20 September 2012

a little, quick recipe

We have all been tired and overworked lately. Between open house at school, PD, many Principessa Sweet Pea orders coming in, and chasing after D... Cooking just isn't happening.
But, opening the freezer and grabbing some of Trader Joe's frozen finest is just about perfect.  In order to make their frozen corn and tamales perfect we dressed them up with these recipes tonight:

lime butter corn:
this could not be easier, but we simply put the corn in a microwavable bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and zap for1 minute, 30 seconds.  In a perfect world, we'd have had Mexican cheese on hand, and thrown that and paprika on in addition to a couple tablespoons of butter and some (bottled) lime juice.
We used what we have, so a bottle of food-store brand lime juice and some butter it was.  Topped with kosher salt.  If our fresh cilantro was still going strong, I would have added a bit of that, too.
The lovely part was how the lime and butter rolled down on to the plate and blended with the super-quick tamale sauce.

After searching for an easy and quick tamale sauce, I decided to give up and just make one up. And it came out delicious!

super-quick  super-fresh tamale sauce:
We happened to have a bowl of tomatoes on the kitchen island, so that's what I used.  Canned would work but would cause the sauce to lose the fresh taste that the garden tomatoes we used gave us.

3 tomatoes, rough chopped
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked sea salt  (any salt would work, but we love the smokey flavor this gives sauces)
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Take the tomatoes and cook them down on low heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the spices and oil and continue to cook on low for about 5 more minutes.  Using a stick blender, blend the sauce until it is mostly pureed.
Here's the only real ambitious part of this meal...Use a food mill or a strainer and push through the sauce so that the seeds and peel are removed, leaving a liquidy sauce.

Microwave the tamales as directed.  I put a damp paper towel over them to seal in more steam.

We are lucky that our spice rack contains things like ancho chili powder, cumin, and smoked sea salt.  We get all our spices at a huge spice warehouse in North Truro MA....highly recommend making a list of spices you see over and over in recipes and starting your own collection!

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