A Jolly TAmAle ChrisTmAs

A Jolly Tamale
The official New Mexico question is “Red or Green?,” but we at
New Mexico Magazine say, why choose? It is Christmas, after all.
So we headed to the Santa Fe School of Cooking to bake, fold, and stew up
five traditional recipes just right for your own holiday fiesta.
So from our table to yours, here’s to spicy foods and good moods!
Above—Nicole Curtis Ammerman, manager of the Santa Fe School of Cooking, and Chef Durham
welcome the magazine staff. Ammerman’s family has run the school for nearly 20 years.
Top right­—Publisher Ethel Hess stirs a simmering stew. Right—Cathy Fresquez rolls out tortillas.
Duck Tamales
Feast Day Posole
Green Chile Stew
Flour Tortillas
Top—SFSC Chef and Culinary Director
Rocky Durham (right) instructs
Managing Editor Walter K. Lopez
(left) on tamale-making.
Above—Graphic Designer
Melanie Lucero
samples the
hearty Green
Chile Pork
Feast Day Posole
Recipe on page 48
Duck Tamales
Recipe on page 48
Flour Tortillas
Recipe on page 46
www.nmmagazine.com | DECEMBER 2008 45
Flour Tortillas
What’s more satisfying than a fresh tortilla? With
this simple recipe, your only challenge will be
keeping guests from snapping them up before the
stews are ready.
When the tortilla takes on a lightly browned,
speckled appearance, flip it and cook another 20
seconds. If bubbles form in dough, don’t pop them.
Wrap finished tortillas in kitchen towel to keep
warm. Serve immediately.
Combine dry ingredients in bowl and mix well.
Cut shortening into dry ingredients until a
coarse meal is formed. Add enough water to
make a very soft, but not sticky, dough. Knead
about 15 times into a smooth ball. Divide
dough equally into 8 to 10 balls, each about the
size of a golf ball. Cover and let stand for about
20 minutes.
On floured surface and with floured rolling
pin, roll each dough ball into a disc 5 inches
in diameter: Begin in the middle of the first
ball, rolling away from you, then rotating the
dough a quarter-turn after each roll. Repeat for
remaining dough balls.
Preheat a cast-iron comal, skillet, or griddle
to medium-high. Place a flattened tortilla on
the heated surface and cook about 15 seconds,
pressing down tortilla with a small spatula.
Meat (to be prepared first)
2 tablespoons lard
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 russet potatoes, cubed
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
(a.k.a. lemon verbena)
3–4 cups New Mexican green chile,
roasted, peeled, chopped
4–6 cups chicken or pork stock
1 12-oz. can chopped tomatoes (optional)
2 tablespoons Chipotle en Adobo (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
3 pounds pork shoulder
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
4 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
In 6-quart pot, sauté onions and garlic in lard
over medium-high heat for 1 minute, stirring
frequently. Add remaining ingredients, including
meat and stock (pork or chicken), and bring
to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for at least
1 hour. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.
Serve with fresh flour tortillas.
Makes 8–10 tortillas.
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
¾ cup hot water
simmer until meat is fork-tender. Remove pork,
reserve pork and liquid.
Green Chile Pork Stew
The day we visited the Santa Fe School of Cooking,
we cooked this stew in a micaceous clay pot. Of course,
you can make it in a conventional, metal stock pot,
but a clay one adds to its flavor. Find a pot at
Trim fat from pork shoulder and cut into
1-inch cubes. Place all ingredients in
large soup pot or slow cooker and
cover with water. Bring to
a boil, skim off foam,
reduce heat, and
Your New Mexican holiday celebration won’t be
complete without these cinnamon sugar-cookies with
their distinctive ingredient: anise seeds.
1 pound (2 cups) lard or vegetable shortening
1½ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons anise seeds, toasted
6 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup brandy
sugar and cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream lard or shortening. Add sugar, eggs,
anise seeds; cream again. Mix dry ingredients
separately and combine with shortening mixture.
Add brandy and mix thoroughly.
Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into
desired shapes. Sprinkle cookies with sugarcinnamon mixture and bake for 12–15 minutes,
until lightly browned.
Makes 4–5 dozen cookies.
Right—Associate Editor Ashley M. Biggers
and Editor in Chief Tricia Ware cut out sweet
Now You’re Cooking
Try it yourself. Santa Fe School of
Cooking has been offering classes
year-round for more than 19 years
on such diverse topics as Wines
of New Mexico, Southwest Tapas,
and Native American foods. Their
Holiday Foods of New Mexico
class takes place December 13.
