Chicken Tinga Tamales

On December 21, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

 

 

IMG_1986

 

Nothing says Christmas like making Tamales. At least that’s the case for a lot of families, but not ours.  I wasn’t raised in a house that made tamales for the holidays. Nope. Instead we made spritz cookies and as a kid I would sneak into the garage freezer and eat a few just about everyday. Eventually my mom caught on and made an extra batch knowing her oldest son was eating a few as the holidays approached.

Back to the tamales.

This was my first attempt at making tamales.  I have a few places I love to go for them including Evie’s Tamales in Mexican Village in Detroit.  When I worked for DTE Energy we used to go their for lunch and often buy a dozen to take home.  Simple and delicious pork filled tamales are always a favorite.  I do have a place here in South Pasadena, California I go to and order tamales from.  Grass Roots Natural Market sells tamales for the holidays and they also sell mesa for making your own at home.

IMG_1975

I ordered a dozen from Grass Roots for Christmas Eve but also bought some mesa to try it myself.  One of my favorite tacos lately is the chicken tinga taco at Guisados.  I decided to make my own chicken tinga and while I still have a lot of work before I master Guisados’ version, what resulted here was pretty damn good and both my wife and I agreed they were the best tamales we ever had.

So here is my attempt at tamales.  One tip I found out after making them is to make sure you use the smoother side of the corn husk to wrap your masa and filling in.  The ridged side prevents the tamale from easily peeling the husk away.

Chicken Tinga Tamales
Serves 4

Corn huskes, 12-14
Two boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb bag of mesa, store bought or find a recipe that uses lard
4 oz cotija cheese, crumbled
3 ripe medium sized tomatoes
1 tomatillo, peeled
1 can chipotle peppers, only need 1 pepper and 1 to 2 Tb of sauce from can
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, diced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Remove from heat and submerge corn husks into the water and let it them sit for a hour.

First boil some water and poach the chicken breasts in boiling water for 12 minutes.  Remove and shred. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken from the store and shred the meat to use for this dish.

IMG_1969

To make the tinga sauce, bring the tomatoes and tomatillo to a boil in water then reduce to a gentile boil for 10 minutes.  Remove from water and place in a food processor.  Blend until smooth with no chunks.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic cooking for 3 minutes until translucent. Remove from pan and add into food processor.  Add the chipotle, 1 tablespoon of chipotle sauce, and spices to the food processor and blend until smooth.  Taste and add more chipotle sauce if you feel it is not to your desired heat.

IMG_1985

Put chicken and tinga sauce into a bowl and mix.  In another bowl add your masa and in another bowl add the crumbled cojita cheese.  Now take your corn husks and spread some masa into it then add about 3 tablespoons of the chicken tinga mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and fold the tamale placing it into a steamer.

Finish making the rest of the tamales and steam for 1 hour.  Serve with your favorite side dish.

Tagged with:
 

A Simple Pot Roast on Christmas Day

On December 30, 2013, in Family, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
0

IMG_5589

Slow cooking is one of the best ways to enjoy a home cooked after a busy day.  This busy day was Christmas here in Los Angeles where it was a crisp 80 degrees outside.  So we needed something comforting and cozy after opening gifts and sledding.

Sledding?

Yes, sledding. See we decided to get into the Christmas spirit by driving to Zuma Beach where we noticed they had large hills of sand.  We packed the station wagon with the proper winter cargo:  beach blankets and a snow sled.

20131225_151120_resized

Apparently we were not the only people in Southern California who realized Christmas Day 2013 was a perfect day for the beach. All along the coastline we saw cars parked and people playing on the beach as if it were mid-July.  We drove along the Pacific Coast Highway through Santa Monica and Malibu eventually arriving at Zuma Beach.  There were probably ten other families laying out enjoying the warm December sunshine.

hillslidesand

We climbed up the sandhill with our sled and proceeded to cruise down the bumpy hill. After a few slides down, the sand became smooth as some other kids joined our boys to try it out.  We quickly found out that four kids on the sled really made it a fun, quick ride.

sandsledpushing

Eventually, our time sledding Zuma Beach came to an end and we hopped back into the car to head home.  The whole time, the pot roast was cooking slowly in the crockpot waiting for when we were ready for it; instead, of most meals that are ready when it’s ready.

IMG_5594

I used the following recipe but instead of using a Dutch oven to slow cook the roast, I simply did steps 1-6 in a Dutch Oven and then transferred everything to a crockpot putting  it on low temperature for 8-10 hours. Just make sure you get all of the goodness of the pan when deglazing before transferring to a crockpot.

Full Recipe: Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast.

Tagged with: