RECIPE TITLE "Tamales de Pollo con Chile Verde (Green Chile Chicken
Recipe from Mexico: One Plate at a Time Copyright © 2000 by Rick Bayless
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Makes about 24 tamales ---
One 8-ounce package dried corn husks
For the filling:
1 pound (10 to 12 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (roughly 4 to 6 serranos or 2 to
3 jalapeños), stemmed and roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
3 to 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups (about 1 pound) coarsely shredded cooked chicken, preferably
grilled, roasted, or rotisserrie chicken
2/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
For the batter:
10 ounces (1 1/4 cups) rich-tasting pork lard (or vegetable shortening
if you wish), slightly softened but not at all runny
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 pounds (4 cups) fresh coarse-ground corn masa for tamales OR 3
1/2 cups dried masa harina for tamales mixed with 2 1/4 cups hot
1. Preparing the corn husks. Cover the husks with very hot water,
weight with a plate to keep them submerged and let stand for a couple
of hours, until they are pliable.
For forming the tamales, separate out 24 of the largest and most
pliable husks -- ones that are at least 6 inches across on the wider
end and 6 or 7 inches long. If you can't find enough good ones,
overlap some of the larger ones to give wide, sturdy surfaces to
spread the batter on. Pat the chosen husks with a towel.
2. Preparing the filling. On a baking sheet, roast the tomatillos
about 4 inches below a very hot broiler until soft (they'll blacken
in spots), about 5 minutes; flip them over and roast the other side.
Cool, then transfer to a food processor or blender along with all
the delicious juice that has run onto the baking sheet. Add the
chiles and garlic and process to a smooth puree.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. When it is
quite hot, add the puree all at once and stir until noticeably thicker
and darker, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and simmer
over medium heat until thick enough to coat a spoon quite heavily,
about 10 minutes. Taste and season generously with salt, usually
about 2 teaspoons. Stir in the chicken and cilantro; cool completely.
3. Preparing the batter. With an electric mixer on medium-high
speed, beat the lard (or shortening) with 2 teaspoons salt and the
baking powder until light in texture, about 1 minute. Continue beating
for another minute or so, until a half-teaspoon dollop of the batter
floats in a cup of cold water (if it floats, you can be sure the
tamales will be tender and light).
Beat in enough of the remaining 1/2 cup broth to give the mixture
the consistency of soft (not runny) cake batter; it should hold
its shape in a spoon. Taste the batter and season with additional
salt if you think it needs some.
For the lightest-textured tamales, refrigerate the batter for an
hour or so, then rebeat, adding a little more broth or water to
bring the mixture to the soft consistency it had before.
4. Setting up the steamer. Steaming 24 husk-wrapped tamales can
be done in batches in a collapsible vegetable steamer set into a
large deep saucepan. To steam them all at once, you need something
like the kettle-sized tamale steamers used in Mexico or Asian stalk
steamers, or you can improvise by setting a wire rack on four coffee
or custard cups in a large kettle. Pour an inch or so of water into
the bottom of the steamer and heat to a boil.
It is best to line the rack or upper part of the steamer with some
of the leftover corn husks to protect the tamales from direct contact
with the steam and to add more flavor. Make sure to leave tiny spaces
between the husks so condensing steam can drain off.
5. Forming the tamales. Cut 24 8- to 10-inch pieces of string or
thin strips of corn husks. One at a time, form the tamales: Lay
out one of your chosen corn husks with the tapering end toward you.
Spread about 1/4 cup of the batter into about a 4-inch square, leaving
at least a 1 1/2-inch border at the end toward you and a 3/4-inch
border along the other sides (with large husks, the borders will
be much bigger). Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling down
the center of the batter. Pick up the two long sides of the corn
husk and bring them together (this will cause the batter to surround
the filling). If the uncovered borders of the two long sides you're
holding are narrow, tuck one side under the other; if wide, roll
both sides over in the same direction around the tamale. (If the
husk is small, you may feel more comfortable wrapping the tamale
in a second husk.) Finally, fold up the empty 1 1/2-inch section
of the husk (to form a tightly-closed "bottom," leaving
the top open), and secure it in place by loosely tying one of the
strings or strips of husk around the tamale. As they're made, stand
the tamales on their folded bottoms in the prepared steamer. Don't
tie the tamales too tightly or pad them too closely in the steamer
-- they need room to expand.
6. Steaming and serving the tamales. When all the tamales are in
the steamer, cover them with a layer of more leftover corn husks;
if your husk-wrapped tamales don't take up the entire steamer, fill
in the open spaces with loosely wadded aluminum foil to keep the
tamales from falling over. Set the lid in place and steam over a
constant medium heat for about 1 1/4 hours. Watch carefully to make
sure that all the water doesn't boil away and, to keep the steam
steady, pour boiling water into the pot when more is necessary.
Tamales are done when the husks peel away from the masa easily.
Let the tamales stand in the steamer off the heat for a few minutes
to firm up. For the best-textured tamales, let them cool completely,
then steam again for about 15 minutes to heat them through.
