Tag Archive: dinner

Fall is here, and that means it is time to make up a supply of tamales to stock the freezer. Hubby and I like them for a quick meal after hunting or hiking around outdoors.
I consider this labor and time intensive so I am glad it makes a good sized batch.
Since a couple of people asked about this, I am sharing
Bertie’s Tamales
This recipe was given to me by my sister in law, who is pretty famous in the family for her excellent tamales.
The recipe makes about 50 tamales. Any leftovers can be frozen and reheated in the microwave still frozen for a minute to a minute and a half.

1 3 lb boneless roast. Most often we use beef, but pork, deer or a combination of meat will work fine.
10 cups water
1 medium onion quartered
3 cloves garlic, minced
Cook this in a heavy pan or crock pot until meat is well done (falls apart) and tender.
If you use the crock pot, low for 6 hours is usually what I use. 2 1/2 -3 hours in a dutch oven seems about right.
Remove meat and allow to cool. Shred with fork, discard any fat.

Strain broth and save 6 cups. You will need to make the masa for the outside of the tamale.

Make red sauce: 2 ounces of dried chili peppers (you are on your own, these come from mild to scorching) I use a mix of anaheim and ancho.
3 cups water
¼ cup finely diced onion
½ tsp dried oregano
cumin, garlic, and salt to taste.

Break off stems and crack chili open, shake out the seeds, rinse well and drain.
Cover chilis with 3 cups water and let set 30 minutes to overnight. Drain.
Now, puree your chilis until they are about the consistency of tomato sauce. Keep smushing them with a spoon until all that is left of the peel is little flecks in the mixture an maybe a few seeds.
Add other ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix with the shredded meat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Your meat is ready and can be refrigerated or frozen or if you have the energy left made into tamales now.

For the tamales:
1 bag dried corn husks
6 cups masa harina
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt ( I use less)
¾ cups shortening (Do not try to use cooking oil)

Beat the shortening in a large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy, add masa, salt and baking powder, which you have stirred together alternately with the reserved broth.
Just add enough broth to make a creamy paste!

Soak the corn husks in warm water for 10 minutes, rinse to remove any remaining silk or debris. Drain well.
Assemble Tamales:
Spread 2 T. masa mixture on center of husk (husk should be about 6X8 inches) spread 2 T. filling on top then fold and roll up the husk and secure with toothpick or string.
Get steamer ready. Water does not touch the tamales! Set the basket up on custard cups or whatever, if you don’t have a steamer. I use a metal colander set on three 3 inch high custard cups. Water boiling just below basket, Stand tamales in your steamer. If you have an open end it obviously goes up.
Cover and reduce heat. Steam 40 minutes, adding more boiling water if necessary.

This requires a little extra prep time and effort, but Hubby assures me that it is the world’s best corn bread. That makes it well worth doing, right? This is a time tested recipe, passed down and modified over the years.
He likes it with pinto beans and usually eats any leftovers the next day with his eggs for breakfast.
I am not a big fan of cornbread, but I will eat it this way with a chunk of good cheddar cheese.

Chop 6-8 slices of bacon and cook in a skillet over medium heat until bacon beginning to crisp, add 1/4 cup onion lower heat and cook til onion is translucent and bacon nicley crisped. Remove from pan and drain well, reserve drippings if you wish to use in the cornbread. Chop 2 Tbsp green chilis or use 2 Tbsp of canned chilis drained well.
Heat oven to 400 degrees, place a 10 inch cast iron skillet, lightly greased, in the oven to get hot.
In a medium size bowl, blend together:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup corn meal
2 Tbsp baking powder. (Yes, that is TABLESPOONS)
4 Tbsp sugar. (this is optional you can use none or less depending on your personal taste)
1 Tsp salt (optional, I find the salt from the bacon is enough)

Mix together in a separate bowl or large measuring cup:
3 Tablespoons oil or bacon grease
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Add to dry ingredients and stir until well blended, add reserved bacon, onion and green chilis. Stir a few times to distribute.
Pour into pan, spread with a spoon to even mixture.
Return pan to 400* oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until top is golden.
A 9 inch square pan can be substituted for the cast iron skillet, with good results. The ‘secret’ I was told many years ago, by my mother-in-law, is to pour your batter into a hot pan so the bottom crust forms quickly.

It isn’t even daylight, the old wood stove is hot

We won’t be serving breakfast, but there’s coffee in the pot

Chickens are a boiling, for dumplings later on.

Granny’s rolling pie crust, on this cold winter dawn.

Turnips are a-simmering in a big pot with their greens

A hunk of ham for flavor.

The scent of yeast dough fills the kitchen

When I turn the dough to bread.

It’s Christmas and the family is waiting to be fed.

The tree is decked in paper,

Odd shapes the kids have cut,

The fragile foil star,

Twinkles in the coal-oil light.

We gather round to share the joy.

It’s Christmas once again.

foodish thoughts

On a group I belong to, we were supposed to list 3 ‘in season’ fruits or veggies and why we like them.

This was what I came up with: “Apples! Bright colors to please the eye, scent to tempt the nose  and sweet tangy flavor.
Winter squash/ sweet potatoes! Mixes well with many things to provide a subtle, delicate vegetable along more savory cold weather foods. It’s good in soups!
Cranberries. My mother made a cranberry relish with cranberries, apples and oranges in her hand cranked food grinder that is still a staple on our tables at holiday meals. As kids we all took turns with the grinder, cranking it out.
Alright  now I am hungry!
Some chicken breasts, baked with slices of apple, cubes of squash or sweet potato slices and sliced onion, and cranberry relish on the side… yeah, that might well be ‘dinner’ today. :)”

So you take about 1 1/2 cups of cubed winter squash or sweet potato slices, one good size tart apple sliced thin and a medium onion sliced thin, toss them together, then put them in an 8 X 8 baking dish.

Add a cup of chicken broth or water dot with butter and place boneless chicken breasts on top.  Spread chicken with mayo and some bread crumbs if you like.Season with a little salt and pepper and cover the pan with foil. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, remove foil and cook another 20 minutes, until chicken is done and veggies are tender.