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Famous Amos Stew and Fresh Torts

The Famous Amos stew is awesome. Not just because it’s tasty, but because it’s my Dad’s recipe. Yes, my Dad can cook and his stew is a perfect meal for those cold winter nights, sitting around the table, chatting with family or old friends and enjoying a few too many cervezas (if there is such a thing). Gosh. Just typing this brings back great memories. With all that is good in life, this stew has become a great ending. It’s like the most perfect nightcap.

Famous Amos Stew:

1 1/2 lb Pork, cubed – $3.40
1/2 onion, diced – $.20
2 serrano chile, diced – $.15
1 can, diced tomato – $.70
3-4 potatoes, cubed – $.75
1 Tbsp Lard or Shortening – pantry
1 tsp salt (may need a little more) – pantry
1/2 tsp pepper – pantry
1/2 tsp dried oregano – pantry
water

COST: $5.20

Heat large pot and add lard or shortening. Once hot, add pork and cook till nicely browned. Add onions and serrano and saute till onions are translucent. Next, add can tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano and potatoes. Stir, then add water till potatoes are covered. Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer. Let simmer till potatoes are soft.

Fresh TortillasTortillas:

OK, before we start. Let me tell you, tortilla making is a learned art.  Don’t worry about getting them round, just worry about taste.

Believe me, tortillas get easier and better the more you make them. Your first, second and even third batch may not be perfect, but they will be tasty.

Please, please, please, don’t give up! Because nothing! And I mean, nothing, is as tasty as a fresh tortilla.

3 cups unbleached flour – $.50
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – pantry
1 1/2 to 2 tsp salt (adjust to your taste) – pantry
4-6 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (I prefer lard, but reduce to 3-4 Tbsp) – $.30
about 1 1/4 cups very warm water, almost hot

COST: $.80

Mix dry ingredients in a large plastic or metal bowl. Add shortening or lard.  Using your fingers, squeeze or cut in lard. You want the mixture well incorporated.

Next add very warm water, a little at a time, mixing with one hand, until your dough is soft and not sticky. You don’t need steaming hot water, but pretty warm. Not cold or luke warm.

Knead the dough/masa for a few minutes. Do NOT over mix! Masa should be soft and not sticky.Tortilla Ball

Once you have your dough, let set while your tapa or comal heat. Temp should be medium high.

Once comal (cast iron griddle) is ready, pull off pieces of dough to form small balls. You can pinch them down with your hands a bit to make them flat, then roll out the dough with your rolling pin. You will roll from the center of the ball and up, center and down.

I will make a video of this in a few weeks, but for now, this is the best description I can give. With practice, this gets easier and easier.

Lift the tortilla and turn it over. Roll again, from the center and out. Continue till tortilla is fairly thin and even.

Now, lay your tortilla on the hot comal. It takes just a few seconds to cook on the first side. During this time, I’m usually prepping the next ball of dough to flat, but not yet rolling. Flip that first side after cooking for no more than 20 seconds or so.

Second side can cook about 1 – 1 1/2 mins. Flip. Cook 1st side again for maybe 15-20 seconds, just to make sure tortilla is thoroughly cooked and has a nice golden color with lots of nice brown specks on tortilla.

Place in a thin kitchen towel and cover or use a tortilla warmer. I never believed in these till I got one. They are awesome!

GRAND TOTAL: $6.00


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Menudo!

Menudo is known as the world’s greatest hangover cure. Some people also believe it has medicinal values. Especially for people with gastric problems or illnesses that affect their appetites. Me? I take menudo for exactly what it is, a hearty, spicy, yummy, Mexican soup, filled with tripe (and pig or calves feet, if you choose) and hominy. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s definitely a meal all on it’s own and something special to make and share.

For those of you still questioning the fact that menudo has tripe in it, don’t! Tripe is really tasty. I promise! If you’re still unsure, start with a small amount. Maybe a 1/2 lb. Soon, you’ll be adding more and more. Watch!

Menudo:

1 to 1 1/2 lbs beef honeycomb tripe, cut into 1″ squares – $2.43
1 medium White or Yellow Onion, diced – $.20
1 Tbsp garlic, minced – $.20
2 cups cooked yellow or white hominy (I like dried, that I precook. Frozen or canned is fine too) – $.99
2- 3 teaspoons salt (I like 3, but some might want to add more salt later) – pantry
3 Tbsps New Mexico red chili powder (depending on heat, you can add a little less or a little more) – pantry
2 tsps Mexican oregano – pantry
1 Tbsp coarse black pepper – pantry
1/2 tsp cumin powder – pantry
2 Bay Leaf – pantry


Garnish:

Lemon or Lime wedges – $.50
Chopped green onion or Cilantro – $.25
1/2 Chopped Onion – $.15
Chile Pequin (Dried Chile pepper flakes) – pantry

COST: $4.72

Clean tripe very well. Cut into 1 to 2″ squares and place into a large pot. Cover with water (at least 2 inches above tripe). Add bay leaf and salt. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for 2 hours. You may need to skim off fat with a spoon, on occasion.

After 2 hours, add garlic, diced onion, pepper, Mexican oregano, cumin, and red chili powder. Stir, cover and simmer for another 2 hours. Add hominy and bring back to simmer. Cook for 45 more mins.

Serve hot! Garnish with diced onion, cilantro, lemon wedges, and/or green onions as garnish.

NOTE: Traditionally, pig or calf feet are added as well. I like ham hock. I’ve also heard of people adding veal knuckle. Any of the above are great additions, but you don’t NEED them. This is superb just as it is! Enjoy!

GRAND TOTAL: $4.72


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