Recipes from The New Southern Latino Table by Sandra Gutierrez

In this exclusive video, Sandra Gutierrez, author of The New Southern-Latino Table, demonstrates a quick and easy recipe for Latin Pimento Cheese.

 

Additional recipes from The New Southern Latino-Table:

CHILE-CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
These decadent bars have a rich, moist and dense texture. The combination of chocolate and chiles gives the well-known mole poblano of Mexico and the mole de plátano of Guatemala their distinctive flavor. And here, fruity ancho chiles are a perfect match for rich, dark chocolate. The meaty pecans lend an unmistakable Southern touch. These are “grown-up” goodies. Bake a batch without chilies for the kids.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped and toasted pecans (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. Place the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they have melted and are well combined. Lift the bowl carefully from the pan so no water droplets come into contact with the chocolate mixture; let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sugar; add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ancho chile powder and salt; gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, beating well until fully combined. Add the pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the center is set and the brownies begin to pull back from the sides of the pan. Cool brownies for 1 hour in the pan.

To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, butter, liqueur, vanilla, and chile powder; blend until smooth. Place the glaze in a pastry bag (or zip-top bag with a snipped corner), and drizzle back and forth over the brownies. Cut them into 20 bars.

Makes 20 brownies

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Pumpkin Seed Brittle
This traditional Mayan treat popular in Guatemala is sugary and crunchy with a nutty taste that will please anyone with a sweet tooth. The addition of sugar is actually a modern touch; the Mayans used only honey to sweeten it.

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey (raw preferred)

Butter a large metal baking pan. Place the pumpkin seeds in a large skillet over medium heat; toast, stirring, until they’re golden and puffy, 5–7 minutes. Remove to a plate and cool. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and honey and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the sugar melts. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring for 8–9 minutes, or until it turns a dark amber color; it should register between 300 F and 310 F on a candy thermometer (or a little of the mixture dropped into iced water will turn hard as glass). Remove from the heat and stir in the seeds. Spread the mixture carefully onto the prepared pan (it will be very hot). Cool completely (about 25 minutes) and break it into pieces.

Serves 6–8

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Collard Green Tamales with Pimiento Sauce

These tamales, infused with garlicky intonations and enriched with greens, are drenched in a tangerine-colored sauce and then topped with crumbly cheese.

  • 1 small bag dried corn husks (see note)
  • 1 cup lard (or vegetable shortening), divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 cups thinly sliced and roughly chopped collard greens, packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups masa harina
  • 2 3/4 cups warm water (115 F)
  • Pimiento sauce (recipe to follow)
  • 1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese or Parmesan (extra for garnish)

Submerge the husks in a large bowl of hot water for at least 1 hour, to soften. Keep them in the water until you assemble the tamales (for up to 24 hours). In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the lard over medium-high heat.

Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add the collards and cook, stirring often, until they’re wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper; remove from the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Gradually add the warm water, mixing the dough thoroughly with your hands after each addition, until the dough comes together into a smooth ball and is no longer sticky.

Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining lard until fluffy, about 2 minutes. With the motor running, gradually add the prepared masa, one small piece at a time, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl every so often, until the lard is incorporated and the masa is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Add the collards and cheese and stir with a spatula until combined. Cover the masa and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Tear 3 corn husks into long, thin strips (following the natural ridges of the husks) to make ties. Working with 1 corn husk at a time, spread 1/3 cup of masa onto the center with an offset spatula, leaving the bottom 3 inches and the top 2 inches of the husk exposed. Fold the long edges of the husk over the masa and then fold the two short ends over. Tie a husk strip around the tamale to secure it (but not too tight; it shouldn’t have a “waist” or it will explode when steamed).

Fill a large stockpot or Dutch oven with 3 inches of water and fit it with a steamer basket. Line the basket with the remaining corn husks. Arrange the tamales in the basket (they can be laid flat in layers or placed side by side standing on end). Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat; cover the pan and steam the tamales for 1 hour (replenishing the water periodically as needed); turn off the heat and steam for another 20 minutes. Place the cooked tamales in a casserole dish with a cover to keep warm before serving. Unwrap the tamales and serve each with a generous amount of warm pimiento sauce; sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 14 small tamales

Note: A small bag of corn husks contain about 50 husks. Sealed in a plastic bag, they’ll keep for up to 2 years.

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Pimiento Sauce
This smooth, creamy, delicately flavored sauce takes on a vibrantly coral hue from the colorful vegetables used to make it. It is great on fish, eggs and vegetables.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups roughly chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup peeled, seeded and roughly chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 (7-ounce) jars diced pimientos, drained (juices reserved)
  • 1 teaspoon ají panca paste or hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until they begin to soften; add the tomatoes and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the pimientos, aji panca paste, water, reserved juices from the pimientos, salt and pepper; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return it to the saucepan and keep warm until ready to serve.

