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”
Polenta-based pizza is nothing new. And quite delicious, though many would argue whether it’s a pizza at all. The question seems to me academic. What is not academic is that nixtamal or lime-treated corn is not polenta! Nixtamalized corn has more protein, more vitamins – especially vit B3 (niacin), essentially unavailable in untreated corn – and of course exrtra calcium from the lime. It also has a more intense flavour – the flavour of maize. Continue reading “Pizza Tamalera: Gluten-Free Maize Crust Pizza”
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”
The tamal is recorded at least as far back as 5000 BC. Tamales may have evolved from other nixtamal-based items, such as tortillas, out of the need for soldiers and warriors to have access to pre-perared food in the many wars between between pre-hispanic peoples.
Tamales are essentially corn dumplings, filled with meat, fish, vegetables, even insects or their eggs, wrapped in corn husks, or in more tropical regions plantain or avocado leaves, then cooked in a variety of ways. There are savoury and sweet tamales, filled and unfilled (blind), open (unwarapped) and closed, steamed, boiled, roasted, fried, even fermented tamales. the range is potentially endless Continue reading “Mexican 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”
Antojitos are Mexico’s take on tapas. Lots of finger-foodie delights, amply based on, but not limited to the 1001 ways of serving tortillas. Continue reading “Antojitos (Little Whims) – Tacos , Quesadillas And Their Cousins”
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”