Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Presidential Shrimp Tapas

                                                   Rustic Shrimp Tapas 

What in the world are Tapas? Simply, they're Spanish-inspired snacks in the form of canap├ęs or appetizers.  They're excellent with a drink or wine. Savory nibblers made up of several ingredients, with extra depth and dimension. **

I conjoured this one up last night while watching the 2012 election. Oh, gosh, I just couldn't help  myself... again! Needed something to distract me. Talk about easy. Let's get right to it!

Preheat Oven to 425° 

20 medium shelled (de-tailed) fresh or frozen RAW shrimp
2 tsp. olive oil or just vegetable spray
4 tbls chopped chives 
10 sliced black olives
12 oz. shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
tsp cumin or taco seasoning
4 cups of round unflavored tortilla chips
4 slices of semi-cooked bacon cut in one inch bites 
1 cup drained pineapple chunks (optional)
1/2 cup (more if you like) sliced jarred jalapeno peppers 
Your favorite salsa or picante sauce

Oil medium foiled pizza pan 
Spread out and layer ingredients as follows: tortilla chips, shrimp, Mexican cheese,
mozzarella, pineapple, bacon, jalapenos, chives, seasoning.
Spray the top of all layered ingredients
Place in oven for 8 minutes or until edges of chips and cheese are charred. Let it cool a bit.  It's VERY HOT!
When you serve, tear a small handful  from the tapa, dish out, and dip into salsa. You can also top it with avocado, sour cream.

You'll thank me in 4 years during the next election. *wink*

**For a REAL treat, check out the origin and legends on this little goody!

Try it and comment here on results. Questions and suggestions welcome! Thanks ya'll!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cookie'z Tex-Mex tamales

Southwestern Hot Tamales Without the hat and spurs!

You'll love these authentic tasty tamales. I usually make them with the corn husks and steam them upright on the stove with my handy dandy steamer pot, but recently tried it with parchment paper, steam/cooking them in a pan.  It was fun and not too difficult. Here's how!

What you'll need: 2 med or lg bowls, 1 13 x 9 lasagna pan or glass cassarole, one larger drip pan.

For the dough wrap:
4 cups Masa Corn Flour, 1 cup cooked corn grits ( cooked in beef or chicken broth)
1 tbs each: sea or kosher salt, baking powder, toasted cumin seed or powder, chili powder or taco seasoning, garlic powder, cayenne.
1/2 stick room temperature butter or baking shortening OR 1/4 cup Corn Oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup warm chicken or beef broth dripped in a little at a time.( if too wet, just add a dust of  any flour)
 Parchment paper, stapler (optional)

For the filling:
1 roll chorizo sausage ( soyrizo works too!) or 2 stadium bratwurst
1 drained can beef or turkey chili with NO BEANS ( save broth for later) 
1-2   finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (from can)   
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken 
1/4 cup minced red onion ( yellow or white  would work)
6-8 strips of red, green, and yellow bell peppers (optional)

1 LARGE can red enchilada sauce, divided.
1 tbs freshly chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

In large bowl, mix dough ingredients with your hands,  till  it is a maliable dough consistency. Set aside.

Next:  Mix filling in food processor or blender * all ingredients EXCEPT chorizo and only enough of the enchilada sauce to aid the mixing. Pour into bowl and add the CHORIZO, and a little more red sauce. Mix well with spoon or your hands.
*OPTION: If you like a chunkier filling, SKIP the processor, but maintain a shredded consistency with the meat combinations!

Ready to Fill the Dough:
Unroll and cut 4 -5 sheets of the paper, about 8 inch squares.
On each sheet, place a few handfuls of the tamale dough and roll out till flat, leaving 
about 1 inch borders on the paper.  Now put enough filling over the tamale dough to extend. Add a few drops of lime juice and a little more chili sauce. ADD a few bell pepper strips.

 CAREFULLY ROLL paper OVER -away from you with the dough until you form a hose-like roll to the other end of the paper.  Check/ peek by pulling back a little of the paper to see if it FORMED the tamale. ( grin when you see what resembles a REAL HONEST- TO- GOODNESS tamale! I sure did!)  Continue to roll till end of the parchment paper smoothing out the roll.  Repeat with remaining rolls.

 NOW carefully CUT EACH long roll into even portions with bottom part of a santoku or chef's knife blade. If you mess up, don't worry. Try again.
Mix the remaining chili, enchilada sauce in a cup and pour a little in the bottom of the pan. Place all wrapped tamales in neatly side by side. 
POUR remaining chili mixture OVER the papered tamales. ADD remaining bell pepper strips.
Put the pan into a LARGER pan with an inch or so of water and cover with foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Remove from water pan to your counter. Let it cool before you pull back the veil of your artwork! 

When ready to eat, remove paper. For toppings , slice/chop some green onions, shredded cheddar/co-jack cheese, shredded lettuce, olives, sour cream,  extra enchilada/chili sauce, or even guacamole! Relish the smiles on your company's faces! 

If you have tried this, let me know how you liked them. If any concerns, questions, or comments,  feel free to post them here! 

Another Dianne the CookieZealberry kitchen drama!