Working ahead: Both filling and batter can be made several days
ahead, as can the finished tamales; refrigerate, well covered. Resteam
(or even microwave) the tamales before serving. For even more flexibility,
batter, filling and finished tamales can all be frozen. Defrost
finished tamales in the refrigerator overnight before resteaming.
|Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen: Capturing the Vibrant flavors of a World-Class Cuisine
BURSTING WITH BOLD, COMPLEX FLAVORS, Mexican cooking has the kind of gusto we want in food today. Until now, American home cooks have had few authorities to translate the heart of this world-class cuisine to everyday cooking.
In this book of more than 150 recipes, award-winning chef, author and teacher Rick bayless provides the inspiration and guidance that home cooks have needed. With a blend of passion, patience, clarity and humor, he unerringly finds his way into the very soul of Mexican cuisine, from essential recipes and explorations of Mexico's many chiles to quick-to-prepare everyday dishes and pull-out-the-stops celebration fare.
Bayless begins the journey by introducing us to the building blocks of Mexican cooking. With infectious enthusiasm and an entertaining voice, he outlines 16 essential preparations-deeply flavored tomato sauces and tangy tomatillo salsas, rich chile pastes and indispensable handmade tortillas.
Fascinating cultural background and practical cooking tips help readers to understand these preparations and make them their own. Each recipe explains which steps can be completed in advance to make final preparation easier, and each provides a list of the dishes in later chapters that are built around these basics. And with each essential recipe, Bayless includes several "Simple Ideas from My American Home"-quick, familiar recipes with innovative Mexican accents, such as Baked Ham with Yucatecan Flavors, Spicy Chicken Salad, Ancho-Broiled Salmon and Very, Very Good Chili.
Throughout, the intrepid Bayless brings chiles into focus, revealing that Mexican cooks use these pods for flavor, richness, color and, yes, sometimes for heat. He details the simple techniques for getting the best out of every chile-from the rich, smoky chipotle to the incendiary but fruity habanero.
Then, in more than 135 recipes that follow, Bayless guides us through a wide range of richly flavored regional Mexican dishes, combining down-home appeal and convivial informality with simple culinary elegance. It's all here: starters like Classic Seviche Tostadas or Chorizo-Stuffed Ancho Chiles; soups like Slow-Simmered Fava Bean Soup or Rustic Ranch-Style Soup; casual tortilla-based preparations like Achiote-Roasted Pork Tacos or Street-Style Red Chile Enchiladas; vegetable delights like Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin, or Green Poblano Rice; even a whole chapter on classic fiesta food (from Oaxacan Black Mole with Braised Chicken, Smoky Peanut Mole with Grilled Quail and Great Big Tamal Roll with Chard with the incomparable Juchitan-Style Black Bean Tamales); and ending with a selection of luscious desserts like Modern Mexican Chocolate Flan with KahIua and Yucatecan-Style Fresh Coconut Pie. To quickly expand your Mexican repertoire even further, each of these recipes is accompanied by suggestions for variations and improvisations.
There is no greater authority on Mexican cooking than Rick Bayless, and no one can teach it better. In his skillful hands, the wonderful flavors of Mexico will enter your kitchen and your daily cooking routine without losing any of their depth or timeless appeal. More info
| Mexico One Plate At A Time
Rick Bayless has been acclaimed widely as America's foremost proponent of Mexico's thrillingly diverse cuisine. In this companion book to his 26-part Public Television series, he takes us, with boyish enthusiasm, through Mexican markets, street stalls and home kitchens to bring us the great dishes of Mexico, one "plate" at a time. And each "plate" Rick presents here is a Mexican classic. Take guacamole, for instance. After teaching us the essentials for a perfect, classic guacamole, Rick shows how to spin contemporary interpretations, like his Roasted Poblano Guacamole with garlic and parsley. Rick's cuisine is always lively, but rooted in strong traditions.
Always the teacher, Rick begins each "plate" with some never-before-found features: traditional benchmarks (Rick's idea of the best guacamole), when to think of the recipes (weeknight dinners or casual party food), and advice for American cooks (Rick's insight into the ingredients that make the dish). He rounds out each "plate" with suggestions for working ahead.
To complete the journey into the Mexican mindset, Rick, with help from his testers, ends each "plate" with a question-and-answer section detailing just about everything a home cook might want to know: What are the best cuts of beef for grilled tacos? The best cheeses for quesadillas? Is one grill better than another? Rick draws from his years of living in Mexico, pulling us into the Mexican kitchen, to teach us how to create authentic Mexican dishes in our American kitchens.
Rick is an Indiana Jones of the stove, a Julia Child of Mexican cuisine in black jeans and a T-shirt. Rick's goal: to enable folks all across the United States to create dishes that weave in the rich tapestry of Mexican flavor with ingredients that are widely available. He always provides ingredients that make the dish authentic, but he also delivers with the right substitute if an ingredient is hard to find.
