Sunday, May 4, 2014

Fiesta Fare

I got Mom dropped off at Dawn's, hit the grocery store and came home in time to prep my food and house for the After Dive Party today.

We were cooking and setting up when Don and Mickey arrived so we promptly put them to work. Then Hugh arrived and I got him busy making the corn husk ties for the tamales.  Linda and Rob arrived and helped with the finishing touches before the rest of the gang got here.  Almost everything was ready before the guests started to arrive, except for some dirty dishes on the counter and the fact that I did not make my bed this morning....that's what I get for skipping my morning routine!!

Anyway with all the rushing and company helping I didn't shoot any photos of the food prep but I will share my recipes with you and I did take a quick shot of my plate before I devoured it!!

The big hits of the evening were the Green Rice and the Sweet Corn Tamales

And I am still snacking on the Guacamole so I was able to get a pic of that too.  The Guacamole recipe that I use comes from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen.  I had the pleasure of eating in his Restaurant in Chicago many years ago and bought the cookbook just so I could get this recipe.  I have adapted it slightly to our taste.

adapted from Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

1 large tomato, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 T. chopped cilantro
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
3 large avocados
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Pinch of salt

Mix tomato, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro and onion in a medium bowl.  Remove flesh from Avocados by slicing around the pit, twisting the halves and scooping out the insides, discarding the pit.  Add to tomato mixture and mash together with clean hands.  Taste and season with lime juice and salt.  Print Recipe

Chicken Enchiladas

1 (8 oz) pkg Neufchatel Cream Cheese
2 T. Vinegar
1/2 c. Sour Cream
2 c. Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded ( I used leftovers from Chicken Marsala)
2 t. yellow mustard
Pinch of Salt
1/4 t. Garlic Powder
4 dashes Hot Sauce
16 Corn Tortillas
2 (15 oz) cans Stewed Tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
2 c. Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese

Soften Cream Cheese with Vinegar, mix in Chicken, Sour Cream, Mustard, Salt and Garlic Powder.  Heat corn tortillas so that they are pliable using directions on package.  Combine Tomatoes, Sauce and Hot Sauce in a skillet with 2 T. Olive Oil and heat through.

Spoon Chicken mixture onto center of tortillas and roll up, placing seam side down into 2 shallow baking dishes sprayed with cooking spray.  You want only one layer of Enchiladas.  Top each baking dish with half of the tomato mixture, sprinkling 1 c. of cheese over each pan of Enchiladas.  Bake at 350* for 20-30 minutes, until heated through and the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.  Print Recipe

I first made Sweet Corn Tamales with a recipe I had gotten with my cooking center sink from Kohler.  I cannot find that recipe anywhere!!  So if anyone out there in blogland happens to have it, I would appreciate a copy.  I went online and found this recipe for Easy Corn Tamales that I used for last night.  They were very good but something was missing....I will have to experiment a bit.

Sweet Corn Tamales
Adapted from  Marcela Valladolid, Food Network

7 cups corn kernels (I used frozen that I allowed to thaw)
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
dash salt
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 c. Corn Flour (Harina de Maiz)
Approx. 20 Dried Corn Husks, soaked in warm water for half an hour.

Puree the corn kernels in a food processor until smooth.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar.  Add in pureed corn and   remaining ingredients except Corn Husks.

Place a corn husk, wide side across, in front of you and place about 3 T. of  corn mixture in the center. Fold both sides over the corn mixture and then both ends over to form a package. Tie together strips of corn husks to make a strip long enough to tie together the tamale. (see photo above).

Arrange tamales, seam side down in a steamer and steam for 1 hour, adding additional water to steamer as needed.  Print Recipe

The recipe for Green Rice comes from Mexican by Jane Milton.  It is easy and delicious.  I make it just as written in the cookbook.  I doubled the recipe tonight.

Green Rice
courtesy of Mexican by Jane Milton

2 poblano chile peppers
1 green pepper
1 c. long grain rice
1 clove garlic
large bunch of cilantro
small bunch of flat leaf parsley
2 c. chicken stock
2 T. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 small onion

Dry roast the peppers in a griddle pan (or on a grill), turning frequently so the skins blacken but the flesh doesn't burn.  Place in a strong plastic bag, seal and set aside for 20 minutes

Put the rice in a heat proof bowl, pour in boiling water to cover and let stand 20 minutes.

Drain the rice, rinse well under cold water and drain again.  Remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skins.  Remove any stems, then slit the peppers and scrape out seeds with a sharp knife.

Put the peppers and garlic in a food processor, strip the leaves from the cilantro and parsley and add to peppers.  Pour in half the chicken stock and process until smooth.  Add remaining stock and puree again.

Heat oil in a saucepan, add the rice and onion and fry for 5 minutes over med heat until the rice is golden and the onion is translucent.  Stir in the puree, lower heat, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed  and the rice is just tender. Taste and season with salt if needed.  Print Recipe

It was a Fantastic Fiesta filled with great people and lots of laughter.  We have made such good friends during the years and last night was shared with old friends and new friends that we made during that week we spent in Grand Cayman.  When it was time for dessert, Frank and I were led over to a box that was on the dessert table.

This is what we found

They told us to open it and promised not to kill us.

Isn't that the most beautiful cake you've ever seen.
We are so very blessed with such dear friends.


  1. Food was excellent and everything was appreciated great time Wendy ...
    Mickey and Don.


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