Monday, December 05, 2005

Preparing for a Tamalada

Next Saturday Dan and I are having a joint birthday party. He was born right before Christmas a year before me, which makes right now my favorite time of year since I'm two years older for a few weeks. Fun to pinch his cheek and utter, "oooh, what wee little one!" Yes, I am easily amused. Anyway, we're getting a bunch of friends together and making a mess load* of tamales together. After that comes out the Princess Cake, something completely non Hispanic in any way. Hey, it's our birthday party, and the cake sounded really good.

I got the tamale recipe from Chef Pedro, guru of all things edible back at my old hospital job. He made tamales around Christmas time that were just amazing. Managed to get him to share a very loose recipe, though most of the specifics I'm having to figure out as I go along. More fun that way since I like a good challenge.

Just finished simmering four pounds of chicken thighs and legs with some salt, pepper, and bay leaves. No other seasonings, as per Chef Pedro. They smell delicious already! Waiting for them to cool so I can shred the meat. The broth has been set aside to flavor the masa dough later.

I'll cook up some pork as well tomorrow. Then off to hunt for corn husks, lard, ancho chiles, corn, masa, and marzipan (for the cake).

The menu for Saturday:

fresh corn tamales with chiles and cheese (vegetarian and made up before people arrive so everyone can munch a bit)
chicken tamales with ancho chile
pork tamales with ancho chile (thinking of coloring the masa for these with some paprika so they're easy to tell apart)
moroccan carrot salad (lots of garlic, parsley, and lemon juice - should go well with the tamales)
roasted green onions
red and green cabbage slaw with oranges

Princess Cake

*mess load = fantastically large amount, similar to ass load but more acceptable in polite company