The school offers demonstration
classes as well as customized handson experiences by appointment
only. Register or shop their online
market for New Mexico ingredients
at (505) 983-4511 or www.
Left (from top)­—SFSC Kitchen Manager Noe Cano
and Art Director Fabian West fold cornhusks for
the duck tamales. A tray of spices stands ready to
season the holiday feast. Administrative Assistant
Terry Tiedeman applauds Circulation Manager
Cathy Fresquez as she lays tortillas
on the comal.
Green Chile
Pork Stew
www.nmmagazine.com | DECEMBER 2008 47
Duck Tamales
(see photo page 44)
This take on traditional tamales uses duck, soy
sauce, and fresh ginger for a pan-Asian flavor.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups masa harina
2–2½ cups warm water (or as needed)
Cream together butter, baking powder, salt, and
masa harina with electric mixer until texture
is light and even. With beaters still turning,
pour in warm water until texture is creamy and
spreadable. To test, drop a teaspoon-sized ball
of masa into a glass of water: The ball should
float to the surface. Cover tightly and set aside
at room temperature until needed.
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
4 duck legs
¾ cup dark soy sauce
1½ cups brown sugar
2 small oranges, halved
3 tablespoons fresh gingerroot, chopped
1 stick canela (a.k.a. Mexican cinnamon)
2 pieces star anise
2 guajillo chiles
water as needed
Reserving ½ cup of chopped scallions, place remainder of scallions and all other ingredients in
stockpot and add water until duck legs are just
covered. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook
until meat easily pulls away from bones (about
1½ hours). Remove legs from pot and reserve
liquid. Pick meat and skin from bones and place
in the work bowl of an electric mixer.
Return bones to liquid and simmer to
reduce, until consistency is syrupy. Strain liquid
to use later on cooked tamales. Add reserved
scallions to meat and mix until it has the appearance of pulled pork, adding liquid to taste.
tamales (bolitos style)
Soak cornhusks in warm water overnight, or
immerse in boiling water for an hour. Drain.
Starting at edge of cornhusk, tear away a
thin strip and set aside. Place 1–2 tablespoons
of prepared masa in center of softened husk and
spread into rectangle. Add several teaspoons
of filling in center of masa (photo A). Fold one
side of husk over filling, then fold opposite side
Top—Chef Durham (right) gives Advertising
Accounts Manager Denise Lente (left) tamale tips.
Photos A–C display the tamale-making technique.
(See instructions in recipe.) Bottom­—Lucero
displays a perfectly made bolito-style tamale.
over folded side. (The edges of the husk should
barely overlap, to permit easy opening later.)
Using the strip of husk, tie each end of tamale,
near the filling, to seal (photos B, C).
To cook: Fill bottom of steamer with 2–3
inches of water. Drop a pebble in the bottom.
Line steamer basket with extra cornhusks and
place in steamer. Place tamales in flat layers on
cornhusks and cover with a few more husks, to
prevent drying out. Cover steamer, bring water
to a boil, and cook tamales for 45–50 minutes,
or until they feel firm and husks easily peel away
from filling. Listen to the pot as it boils; you’ll
hear the pebble bouncing in the pan as long as
there’s still water to boil; if the noise stops, add
more water. When tamales are cooked, let rest
for several minutes before serving.
Makes 24 tamales.
Feast Day Posole
(see photo page 45)
Originating on the pueblos, posole is a simple stew
of white corn that has become an integral element of
winter gatherings in New Mexico. We found that
this recipe had a delightful smokiness. Plus, using
chicken is a twist on the traditional pork.
6 cups posole (or hominy)
2 teaspoons each peppercorns, cumin,
and coriander
4 tablespoons lard
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon ground canela
(a.k.a Mexican cinnamon)
1½ cups New Mexican red-chile powder
4–8 cups chicken broth
salt to taste
Put posole in 6-quart pot and cover with about
3 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce
heat, and simmer for 2–3 hours, adding water
as needed, until kernels have softened and
begun to burst.
Toast peppercorns, cumin, and coriander in
small, heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring
until spices are fragrant and begin to brown
(about 2 minutes). Transfer spices to plate to
cool, then crush spices with mortar and pestle.
In 6-quart pot, melt lard over medium-high
heat. Sauté onions and garlic in lard for 3–4
minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken
pieces and cook 4–5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add toasted spices, canela, red chile
powder, posole, and broth. Bring to a simmer.
Add salt to taste and simmer for at least 1 hour.
Adjust seasonings and serve topped with
shredded cheese, sour cream, and sliced
jalapeños, with flour tortillas on the side.
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