This month our Culinary Magic is brought to you by the Hernandez sisters, Senorita Shyamala and Senorita Krishna Kirtan. The three simple and useful recipes presented are traditional and guaranteed to please! We highly recommend you use organic, natural and whole food ingredients as much as possible.

AGUA DE HORCHATA
Rice/Oat Milk

INGREDIENTS:

¼ cup rice *Tip: Rice should be pre-soaked overnight.
¼ cup oats
4 liters of water
4 tablespoons vanilla
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
½ cup evaporated milk with sugar

PROCEDURE:

Grind in a blender to pulverize the rice, oats and cinnamon. Then add 2 liters of water and vanilla and mix well. Pour thru a strainer into a jug or jar and add the remaining water sweetened condensed milk.  Chill and serve.

 

BUÑUELOS  DE RODILLA  
Fried Tortillas With A Warm Spicy Sweet Fruit Topping

First the TOPPING
Ingredients:
9 table spoons  of brown sugar
1 cup water
1 cinnamon stick [3 inch]
pinch of anise
5 fully ripe, finely sliced guavas [remove seeds]

Preparation
Place the brown sugar, cinnamon stick, anise, seeded guavas and water in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer after boiling. Simmer until slightly thickened. Stir occasionally. When the syrup is the desired thickness cover and keep ready to bereaved serve warm as a topping.

Next the Tortillas

Ingredients:
3 cups sifted wheat flour
, 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder, 
1 tablespoon sugar, 
½ teaspoon salt
, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 
4 tablespoons melted butter
, 1 cup milk, 
oil for frying

Preparation:

Place 2 cups of sifted wheat flour in a large mixing bowl [save the final cup of flour to add later]. Then mix in throughly the other ingredients… first the dry ingredients, then the butter. Lastly you should slowly add the milk.

Mix your ingredients well until you have a consistent wet pasty mass. Then add the remaining 1 cup flour and mix until a dough is firmly formed. If necessary add slightly more milk or slightly more flour to get the desired consistency and knead throughly.

When the above process is completed then divide the dough into a dozen or more round balls and brush on a little melted butter to keep the balls from sticking. Then place the dough balls on a tray and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Roll each ball out evenly with a rolling pin until the desired size and thickness (preferably very thin until the tortilla is about 8 inches in diameter). After rolling let the tortillas lay in a tray for 10 minutes before frying.

Preheat the oil for frying to desired temperature and then begin. Fry each tortilla separately until golden brown and crispy (do not allow the tortilla to fold over on itself while frying). Lay each fried tortilla out on a towel or paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Placing on a dish or serving try then cover the tortillas with the topping before serving. There you have Buñuelos de Rodilla.

Tip: To make nice Buñuelos de Rodilla the secret is to roll the tortillas very thin and even and to fry them at the right temperature. Experience here is your best guide.

FRIJOLES REFRITOS
Traditional Refried Beans

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups dry beans
3 1/4 quarts of water
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup  grated cheddar cheese
salt

Preparation:
Rinse the beans in water (pre-soaking the beans overnight beforehand will reduce cooking time). Then place the beans into a pot and cover beans with at least 3 inches of water [about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans]. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer and cover for about 2 1/2 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on the beans you have. The beans are done when they are very soft and the skin is breaking open. Alternatively a pressure cooker can be used. After cooking strain the beans from the cooking water.

Add the olive oil to a wide, sturdy frying pan and place on medium heat. Add the strained beans and about  1/4 cup of water to the pan. Using a potato masher mash the beans in the pan while you are cooking them until the consistency of a rough paste. Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add an addition hit of chopped jalapeno peppers or green chilies as desired. Add salt and mix in. Then add 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese. Additional cheese may be added as a topping. Your Frijoles Refritos are now ready to serve as a single dish, served as a dip or a topping for your favorite nachos.

Tamales

INGREDIENTS FOR BATTER (for 30-40 portions)
40 pieces of dry corn husks 1 kg of corn husks 1.5 liters of warm oil 2 tablespoons of salt
2 tablespoons of baking powder 2 tablespoons of ground coriander 2 tablespoons of chili powder 1.5 liters of water 1 kg of paneer cut into cubes

PREPARATION
Mix all the dry ingredients Add the oil and water little by little Mix everything with the hands or use a mixer until it is soft.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
1 kg of tomatoes 7 dry chillies Asafoetida Oil for seasoning
PREPARATION
Boil the tomatoes with the chillies until they are well cooked, then strain and season.

ASSEMBLING THE TAMALES
Wash the corn husks and soak in hot water for one hour then drain them. Take one husk and place some of the batter inside, spread the batter. In the center put the cheese and the sauce. First close the wider side of the leaf, and immediately bend the other side. Finally, bend the tip of the leaf to avoid the sauce from overflowing.
In a pot or a steamer with water put a bed of corn leave in the bottom, Set the tamales in an upright position to avoid spillage of the sauce, Cover the tamales with a wet cloth, plastic bag and cover the pot with a lid very tightly so that the steam does not escape.
Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour

Tips.
- Inspect that the pot always has water - If the batter comes out of the leaf easily without sticking to it then the tamales are ready