Monday, November 16, 2015

Delta Hot Tamales

For years, I have wanted to learn to make tamales. My first attempt tasted more like a flat tire and from what I understand, I was making Mexican tamales. I heard there was a version of the tamale that was made in the Delta, so I decided to give them a try and I am so glad that I did. There are as many recipes as there are cooks perhaps, but these ingredients make it a Delta Hot Tamale. They are made with yellow corn meal instead of masa. They are also simmered instead of steamed. And they typically are a bit more spicy than the Mexican version. They are a little time consuming, but definitely worth it. Notice, this recipe uses butter instead of lard and I think it also adds flavor to the tamales.

24 husks, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
1 ½ tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon pepper (I reduced the black pepper to ½ teaspoon because I knew my family would not tolerate it hotter.)
¾ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (I cut this back to ½ teaspoon also.)
Blend spice mixture with a fork.

2 ½ cups of yellow corn meal (not masa)
1 tablespoon baking powder
Mix in the food processor.
12 tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoon of spice mixture
Cut into mixture. Pulse several times.
1 ¼ cup of water. Process about 30 seconds.
Reserve ½ cup of mixture.
1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to make rounds for each tamale. 24 of them

Meat mixture:
1 lb. 85% ground beef
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water
and the ½ cup of the corn meal mixture
2 cloves minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoon of spice mixture.

Wipe off corn husks to dry them.
Spread a 3 ½ inch square in one corner of the husk. It can be on the edge on the side edge, but ¼” from top edge. Roll one portion of the meat into a log. Place on the mixture. 

Roll the tamale in the husk and fold the bottom of the husk upward. Lay to the side. Repeat 23 times.

Put in bunches of six and tie with a string.

Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture in the bottom of a pan that is at 5” high. Place tamale bunches around the sides. Place 6 cups of water poured into the center of the bunches (or until it is 1 inch below the top of the pan, but not covering the tamales completely or it will wash the filling out. Bring to boil and lower heat to simmer for about 30 minutes. The corn meal should start to separate from the husks. Use tongs to transfer to a platter.

Crank the heat up on the sauce.
Snip twine and spread the tamales out on a platter. This recipe made more than we would eat for one meal, so I unwrapped the ones that we were eating immediately.

Add a 4 ounce can of tomato paste and stir until well blended. Add ½ teaspoon salt and stir.

If the sauce is too thin, add a slurry of 1 teaspoon cornstarch and two tablespoons cold water. Whisk it into the sauce and let it thicken about a minute. Pour over tamales and serve. (Reserve enough sauce for leftovers.)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple Spice Dessert

This dessert is so easy and delicious!
  • 2 cans apple pie filling
  • 1 boxed spice cake mix
  • 2 sticks butter

  1. Spray the bottom of a large slow cooker with non-stick spray. 
  2. Spread 2 cans of apple pie filling across the bottom. 
  3. Sprinkle the dry spice cake mix across the apple pie filling. 
  4. Put two sticks of butter on top. Cook in slow cooker on high for 2 ½ hours. It will be a soft dessert, rather than a crisp or cake texture.

Serve and enjoy. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rhubarb Pinwheels

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 ½ cups water

Boil sugar and water until dissolved. Set this syrup aside to cool.

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Melt butter and mix with milk. Let cool.
Add dry ingredients. Mix and knead lightly.
Roll 1/3 inch thick into a 6 x 12 inch rectangle.

  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ pieces
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Spread rhubarb over the dough and sprinkle with a crumb mixture of confectioner's sugar and butter.
Roll up and cut into 1 ½ inch slices.
Place in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
Pour the syrup over the pinwheels.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Hamburger Pie

Meat layer
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • dash pepper
  • 1 160 oz. can French style green beans, drained
  • 1 can tomato soup
Mashed Potato Layer (or your favorite recipe of making homemade mashed potatoes for 8)
  • 3 1/3 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 1/3 cups mashed potato flakes
  • ½ pound shredded cheddar cheese

Layer in this order in a 13 x 9” greased baking dish:
  1. Meat layer
  2. Mashed Potato Layer
  3. Topping
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before cutting and serving with a spatula. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Apple Crisp

  • 4 cup honey crisp applies,  sliced (6 apples)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water

In another bowl mix up:

  • ¾ cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter

  1. In a 9 x 13 " baking dish, poor over top of applies.
  2. Add extra sugar (1/2 cup). Dust with more cinnamon.
  3. Baket 350 degrees for 60 minutes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cheese Crisps

  • 8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese
  • 8 oz. Pepper Jack Cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a sheet of parchment on a cookie sheet. Do not use a silicone mat for this recipe.
  3. Shred the cheese with a box grater in to a bowl.
  4. Mix the cheese.
  5. Spoon by tablespoons twelve per sheet onto the parchment. Flatten with the bottom side of the spoon.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.
  7. Remove and let cool on the parchment.
  8. These are great to serve with salads.

Note: If you prefer it more spicy, use all pepper jack cheese.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Frog Eye Salad

This makes quite a bit.  I made it in a 5 quart Dutch oven.  Great for taking to a potluck.  More like a dessert than a salad.  


1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice (the amount of juice that drains off of the canned pineapple is about right amount)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 quarts water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) package acini di pepe pasta
3 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple tidbits, drained
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
3 (8 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed (fat free works fine)
2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup shredded coconut


1.    In a sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice and eggs. Stir and cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat; add lemon juice and cool to room temperature.

2.    Bring water to a boil, add oil, remaining salt and cook pasta 11 minutes stirring frequently. Rinse under cold water and drain. (You must use the oil on this pasta to keep it from clumping.)

3.    In a large bowl, combine the pasta, egg mixture, mandarin oranges, pineapple and whipped topping. Mix well and refrigerate overnight or until chilled (at least 4 hours). Before serving add marshmallows and coconut. Toss and serve.