Archive for July 2011

By Patrick McCleary

 

Now I know that traditionally corn meant grain, in the Old World. And technically this should be called recipes about maize, but bear with me. These are great recipes and regardless of semantics I am sure that you will enjoy them.

Tamales - You can always leave out the chile pods if you don’t want the extra spice



Ingredients

  • Tamale Filling:
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork loin
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 dried California chile pods
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Tamale Dough:
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.
  2. Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.
  3. Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.
  4. Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.
  5. Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.

By Patrick McCleary


Yes, it is that time again. The weekly recipe series continues. This time with recipes that include meat. I hope that you all enjoy these recipes. Blessed Be!


Baked Polenta with Sausage and Mushrooms
courtesy of katiehodges.com


1 tb olive oil
1 sm Yellow onion; chopped
2 lg Garlic cloves; minced
1 md Red sweet pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1/2 lb Mild Italian sausage, loose
1/2 lb Fresh mushrooms, (white or brown), trimmed and thinly sliced
2 1/2 c Milk, broth or water
3/4 c Yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
1 tb Chopped fresh sage
1 tb Chopped Italian parsley
1/4 ts Ground cayenne pepper
1 c Ricotta cheese
1/2 c gruyere or swiss cheese
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tb Butter or margarine; melted
4 tb Grated parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté onion, garlic, and sweet pepper until hot through. Add crumbled sausage and continue cooking just until meat changes color. Stir in mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid. Drain excess fat and set mixture aside.

Place milk or other liquid in a large, heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Slowly add cornmeal, stirring briskly with a wire whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes or until mixture is very thick and smooth while stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove pan from heat and stir in herbs, cayenne pepper, and ricotta and gruyere cheeses. Add sausage and sweet pepper mixture. Combine all parts well and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into two 9-inch pie plates lined with plastic wrap. Cool on a wire rack, then cover and refrigerate at least an hour, or as long as three days.

When ready to serve dish, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut polenta in wedges and place on an oiled shallow baking pan large enough to hold polenta in one layer without crowding. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until polenta is lightly browned and very hot when tested with a small knife in center of wedge. Serve with a topping of Tomato Sauce and sprinked with more parmesan cheese.

 

Game Hens with Rosemary and Garlic
courtesy of magickalmusings.net


3 Cornish Game Hens, halved
3/4 cup Olive oil
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
3 Tablespoons Dry sherry
1 Tablespoon Fine chopped fresh rosemary
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Split each bird in half. Set aside.
Using a very large bowl mix the remaining ingredients together. Marinate the bird halves in this mixture for 1 hour, turning often. Broil in oven 7 or 8 minutes on a side, or on a charcoal barbecue. I prefer the charcoal, but be sure the coals are not too hot. Cook to your liking.

 

By Patrick McCleary

 

Although sometimes it is still to hot at this time of the year for me to cook bread, I usually manage to bake some bread to celebrate Lughnasadh with. Many people seem to be turned away on the idea of making bread. They either consider it to difficult or just to many steps, which I guess could be the same thing.
But there are only four steps to making bread; Preparing, Letting Rise, Kneading and Baking. Most yeast you buy in the stores don’t require a second rise. So after you prepare the mixture you leave it alone until it is finished rising (this usually means it doubles in size) then you break it down by folding it until it becomes tough to manage. Followed by baking and then of course enjoying.
I hope that you enjoy this recipes that I have shared below. Happy Baking!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
  2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky – just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
  3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely