done they should feel firm. When you serve them, discard all husk parts. Seriously, east coasters, do not eat this part! I feel like someone always tries to…

Wash down with New Mexican beer!

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