Recipe for The Daring Kitchen
Maranda of Jolts & Jollies
was our January 2012 Daring Cooks hostess with the mostess! Maranda challenged us to make traditional Mexican Tamales as our first challenge of the year!
Spreading Your Masa All Over the Damn Town
Back when I was little, my grandmother used to have a friend at her work who’s family would make tamales en masse at Christmas. She’d give her a few dozen and we got to feast on the little parcels of majesty for what I’d love to say was weeks after, but they barely lasted a few days. We had them steamed plain with nothing else to slow us down except for maybe some pinto beans or fluffy Spanish rice. I’ve long been searching for a killer tamale recipe in the same way as I’ve wanted the PERFECT enchilada sauce recipe. I’ve gone through MANY iterations and variations of ones that come close, but I’ve yet to hit perfection. So of course, when I found out that this month’s Daring Kitchen competition was to make tamales, I was so excited to have the opportunity to get back in the lab and start tinkering again. Continue reading Red Chile Tamales
Get Yer Char On
I have a wacky allergy to corn silk, but it doesn’t keep me from tucking into corn on the cob in the summertime. We always had ears of sweet, white corn boiled to perfection and perked up by sugar, salt and creamy butter. But a while back, when I was introduced to the joys of grilling corn instead of boiling it, I was an instant convert. No need to steam up the house and the added loveliness of smoky char with the sweet corn goodness. It was brilliant through and through.
On days that I’m not thinking ahead to grilling corn for the evening, I have my trick of getting around the usual 30 minutes of soaking in salt water and another 25 minutes grilling the corn. I’ve got into the habit of microwaving the corn in the husk to pre-steam it before grilling, cutting the entire cooking time down to a meager 20 minutes tops. You top the whole thing off with a delicious compound butter made of fresh basil, chives and parsley. It’s one of those tricks for the arsenal when a bland barbecue chicken breast or ho hum hot dog is in your grilling future. This life is too short to be bored with boiled corn.
Grilled Corn with Herb Butter
6 ears of corn
1 stick of butter
3/4 tsp. of salt
1/8 tsp. of paprika
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
1/3 c. of basil leaves
1/8 c. of chopped chives
1/4 c. of parsley leaves
Begin by making your herb butter. Put the salt, paprika, black pepper, basil and parsley in the food processor. Chop finely and then add the butter and chives. Blend to combine and then scrape out of the food processor with a spatula. Chill.
Carefully pull back the husks, leaving the ends still attached. Remove the silk and discard. Put the husks back over the corn. Place a wet paper towel in the microwave and top with two ears of corn. Microwave for 2 minutes, turn over, and cook for another two minutes. Set aside. Repeat with the other ears of corn.
Heat your grill on high and place the ears of corn on top. Grill for about 6-7 minutes per side, or until the husks char and the corn gets some gorgeous grill marks. Let cool for a moment and then pull back the husks. Slather the ears of corn with the herb butter and serve.