Makes 2 cups

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu


Chile-Cheese Biscuits with Avocado Butter
Moist and light, these new-Southern morsels deliver just the right combination of spice and comforting goodness. Poblano chiles add a mild heat. Queso seco is a Mexican dry-aged cheese that tastes similar to Parmesan; you can find it in most grocery stores.

For the biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 cup grated queso seco (use Parmesan cheese in a bind)
  • 1 teaspoon ancho (or pasilla) chile powder
  • 1/4 cup chilled lard, bacon fat or shortening
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1–1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

For the avocado butter
 

  • 2 Hass avocados
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch dried Mexican oregano (optional)

Preheat the oven to 475 F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cheese and chile powder. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut the lard into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse sand. Stir in the chilies. Gradually add the buttermilk, mixing the dough with a wooden spoon or your hands just until it holds together (you may not need all of the buttermilk). Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it gently a couple of times. Pat it into an 8-inch circle (about 1/2 inch thick). Using a well-floured 2 1/8-inch biscuit cutter, cut out 12 biscuits (you’ll need to gather up the dough and pat it down again lightly after the first biscuits are cut to get all 12). Place the biscuits, with sides touching, in a 10-inch springform or cake pan. With your knuckle, make a small indentation in the center of each biscuit; brush the tops of the biscuits with the cream. Bake for 18–22 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

To make the avocado butter: Halve and pit the avocados; scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a medium bowl and mash into a smooth paste. Add the lime juice, salt, pepper, and oregano (if using) and stir until combined.

Serve the hot biscuits with avocado butter.

Makes 12 biscuits and 1 1/2 cups avocado butter

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs
These hearty morsels are rich, soft and creamy. They offer just the right amount of crunch and a subtle kick from the chilies.

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeños (seeded and deveined if less heat is desired)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (leaves and tender stems)
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Smoked Spanish paprika (optional, for garnish)
  • Curly or flat-leaf parsley (for garnish)

Place the eggs in a medium pan and cover with cold water. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as the water comes to a boil, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let the eggs cook for 12 minutes. Plunge the eggs into iced water to stop the cooking process.

Once the eggs are chilled, peel off the shells. Halve each egg lengthwise; scoop out the yolk into a small bowl, and set the egg whites on a plate lined with paper towels. Using a fork, mash the egg yolks into a paste; add the mayonnaise, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, parsley, mustard, salt and pepper and stir together well. If not serving immediately, cover the egg whites and the filling separately with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. Using a spoon (or a pastry bag), fill the egg white cavities with the egg yolk mixture (about 1 tablespoon). Chill them, loosely covered, until ready to serve (but no longer than 2 hours). When ready to serve, sprinkle the eggs with smoked paprika and garnish with parsley.

Serves 6

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce
The tender chicken in this casserole is wrapped in delicate corn tortillas and baked under a bubbly and vibrant sauce flavored with cilantro and chilies. Monterey Jack cheese blankets the enchiladas, adding a mellow counterpoint to the spicy chilies.
 

  • 20 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 cups chopped white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 serrano chilies, seeded and roughly chopped (leave seeds for more heat)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped (leave seeds for more heat)
  • 2 cups chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems), packed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 warm corn tortillas
  • 6 cups cooked and shredded chicken (dark and white meat)
  • 2 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Garnishes (optional)

  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup seeded and finely chopped plum tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped serrano chiles (with seeds)

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Butter a 13×9×2-inch baking dish (see note). In a large Dutch oven, combine the tomatillos, onion, garlic, water, chilies and jalapenos; bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos have popped, about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Working in batches, transfer the tomatillo mixture and cilantro to a blender and blend until smooth; season sauce with salt and pepper. Return the sauce to the pan and simmer, uncovered, until it has thickened, about 20 minutes.

Place 1/2 cup of the tomatillo sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, dip the tortillas into the warm sauce in the pan. Place 1/2 cup of the chicken on each tortilla, roll them up, and place them seam side down, snuggly together, in the baking dish.

Cover with the remaining tomatillo sauce; sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted. Serve hot, with garnishes.

Serves 6

Note: If you plan to freeze the casserole and serve it at a later time, line the casserole dish with heavy-duty aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Follow the recipe as directed and freeze the casserole until solid (about 2 hours). Carefully lift the enchiladas (foil and all) out of the dish and wrap them with plastic wrap; keep frozen for up to 2 months. To bake: Unwrap the enchiladas (removing the foil too), grease the casserole dish, and return the enchiladas to the dish. Bake for 60–65 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese has melted.

From THE NEW SOUTHERN-LATINO TABLE: RECIPES THAT BRING TOGETHER THE BOLD AND BELOVED FLAVORS OF LATIN AMERICA AND THE AMERICAN SOUTH. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press. www.uncpress.unc.edu

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