Saturday, November 7, 2009

Weekend Cook: Molly Tamale, part 1

When we first started vending at farmer's market (10 years ago), I had trouble remembering so many names of vendors and clients. So I used monikers that took up less space in my brain like "Tulipman," and "T-shirt Girls".

One in particular became "Molly Tamale," "The Tamale Girl". I called her Molly for half a season before someone corrected me, and the humiliation of bumbling yet another name finally made it stick in my head - Monica Mead!

I have some of her tamales in the freezer but I thought as the summer market ended, that I've become some kind of lazy that I can't be bothered to make my own. I used to make homemade tortillas and pack burritos for Dan's lunch, for goodness' sake!

So here is my first tamale recipe, in two parts. The first is the meat, two duck legs from Healthy Living Market.

Patted dry.

I ground some black pepper on the meat side and seared them on the skin side in a pan lightly coated in EVOO on medium heat. The goal is to get the fat started rendering out, because I need it for the tamale recipe.

After about ten minutes I turned the duck over and threw in 8 garlic cloves; as you can see the fat is building up in the pan.

I added two bay leaves and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.

Into a preheated 300f oven, I turned the oven down to 250f for 2 hours.

Done! The meat easily pulls apart.

I discarded the skin and strained the fat, pouring it over the meat and putting it in the refrigerator to cool and harden overnight.

(Duck tamales with green chili salsa, in poor lighting)

The actual tamale recipe will appear tomorrow.