Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pumpkin Tamale

(from Tamara's Tamales)
This recipe recently won first prize in our annual tamale tasting contest and was a hands down favorite with all of our judges! Tamara was gracious enough to share her simple and tasty recipe with us from her new book Tamales 101.


  • 2 -15 cups fresh masa
  • 1 Can (1.10oz) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups raisins dark or golden
  • 36-48 dry corn husks
  • Soaked washed and drained plus more for ties


Place the prepared masa in a large bowl. Combine the masa, pumpkin, and sugar then and add vanilla, mace, cinnamon, and raisin and mix well until well- blended. To assemble the tamales place 2-3 heaping tbsp in the center of the smooth side of the corn husk. Fold sides of the husk in to the center and ties the tamales at both ends with corn husk ties.

Prick the husk several times using the tip of a sharp knife. Steam for 45-50 minutes. Makes 3-4 dozen.

Serve Warm topped with whipped cream or caramel sauce.

Order Tamales 101 now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Turkey Tortilla Soup

This recipe is a perfect way to use your turkey leftovers and a exciting alternative to boring, old chicken noodle soup.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
6 cups water
6 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
1 (10 ounce) can tomatoes with green chilies (Ro*Tel)
2 cups cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/3 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
Tortilla chips

      Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let it set 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with Mexican crema or sour cream, sprinkle with Cotija cheese and slices of avocado.

      Tex-Mex Turkey Chili

      After you stuff yourself on Thanksgiving you can whip together this guilt-free turkey chili the next day with only 187 calories per serving!

      1 cp chopped onions
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 Tbsp vegetable oil
      1 Tbsp chili powder
      1 tsp cumin seeds
      1 tsp sugar
      1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
      1 (10 oz) can tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
      1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans drained
      2 cups shredded cooked turkey breast
      3/4 cup water

      Combine onion, garlic, and oil in a 2 quart glass measure. Cover and microwave at high 3 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring every minute.

      Add chili powder and next four ingredients; stirring well. Microwave, uncovered, at high 6 to 9 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring mixture every 3 minutes.

      Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Microwave, uncovered, at high 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Makes 6 - 1 cup servings.

      Friday, October 3, 2008

      Pumkin Apple Pie

      I got this slightly altered recipe off a Libby's pumpkin can years ago and was hooked on the sweet twist of apple butter. I didn't even know what apple butter was at that time but eventually located it near the jams & preserves.


      1 cup apple butter
      1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin
      1/2 cup packed brown sugar
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
      1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
      3 eggs, slightly beaten
      3/4 cup evaporated milk
      1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
      Whipped cream, for garnish

      Preheat Oven to 425º
      Combine apple butter, pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Stir in eggs. Gradually add milk and mix well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Cover crust edges with foil to keep from burning. Bake for about 40 minutes or until set. This pie is best served slightly warm with whipped cream or ice cream sprinkly with candied pecans.

      Curry Pumkin Soup

      I never thought much about it but after pouring over pumpkin recipes for this month's Chit-Chat I realized... I really like pumpkins! Pumpkin cheesecake, soup, muffins, empanadas, and of course pies.

      • 1/3 cp chopped onion
      • 1 tsp minced garlic
      • 1 tsp curry powder
      • 1 bay leaf
      • 2 tbsp butter
      • 1 cp pureed pumpkin or 1/2 can of pumpkin
      • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
      • 1/8 tsp sugar
      • 2 cps chicken broth
      • 1 1/2 cps milk
      • 1 tbsp cornstarch
      • 2 tbsp heavy cream

      In large pan cook chopped onion, garlic, and curry in the butter for a few minutes until onion is tender. Add pumpkin, nutmeg, sugar and the bay leaf. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Take out the bay leaf. Stir in 1 cup of milk and cook over low heat for a few minutes. In another bowl, stir together the remaining milk and the cornstarch until dissolved and add to the pan. Cook until slight bubbly and mixture is thickened. Let simmer an additional 3 minutes on low heat.

      Serve with cream swirled on top and sprinkled with chives.

      Thursday, August 14, 2008

      Strawberry Lemonade

      Cool off with my refreshing strawberry lemonade. Yummy!

      2 cps water
      1 cp sugar
      1 tbls grated lemon peel
      1 cp fresh lemon juice
      1 pt fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
      2 cps cold sparkling water or club soda
      Mint sprigs, garnish
      Whole strawberries, garnish


      In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher.

      In a blender, puree the pint of strawberries and add to the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.

      Add the sparkling water and stir well. Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint and strawberries.

      Summer Ceviche

      This is an exciting alternative to regular salsa and guacamole!

