Vegan Sour Tamales – Corn At Its Best!
The usual thing with tamal dough is to chill it, something which greatly helps it pass the float-test, a sure sign that the end result will be light and fluffy. Sour tamales, on the contrary, are allowed to rest in warm place to ferment.
Nixtamalization, or lime-treatment of corn has great nutritional benefits. The alkaline lime (calcium hydroxide) breaks down the indigestible outer husk releasing essential amino acids and vitamins. Enter fermentation to fully open the door to nutrients not otherwise available. This is maize at its very best. Continue reading “Vegan Sour Tamales – With Pumpkin-Seed, Tomatillo & Courgette Filling”
Getting tortillas right from raw ingredients took about 100 go’s. The process is labour intensive so Mexicans buy them ready-made or use masa-harina for instant results. Without the benefit of a personal tutor I had only trial-and-error to guide me. Of course I got there in the end!
Tamales are much easier. Mexican cooks make tamales, and I got that hands-on tutorial (thanks, Maria and Yolanda – you know who you are!). Continue reading “Basic Dough For Tamales”
Pumpkin seeds are common throughout throughout Mexico, and especially so in the Maya cuisine of Yucatan where they form the basis of dishes such as Papadzules and Tsotobichay. Continue reading “Vegan Quesadillas With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds”
Beans have been a staple of Mexican and pre-hispanic American societies since antiquity. Eaten with maize they provide complete protein as well as plentiful amounts of folate, vitamin B1, iron and magnesium.
Mexican beans are often eaten re-fried, that delicious réchauffé of days-old bean paste, sautéed with garlic, chilli, cumin and other herbs and spices, ever tastier for each day they survive. Continue reading ““Olla De Frijoles Negros”: Mexican Black Beans”
Making tortillas from dry corn to plated tacos is indeed a labour of love. Fortunately there’s a totally hassle-free way using masa harina – dehydrated instant nixtamal. Just add water and you’re ready to go. Continue reading “Instant Mexican Corn Tortillas”
By reputation corn is a second-rate grain, low in protein, high in carbs and lacking in key vitamins. Think polenta, tasty only as its companion sauce.
Now, Mexican tortillas fresh off the skillet. These also contain tasty fillings, but they accompany the delicious taste of corn which now holds centre-stage. And with taste comes nutrition. This corn has more protein and a wider range of vitamins and minerals. The difference? A 1500 year-old process unique to pre-colombian central America: nixtamalization. Continue reading “Nixtamalization Of Corn: Ancient Secret Of The Americas”
These are popular all over Spain and Latin America with Argentina and Colombia playing notable roles. Literally meaning “encased in bread” they are little filled pastries dating back to medieval Spain where shepherds enjoyed them as a hearty lunch time snack.
There are open and closed varieties and sweet as well as savoury. They can be fried or oven-baked.
Continue reading “Tapas 2: Empanadas”