Sunday, July 11, 2010
Tamal en Cazuela
My grandmother was crowned the queen of Cuban tamales by those who knew her, but growing up I didn't like tamales. Later as an adult, even though I learned to appreciate my abuela's tamales, I preferred tamal en cazuela.
I decided to make this dish vegetarian although it traditionally calls for pork and/or chorizo. Knowing my meat loving family, I've prepared pork in the slow cooker to add to their bowls of my vegetarian cornmeal.
For the cornmeal:
1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
6 cups cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons salt
In a large pot over medium heat combine the cornmeal, water, oil and salt. Whisk until the mixture starts to thicken. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened about 30 minutes.
For the sofrito:
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
10-12 piminto stuffed olives (optional)
In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sautee your oinions, peppers and garlic, stirring until the onion is tender about 8 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cumin. Simmer 30 mintues, stirring frequently.
Add the tomato mixture and olives to the cooked cornmeal. Blend well.
For the pork:
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder cut into bite size pieces (this dish is eaten with a spoon)
salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lime
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
dash of cumin
drizzle of olive oil
Put all these ingredients into a slow cooker and walk away.