      • 1 lb halibut fillet, sea bass fillet or red snapper fillet (or use a mixture of fish and shrimp)
      • 5-6 limes or lime juice to cover fish
      • 1 cup diced fresh tomato
      • 1 sweet green pepper, chopped
      • 4 tbls fresh cilantro, chopped
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp pepper
      • 1/2 tsp oregano
      • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
      • 2 tbls white vinegar
      • 1 med. onion, finely chopped
      • 1 dash Tabasco sauce
      • Lettuce leaf
      • Avocado

      Dice the fish. Place fish in bowl with lime juice. Marinate in refrigerator overnight to cook the fish. Stir often. Pour off most of the lime juice. Add remaining ingredients except lettuce and avocado a few hours before serving and refrigerate. Toss well and arrange in individual serving bowls that are lined with the lettuce leaves. Garnish with sliced avocados.

      Sunday, June 8, 2008

      Chipotle BBQ Sauce

      A lil' sweet and spicy sauce for your favorite Papi on Father's Day! Slather this on top of Chicken or Ribs (Before or after grilling however you do it! I don't even want to touch that subject) for a great twist on a traditional BBQ sauce.

      1 7-oz. can chipotle in adobo
      1 cup boiling water
      1 onion, chopped
      1/2 cup brown sugar
      1/2 cup cider vinegar
      1/2 cup water
      1 12-oz. can tomato paste
      4 cloves garlic, minced
      2 tablespoons butter
      1 tablespoon soy sauce
      1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
      1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
      1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
      1 teaspoon Tobasco sauce

      Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion, garlic, cumin and thyme. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. Add finely chop chipotle chilies and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

      Jicama, Shrimp & Apricot Salad

      There's always a lot going on in June between graduations, weddings and Father's Day. It's a great time to invite family and friends over for a BBQ and try out our Chipotle BBQ sauce and jicama salad recipes.

      • 1 lb large cooked shrimp
      • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
      • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
      • 1/2 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
      • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
      • 2 tablespoons lime juice
      • 1 lb jicama, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
      • 3/4 lb firm-ripe apricots (4 large), cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
      • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

      Whisk together vinegar, garlic, ginger, and oil, then add shrimp and remaining ingredients and toss to combine well. Season salad with salt and pepper.

      Wednesday, May 7, 2008

      Mango Sangria

      As the days warm up Sangria is always a crowd pleaser for every get together. Try this mango version for a new twist.

      • 1/4 cp Honey OR 1/2 cp Brown Sugar
      • 1 cp Mango Juice
      • 1 cp Orange Juice
      • 1 Bottle Savignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or white wine
      • 2 cps Seasonal Fruit cubed or sliced (such as Mango, Peaches, Melons, Strawberries)
      • Ice
      • Mint for Garnish

      Mix all ingredients in a large pitcher and chill. Add fruit shortly before serving. To serve, place some ice in a large wine glass or tumbler, pour in Sangria and some of the pieces of fruit. Garnish with mint.

      Mushroom Manchego Crepes

      (Recipe courtesy of Cacique USA)

      2 cps Cacique® Manchego Cheese - shredded
      2 Eggs
      3/4 cp Milk
      2 tblsp Olive Oil
      1 Medium Onion - sliced
      1 cp Bisquit Mix
      Salt & Pepper
      Fresh Cilantro

      Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Whisk together biscuit mix, milk and eggs. Heat a 7-or-8-inch over medium-low heat. Pour a scant quarter cup of batter into pan and swirl pan so bottom is evenly coated. Cook until the edges of the crépe are bubbly and look dry and the bottom is golden. Loosen edges with a spatula, then flip over and cook for an additional 20-30 seconds. Slide crépe out of pan onto a clean counter or cutting board.

      Place about 2 tablespoons of mushroom onion mixture into center of each crépe, sprinkle with cheese, and roll up. Place in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for 10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

      Servings: 6-8

      Friday, March 14, 2008

      Tortilla Española

      When I lived in Madrid my roommate Encarni taught me how to make a Tortilla Española or Tortilla de Potata which is a common dish found in every bar, restaurant and home in Spain. It's nothing like the flour or corn version from Mexico that I learned how to make growing up but it's now a favorite at 
      our home.


      4-5 White Medium Potatoes, peeled
      5 Eggs
      1/2 cup Onion, finely chopped (optional)
      1/2 cup Olive Oil, divided
      Salt & Pepper, to taste

      Slice potatoes into scallop size pieces and set aside. Place a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup olive oil to pan. When the oil is hot (not smoking, but very hot), add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper. Cook potatoes (and onions if used) for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are very soft and can cut in half easily with a spatula. Set potatoes aside. In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs. Mix together cooked and drained potatoes to egg mixture and add more salt and pepper.

