Midweek check-in

March 23, 2010

I am having tomatos for dinner. In liquid form. Over ice. With Worcestershire, hot sauce and seasoned salt.

And vodka.

It’s one of my favorite dinners, and proof yet again that the tomato is one of God’s most magnificent creations. Vodka ain’t too damn far behind.

I just can’t get into cooking when I have to get assistance for dicing onions and stuff. Though I did make a tamale pie last night that was decent. And I’m going to cook this weekend, come hell or high water. At this exact moment, my tentative plan is steak on Friday, rendang on Saturday, and roast chicken on Sunday, which should generate sufficient leftovers for the week.

The tamale pie, of which there are no photos because with a cast on my arm, I do well just to get the thing put together, let alone photograph it, I did make with the assistance of Child C, who opened cans for me. It’s essentially the same stuff as my enchilada casserole, but assembled differently:

  • 1 1/2 cups masa harina (or you can use cornmeal; just don’t use cornbread mix)
  • 3 tbsp oil or bacon grease
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • enough hot water to make a medium thick batter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 links Mexican chorizo
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 can diced tomatos
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used Pace’s mild picante sauce)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheese (I used co-jack)
  • paprika

Put tomatos, salsa and spices in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat. Take the chorizo out of the casings, crumble and brown in a skillet. Drain on paper towels. Make up the cornmeal/masa batter with the egg, oil, salt and water. Put 2 tbsp oil in bottom of a small Dutch oven or deep 3-qt casserole, and spread up the sides. Pour about 2/3 of the batter in the bottom. Set aside.

Sprinkle the drained chorizo on top of the masa batter. Drain and rinse the beans, shake off excess water, and put on top of chorizo. Drain corn and put on top of beans. Sprinkle a cup (or maybe a little less) of the cheese over that.

By now the tomatos should have simmered into a nice paste. Note: It would have been nice to have onion in this. I failed to get Child C to dice any, and I didn’t figure it was worth it to roust her out of her nap. So it should have onions, and garlic, but in this instance, it did not, and I did sub some garlic powder that I forgot to put in the ingredient list. Take that into account. And take those tomatos and carefully pour over the whole mess.

Go back to the remaining cornbread/masa batter, which will have thickened. Add some more water to make it pourable. Pour it over the top of the whole thing, covering the entire surface. Sprinkle the last half-cup of the cheese on top, and dust with paprika to make it pretty.

Put the lid on the Dutch oven and bake in a 400-degree oven for 45 minutes; remove the lid and bake for another 10.

This is what you make when you have a herd of teenagers or 20-somethings at your house because (a) it’s cheap; (b) they love it; and (c) it’s fairly easy to put together. If you wanted to get fancy, you could add some avocad0 and sour cream. I didn’t bother.

Child C and CCRB were pleased.

Other food-related news of note from the past few days (not that there’s been a lot):

–I made myself a helluva good lunch Saturday with the last of the tomatos I got from Kroger, with some ricotta cheese, some olive oil, and some salt and cracked pepper. Hard to beat.

— Went to Memphis this weekend (doc appt. oh-early-thirty Monday), so took advantage of the trip to have the best cheeseburger in Eastern Arkansas, at Big John’s Shake Shack in Marion, AR, and it was as good as I remembered. As were the old-fashioned crinkle-cut fries. And it was good to see Loretta and all the folks “back home.” Also, a shout-out to Pam and Sister Trish, faithful blog readers. Come to Hot Springs, and I’ll cook for you. (Yes, Trish, they have black folk in Hot Springs. And no, I won’t sell you; I can’t, since I don’t work for CPC any more. But I’ll teach you to swim in the lake, and you can meet the dog, who will love you to death.)

And with that, I’ll leave all the rest of y’all who don’t know the backstory to the above to wonder, I will bid you and y’mama ‘n ’em good night. Y’all sleep well.

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2 Responses to “Midweek check-in”

  1. Kath the Cook Says:

    hey Kay – My visits have been less regular, but still enjoy your pithy postings! Big doings at work coming up and taking over all.

    So sorry to hear about the broken bone – hope you are mending quickly! Can totally understand the complete interference with all things cooking.

    Take good care and get well fast! best – Kath

  2. Pamela Coulter Says:

    Trish & I laughed at our mention in your blog. Trish said yes you would sell her LOL. And no she don’t want to touch that dog. But she would like to learn how to swim. Chat later Pam


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