Tamale Encantado (Enchanted Tamale)

Monday, June 6th, 2011

(Cook with the Chef 2010: Santa Fe School of Cooking)


3 Large peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded (blended until smooth)

2 c. Masa harina

1 Tbsp. New Mexican red chile powder

2 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Baking powder

6-7 Tbsp. Vegetable Shortening

Warm Water


2 C. Sweetwoods Dairy plain goat cheese (or other local equivalent)

1 C. Corn Kernels

1/2 C. Scallion greens, chopped

1/2 tsp. Epazote


2 Small butternut squash (or other yellow-fleshed equivalent)

3-4 Tbsp. Softened Butter

2-3 Tbsp. Honey

1 Tbsp. Coriander Seeds toasted and ground

1-2 tsp. Aji Amarillo chile powder

Warm Water

Salt to Taste

24-30 corn husks, soaked in warm water for about 20 minutes or until flexible

scallion greens, slices for garnish

For the masa:

1. Place the masa harina, 2 1/2 cups for the red pepper puree, the red chile powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine until smooth. Allow the mixture to stand, covered, for about 15 minutes.

2. Add 1/3 of the shortening to the masa mixture, combining thoroughly before adding the remaining shortening in two additions. Mix thoroughly to combine. Mixture sould be easily spread with the back of a spoon about 1/3” thick. If the masa is too thick, adjust the consistency with warm water.

For the filling:

1. Combine all ingredients and set aside

For the sauce:

1. Preheat the oven to 350

2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds and place cut-side down in baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until soft when pierced with a fork and slightly browned.

3. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop the flesh and blend with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

4. Place in saucepan and set aside until almost read to serve.

To assemble:

1. Tear one of the corn husks into 1/2” strips for tying the tamales closed

2. With the back of spoon, spread about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of masa into 4” sqaure in the middle of a cornhusk.  The masa should be about 1/3” thick.

3. Place 1-3 tablespoons of goat cheese filling int the middle of masa. Fold the masa and cornhusk, envelope-style, to encase the filling. It will resemble a small, fat, cigar. Tie ends closed with cornhusk strips.

4. Repeat cornhusk-filling process

4. Place tamales in a large steamer set over simmering water and cover. Steam the tamales for about 45-50 minutes.

To serve:

1. Heat the Suace over medium low until warm, stirring occasionally.

2. Place a spoonful of sauce on a place, unwrap a tamale and place the tamale in the sauce. Garnish with scallion greens.

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Grilled Lamb Leg Skewers with Tomato, Squash, and Pecan Pesto

Monday, June 6th, 2011

(Cook with the Chef 2009: Brian Rood of Max’s)


1 Certified Organic Shepherd’s Lamb lamb leg cleaned and cut into 6oz pieces ( marinate the lamb overnight with thinly sliced garlic, fresh rosemary and crushed
basil stems left over from the pesto recipe)

3 Heirloom tomatoes cut into large bite size pieces

3 Yellow Squash cut into ‘fries’

1C Pecan Pesto

lemon juice to taste

Pecan Pesto: 8oz basil leaves, 2oz lightly toasted pecans, 3 cloves of garlic, 1C extra virgin olive oil, 1/8C fine grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste

(1. put the basil in a food processor and then weight it down with remaining ingredients
This helps to process the basil as quickly as possible so that it doesn’t oxidize.
2. pulse the ingredients about five seconds then check the texture. I prefer a chunkier
pesto with more oil but pulse again for five seconds for a smoother pesto
3. season to taste)


  1. Marinate squash in pesto
  2. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, allow to set for 2-3 minutes
  3. Season and grill lamb to desired doneness (med-rare preferred)
  4. Slice lamb across the grain and wrap slices around the marinated squash
  5. Skewer each lamb and squash and add the tomato
  6. Drizzle pesto oil over the skewer

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