Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Black Hole Continues...

Are you tired of pictures of unfinished Temping II? Yeah, me too. Thanks to everyone who offered sympathy and encouraging words. I do think it looks closer to done in this photo than in the last, and last night I had to attach the last ball of yarn, so I must be making progress. I'll just keep going, and eventually it'll be done. I have been thinking about how to finish the collar, since I'm not using the buckle. I could eliminate the overlap part entirely and just pick a spot for the seam, but I think I will just shorten it and use two buttons. I have to dig through the button stash and see what I have. Oh, and I responded to String Bean, but this might be of general interest: I knit English.

Reading: After The Year of Magical Thinking, it's time for another fluffy book. Perhaps the first Mrs. Pollifax...

Writing: I'm rescuing my protagonist from her mocha in the coffee shop, where the Love Interest is being introduced. Fun stuff! No significant word count changes, though chapter 3 changes are mostly done.

Cooking: Tamales went very well last night. Yum. They are time-consuming, but I enjoy the process (not as an everyday thing, but on occasion). My tamales are non-authentic, lacking in both pork and lard. Here's the recipe:

Roasted Chile-Jack Cheese Tamales

5 Poblano or other mild chiles, cut in half lengthwise, stems and seeds removed
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup chopped cilantro

1 1/3 cups corn, fresh or frozen (thawed)
5 cups masa harina
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups broth, divided
6 TBL vegetable shortening

36 large cornhusks

Place cornhusks in 9x13 pans and cover with hot water. Let soak one hour. Drain and pat dry. Tear 4 cornhusks lengthwise into 32 strips.

To prepare filling, line a baking sheet with foil and arrange chiles cut sides down. Broil for 12-15 minutes under a preheated broiler, under skins are charred. Place in a zip-top baggie and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel under cool running water. Pat dry, dice, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with cheese and cilantro.

To prepare dough, place corn in a food processor and process until smooth. Combine masa harina, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add four cups broth and stir until smooth. Place shortening in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat at medium speed 1 minute or until fluffy. Add corn and 1/2 cup broth; beat at medium speed until blended. Add masa mixture; beat until smooth dough forms.

Assembly: Using one corn husk at a time, place 1/4 cup dough in the center and spread into a rectangle. Place about 2 TBL filling down the center. Roll up husk, making sure that dough seals around filling. Fold tapered end of husk up; secure by tying with one of the corn husk strips. Repeat to make 32 tamales.

Steam: Stand tamales upright in a vegetable steamer in a large stockpot (I use my large stockpot with the pasta insert. Add one inch of water to the bottom of the pan, so the water isn't touching the tamales. Cover and steam 90 minutes, or until husks pull away cleanly. Add additional water as needed. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve in corn husks so everyone unwraps their own. Serve with tomatillo salsa.

Tomatillo Salsa

2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
2 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 jalepeno pepper, seeded
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 TBL lime juice
1/2 tsp salt

Place tomatillos, garlic, and pepper in a large pot; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Combine with remaining ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.


Stefaneener said...

Mmmmmmmm, tamales. They sound scrumptious. And Tempting isn't too bad. I think the buttons will look nice and polished.

String Bean said...

Tempting II still looks great and I'm still not finished with Forecast. Bobble mania! Watch out! She'll snap at any moment!

Fluffy reads? Not for me! I'm reading Faust again. I read Ayn Rand, too. Isn't it horrible? ;) I should've been reading these books in highschool, but I was too busy ...uh ...not reading books, maaann...

Ahh, I see. So it was the Love Interest who brought the bottle of water? What a sweetie. I hear wedding bells! Or will he turn out to be some sort of psychopath?