Remember Corn Nuts?

Remember Corn Nuts?

So, today is my beloved’s birthday and I’m going to make him some of those tamales (made from our very best family recipe also used on ribs). So, I nixtamalized some more corn (this time, both white and yellow) to make the masa (remember my last post?). On the way, however, just before grinding the stuff, I tried taking some of the soaked and processed kernels, patting them dry, tossing them with a little sunflower oil and throwing them in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. A little salt, and Voila! those fantastic teeth-breakingly crunchy corn nuts of my youth! (I’d always wondered how they made those things!) Definitely, the yellow corn worked best for these, I’ll reserve the white corn for fresh masa. Hold on…the tamales are...
Cheesy Corn Fritters

Cheesy Corn Fritters

This month is all about dried corn in my kitchen. I’m obsessed with it, and this has led to some interesting research. That’s coming in my next blog post. Here is a great warming winter snack to get you in the corn mood too. This is a quick-and-dirty adaptation of the cheese empanada, and is pure gooey sin. We are so going to move past this in the coming month. So enjoy!  1 Poblano chile 1/4 lb queso fresco, mozzarella, or jack 1 cup masa harina (a dried corn flour found in the Mexican section–or fresh masa if you can!) 2 tablespoons butter (you can, if you prefer, use the more traditional lard) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon chile powder 1 cup hot water oil for frying Prepare filling: Blister the pablano chile over a flame until completely blackened. Place in a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut cheese into 2″x1/4″x1/4″ pieces. When chiles are cool, remove from bowl, scrape off the blistered skin, and slice chile into julienned 2″ lengths. Prepare cornmeal: In a bowl place all dry ingredients. Add the butter or lard to the hot water and stir into the masa until well combined. Form the dough into 1-1/2″ balls and place them one-at-a-time between two sheets of saran wrap. Press  into a rectangle about 4″x 3″. Remove top plastic and place a piece of cheese and poblano slices in the middle, then sprinkle a little salt. Roll them up and seal well with water. With moistened hands, carefully flatten each ‘packet’ to about 1/3″-1/2″ thickness, and smooth over...
Apple-Fennel Salad with Juniper Berries

Apple-Fennel Salad with Juniper Berries

Ingredients: 2 Granny Smith Apples, quartered, cored and sliced thinly 1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, halved, cored and sliced thinly 1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste 15 juniper berries, smashed with the side of a knife, then minced Directions: Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil with ¼ teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper. Just before serving, toss apples and shaved fennel with the lemonolive oil dressing. Mound onto the salad plates and sprinkle with juniper berries. Garnish with fennel...