Experience food you can't wait to make in a new and user-friendly cookbook that contains the full range of dishes -- Starters, Snacks and Light Meals; Soups, Stews and Sides; Entrées; Desserts and Drinks. Rick serves up such classic Mexican plates as Tomatillo-Braised Pork Loin, Quick-Fried Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic, Chiles Rellenos, Cheesy Enchiladas Suizas, and Mexican Vanilla-Scented Flan.
And for an exciting taste of the unexpected, try Rick's contemporary interpretations of the classics -- Crispy Potato Sopes with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs, Grilled Salmon with Lemon-and-Thyme-Scented Salsa Veracruzana, Broiled Flank Steak with Tomato-Poblano Salsa and Rustic Cajeta Apple Tarts with Berry "Salsa."
Food and friends, food and family. Good cooking, for Rick, is the unspoken animator of friends and family as they gather to share a meal. Rick's recipes lend themselves to weeknight family meals or celebrations. Take part in a tamalada, the tamal-making party before the party, or the ritual of a barbacoa, an earthy experience that Rick has made possible with a kettle grill in the backyard. More info
|Mexican Everyday (Recipes Featured on Season 4 of the PBS-TV series In his previous books, Rick Bayless transformed America's understanding of Mexican cuisine, introducing authentic dishes and cooking methods as he walked readers through Mexican markets and street stalls.
As much as Rick loves the bold flavors of Mexican foods, he understands that preparing many Mexican specialties requires more time than most of us have. Mexican Everyday is written with the time sensitivities of modern life in mind. It is a collection of 90 full-flavored recipes—like Green Chile Chicken Tacos, Shrimp Ceviche Salad, Chipotle Steak with Black Beans—that meet three criteria for "everyday" food: 1) most need less than 30 minutes' involvement; 2) they have the fresh, clean taste of simple, authentic preparations; and 3) they are nutritionally balanced, full-featured meals—no elaborate side dishes required. Companion to a thirteen-part public television series, this book provides dishes you can eat with family and friends, day in and day out. Color throughout. More info
| Salsas That Cook : Using Classic Salsas To Enliven Our Favorite Dishes
Salsas That Cook is a breakthrough in contemporary American cooking. Here, Mexico's classic salsas get put to work in our kitchens in the same way we use a variety of international condiments, from teriyaki sauce to balsamic vinegar, to enliven and redefine the flavor of many American favorites. While most of us have enjoyed salsas as chip dips, salsas show great versatility when weaving complex flavor into simple dishes, from pasta to potatoes to meats, fish and vegetables.
Salsas embody the essence of Mexican flavor: the lusciousness of slow-roasted tomatoes, the full-flavored spice of chiles, the fragrance of cilantro and the mellow sweetness of garlic. Rick Bayless, the country's leading progenitor of real Mexican cooking, writes the six salsa recipes with such detail and personality that even beginning cooks will turn out masterful creations.
The uniqueness of this book, though, is in the way these six salsas are used. Here they give their pizzazz to chile-glazed roast chicken, grilled pork tenderloin and seared sea scallops with jalapeño cream. Familiar Mexican favorites have always used salsas for vitality, and many are here, from tangy guacamole to tortilla soup and grilled chicken tacos. In Salsas That Cook, the magic of Mexico transcends all borders. More info
| Authentic Mexican 20th Anniversary Ed: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico
Americans have at last discovered Mexico's passion for exciting food. We've fallen in love with the great Mexican combination of rich, earthy flavors and casual, festive dining. But we don't begin to imagine how sumptuous and varied the cooking of Mexico really is.
After ten years of loving exploration, Rick Bayless, together with his wife, Deann, gave us Authentic Mexican, this now classic, easy-to-use compendium of our southern neighbor's cooking.
This all-embracing cookbook offers the full range of dishes, from poultry, meat, fish, rice, beans, and vegetables to eggs, snacks made of corn masa, tacos, turnovers, enchiladas and their relatives, tamales, and moles, ending with desserts, sweets, and beverages. There are irresistible finger foods such as Yucatecan marinated shrimp tacos and crispy cheese-filled masa turnovers; spicy corn chowder and chorizo sausage with melted cheese will start off a special dinner; you will find mole poblano, charcoal-grilled pork in red-chile adobo, and marinated fish steamed in banana leaves for those times when you want to celebrate; and exotic ice creams, caramel custards, and pies to top off any meal. There's even a section devoted to refreshing coolers, rich chocolate drinks, and a variety of tequila-laced cocktails.
The master recipes feature all the pointers you'll need for re-creating genuine Mexican textures and flavors in a North American kitchen. Menu suggestions and timing and advance-preparation tips make these dishes perfectly convenient for today's working families. And traditional and contemporary variations accompany each recipe, allowing the cook to substitute and be creative.
Rick and Deann Bayless traveled more than thirty-five thousand miles investigating the six distinct regions of Mexico and learning to prepare what they found. From town to town, recipe by recipe, they personally introduce you to Mexico's cooks, their kitchens, their markets, and their feasts.
If, like the rest of us, you have a growing love for Mexican food, the reliable recipes in this book and the caring, personal presentation by Rick and Deann Bayless will provide meal after meal of pure pleasure for your family and friends. More info