You expected Corned Beef and Cabbage, didn’t you? We had it on Friday and it was delicious.
Today’s Mexican feast is due to the once every 5 year visit of my husband’s sister and brother-in-law. They love Mexican food and my husband loves bragging about the food I make. We started cooking on Saturday, to serve on Sunday.
The menu includes:
Chicken Enchiladas Suiza
Green Chile and Cheese Tamales
Shredded Beef Tamales
Avocado, Orange, Jicima Salad
- Black Beans
- Mexican Rice
- Sour Cream
For the enchiladas:
Place a whole, fresh chicken in a pot of water. Add a chopped onion, a few cloves of garlic and salt and pepper. Simmer until meat is very tender, about an hour. Remove chicken from pot, strain and reserve stock for another use. When chicken has cooled, pull chicken from bones, removing skin. Tear into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add to the following to the chicken:
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large can diced green chile
1 cup sour cream
1 8 oz. packaged shredded mexican style cheese
Gently mix all together in bowl. Place a generous spoonful on each tortilla. I used flour tortillas this time. Roll up as shown and place in baking pan. Cover with enchilada sauce of your choice. I used Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. Sprinkle with additional cheese. Bake at 375′ for approximately 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream.
For the beans:
Place one 16 oz. bag of dry black beans in a pot. Cover with water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse. Saute one diced onion and 8 cloves of garlic in olive oil, in the pot you intend to cook the beans in. Get them good and brown, as they will add a lot of flavor. Add the beans back to the pot. Add liquid to barely cover – stock, beer, water or a combination. Add 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2-1 teaspoon of chili powder. Do not add salt until the end. Simmer the beans for 4-5 hours until soft.
For the Jimica, Avocado, Radish and Orange Salad with Cilantro
adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2005
1 tsp. ground cumin (my modification)
1 clove garlic
5 Tbs. fresh lime juice; more to taste
Large pinch cayenne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small jícama (about 1-1/4 pounds)
8 small red radishes, cut into very thin round slices
5 scallions, dark green tops trimmed; cut diagonally into thin slices
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large ripe but firm avocados
1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
Finely grate 2 tsp. zest from the oranges and set the zest aside. With a sharp paring knife, slice the ends off the oranges. Stand each orange on one of its cut ends and pare off the rest of the peel in strips, making sure to remove all of the pith. Working over a small bowl, carefully cut the orange segments away from the connective membrane. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl to get any remaining juice.
Using a mortar and pestle or the flat side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Put the garlic paste and cumin powder in a small bowl (or keep it in the mortar) and whisk in the 2 tsp. orange zest, 3 Tbs. orange juice (from the bowl of orange segments), the lime juice, and the cayenne. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes, and then whisk in the olive oil.
Meanwhile, peel the jícama and it cut into 1/8-inch-thick match sticks 2 to 3 inches long. In a large bowl, combine the jícama, radishes, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper and toss with about two-thirds of the vinaigrette. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to let the flavors mingle.
Just before serving, thinly slice the avocados diagonally. Lay half of the avocado slices in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette on the avocado. Add the cilantro and orange segments to the bowl of jícama and toss gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, and lime juice if needed. Put the jícama salad on top of the sliced avocado and tuck the remaining slices of avocado into the salad. Season the top slices with salt and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately.
For the tamales:
Make the masa according to the directions on the package, or buy fresh masa. In place of lard, I used Spectrum Organic Shortening, as it is non-hydrogenated. Soak corn husks in hot water for about 45 minutes.
Shredded Beef for Tamales
Brown a 3-4 pound chuck roast on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the roast with one large jar of red salsa, of your choice. The hotter the salsa, the spicier the tamales. Bake the roast in the oven at 325′ for approximately two hours, or until fork tender. When done, place all in bowl and shred the meat with two forks.
Spread a corn husk with a few tablespoons of masa. Place a large spoonful of shredded beef mixture on masa. Sprinkle with shredded cheese, if desired. Fold in sides of husk, tuck up bottom, and tie in the middle with strips of corn husk.
Green Chili and Cheese Tamales
Spread a corn husk with a spoonful of masa. Add 1-2 Tablespoons diced green chile. Sprinkle with fresh grated pepperjack cheese. Fold the sides over, tuck up the bottom and tie in the middle.
Steaming the Tamales
If you have a tamales steamer (and the space to store it) you are in luck! Otherwise, you can improvise. I place my stainless steel colander in a large pot. Add boiling water leaving about 1″ of clearance from the bottom of the colander. Bring water to a simmer, to produce a steady steam. Please tamales, open end up, in colander. Cover tightly with foil, so that the steam does not escape. Steam the tamales until done, about 90 minutes. Check the water level frequently and refill with boiling water from a kettle, to maintain the steam.
I recommend the book “Tamales 101, A Beginners Guide to Making Traditional Tamales” by Alice Guadalupe Tapp, for detailed instructions on mixing masa, filling, folding and steaming the tamales.
We used Nueva Cucina Brand, Mexican Rice Mix
I usually make our own. Since I barely found enough ripe avocados for our salad, I opted for prepared guacamole from Whole Foods, and it was fabulous.
We like good tequila. Use the best you can. I particularly like Tres Agave margarita mix. For our drinks I combined 50% margarita mix blended with 50% fresh lime and lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of agave sweetner in a pitcher. Fill a glass with ice. Add a healthy shot of tequila, fill glass with margarita mix mixture and top with a splash of Cointreau or Grand Marnier. Cheers!