      Clean non-stick skillet thoroughly and add remaining olive oil and heat. Pour the egg/potato mixture in the hot pan to cook like an open omelet. Reduce the heat slightly after a minute or so to allow the eggs to set in the middle, but not burn on the bottom. Use a spatula to run around the sides and bottom of the omelet to make sure it's not sticking.

      When the majority of the egg mixture has cooked on the bottom, get ready to do the "flip". Using potholders to protect both hands place a dinner plate over the tortilla and get a firm grip on the handle of the pan. In one quick move flip the pan over so that the tortilla is released onto the plate. Place the pan back on the heat and quickly slide the flipped tortilla back in the hot pan to cook on the bottom. The tortilla is done when the egg is not runny inside when poked and slightly browned like the picture above.

      Cut in thick pie shaped pieces when serving a portion for dinner or in cubes with toothpicks as an appetizer.
      Can be served warm or at room tempurature.

      ¡Buen Provecho!

      Tuesday, March 11, 2008

      South American Fish Stew

      One of our Chit-Chat readers Nathalie Herling of Richmond, Virginia submitted this recipe which was inspired by Columbian Fish Stew. It's a perfect Friday meal for those observing Lent or anyone else who just likes fish! Check out her blog at www.creativeclaycooking.com for other Clay Pot Cooking recipes.

      3 tsp Olive Oil
      3 Garlic Cloves sliced
      1 each White & Red Onions - Chopped
      1 Green, Red or Yellow Pepper - Chopped w/Seeds Removed
      2 Tomatoes -
      Peeled & Chopped
      1 Hot Pepper Any Variety - Chopped
      2 Sweet Potatoes -
      Peeled & Cubed
      1/3 lb Okra - Tops Removed and Quartered Lengthwise
      3 cps of Vegetable or Fish Stock
      1 tbls Cumin
      1 Green Plantains - Sliced
      1/2 lb of Medium Shrimp - Cleaned and Deveined
      1 lb White Boneless Fish
      1 cp Cilantro Leaves
      Lime Juice
      Salt & Pepper

      Roast the garlic in olive oil until slightly brown. Add onions and sauté until transparent. Add chopped peppers and sauté around 3 min. Add chopped tomato, hot pepper and okra to mixture.

      Add 3 tbls of fresh cilantro and 1 tsp of cumin into the stew mixture. Cook for about 5 to 7 min. Add the stock to the stew, turn heat to simmer and stir for about 10 min. Add potatoes and cook for another 15 min. Add plantains. Cut fish into bite size pieces add most of the remaining cilantro and the juice of one lime.

      Add shrimp and serve as soon as the shrimp is cooked. Usually 4 to 5 min. Serve garnished with cilantro and lime. Cooks and looks perfect in a La Chamba Fish Stew Pot.

      Thursday, February 7, 2008

      Shrimp & Crab Enchilada

      Many people think of Lent as the time Catholics give up meat on Fridays so here's a scrumptious recipe for seafood enchiladas that's really good for anytime of the year.

      3/4 cp Manchego
      3/4 cp Queso Fresco
      (or 1/1/2 cp Monterrey Jack)
      1 cp Crema Mexicana or Sour Cream
      3 tbsp Butter
      1/4 cp Green Onions - diced
      1 tbsp Jalepeno - seeded & minced
      1/4 cp each Red & Green Bell Pepper - diced
      2 1/2 cp Crab Meat - pre-cooked
      2 1/2 cp Raw Shrimp - peiled & deveined
      1/2 cp Fresh Cilantro - chopped
      1 tbsp Cumin
      1/2 tsp Salt
      1/4 tsp Pepper
      12 Corn Tortillas
      2 cps Green Enchilada Sauce


      Pre-heat oven to 350°
      In large saucepan, melt butter and sauté onions, jalapeños and bell peppers for 2 minutes. Add seafood, cilantro, cumin and salt & pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly and sauté 3 more minutes. Remove from heat to cool, add crema and cheeses.

      Heat enchilada sauce in saucepan. Dip each tortilla and stack on plate. To assemble, spoon 2 - 3 tablespoons seafood mix into each tortilla, roll up and place seam down in greased 9x12 baking dish. Cover with enchilada sauce and bake 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with remaining cheese and return to oven for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with crumbled Cotija cheese or drizzle crema and avocados.

      Bake at 350° for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let set 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with Mexican crema or sour cream, sprinkle with Cotija cheese and slices of avocado.

      Servings: 6