Showing posts with label masa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label masa. Show all posts

Oct 6, 2011

chili's (MoFo 23)

Chili's was started in Dallas in 1975 as basically a hamburger place. It was bought by Norman Brinker in 1983, by which time it had expanded to thirty stores. After Norman acquired the place, he added Fajitas to the menu, a finger food of southwestern-marinated and grilled meats served sizzling on a cast-iron skillet. The meat and vegetables are arranged in a soft flour tortilla or corn tortilla, with the addition of pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese or guacamole. Most people have by now heard of or have eaten fajitas, thanks in large part to Chili's who made it part of our culture. 

I have made my fajitas with tofu, seitan and portobellos, but, really, any combination of delicious vegetables will work wonderfully, including squash, other mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Skip potatoes in this. It is too starchy.

Along with burgers, fajitas, soups and pastas, salads are a large part of Chili's - in this generation, any way. One of their best selling salad is the Caribbean Salad, a melange of greens, onion, pineapple, dried cherries and Honey-Lime Dressing, topped with marinated, grilled meat. It isn't difficult at all to substitute the honey with maple syrup in the dressing and use grilled tofu or grilled seitan for the chicken. 

Lastly, I replicated their Chicken Enchilada Soup, which uses masa harina as the thickener and has a few ounces short of a ton of cheese. Substituting the chicken is easy - I used chickpeas, but omitting it totally is great as well, or using tofu cubes or seitan. As for the cheese, you need something creamy and tangy - I used Better Than Cream Cheese and Better Than Sour Cream. Not too much, but just enough to take it into Chili's realm. This was a winner by a mile and I encourage you to try it - it is super easy and quick - on top of being delicious.

Enchilada Soup

Caribbean Salad

Apr 8, 2011

tamale pie

Continental Night

Tamales are a beautiful thing!
But, they are not quick and easy to make!
You need to make the batter and spread it onto some kind of cooking pouch: corn husks, banana leaves or even just parchment paper. Then each one has to have a filling, each needs to be wrapped and cooked. This takes time. And while the whole endeavour is worth all the work - especially for a special occasion - for everyday eating a Tamale Pie makes more practical sense.

The dough is masa harina with seasoning and non-dairy milk. It is then spread into a pie plate and baked until it is a little dry. Do not over bake it, since it won't have that wonderful tender texture - it'll be dry and crispy. Add some filling - in this case a black bean and tomato mixture - and a bit of Daiya or other vegan cheese, bake for a few more minutes and enjoy with guacamole, vegan sour cream or salsa.

Cost Breakdown

masa harina, spices: $1.50
milk, Daiya: $4
black beans, tomatoes: $3
onion, garlic, pepper: $1
Total to make 8 servings (2 pie plates):