November 28, 2021

Cooking & Cocktail Series with Chef La Che – Episode 4

The Las Vegas Review-Journal and La Bonita Supermarkets have teamed up to bring the Virtual Food & Cocktail series to your kitchen. The original air date for Episode 4 was November 11, 2021. La Bonita chef La Che made not one but two different types of tamales, Mexican rice pudding and incredible holidays, fortified hot chocolate and honey tamarindo demonstrated by Nick Polydoroff of Jack Daniels.

Here’s a look at the Episode 4 menu and the ingredients you can show your friends and family as you cook this delicious meal.

Tamales native to Mesoamerica from 8000 to 5000 BC. The most essential ingredient in making the perfect tamal is masa. Masa is a simple, wet stone-ground dough made with a special corn cob known as nixtamal. Tamale is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf.

Tamales can be a rigorous food to prepare if made from scratch, with up to 120 steps. Many families make tamales for special occasions like Christmas. There are different tamales; pork, chicken and green sauce, jalapeños and cheese called rajas, beef, chili sauce, toppings with onion, garlic, corn and sweet tamales. In episode 4, chef La Che prepares two tamales, chicken with salsa verde and rajas and cheese. Nowadays, you can buy the prefabricated masa; La Bonita supermarkets sell regular and sweet masa. Sweet masa is used to make sweet tamales like strawberries or pineapples.

Chef La Che also prepared a Mexican rice pudding for dessert during Episode 4. Rice pudding is a staple that potentially dates back to 6000 BCE. This dessert started to gain popularity once it appeared on restaurant menus in the 1920s.. The rice pudding recipe that Chef La Che shares in the video can be served warm or cold, but either way, it’s a tapioca-like treat that’s delicious. It can also be served as a breakfast dish!

Viewers also had another treat with not one but two cocktail recipes prepared by Nick Polydoroff of Jack Daniel’s. Nick made a delicious Spicy hot chocolate and refreshing Honey Tamarindo cocktails using Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey. Hot chocolate dates back thousands of years. Historians attribute the Olmec civilization of southern Mexico to the first roasting of the fruit of the cocoa tree, then grind it and mix it with water and other ingredients. Thomas Jefferson was a huge fan of hot chocolate, and Revolutionary War soldiers had it in their rations. Hot chocolate mixes were distributed monthly to soldiers and sometimes offered in lieu of wages. The other cocktail uses Jarrito’s Tamarindo flavored soda, which is made from a sweet and sour fruit called Tamarind. The tamarind is mainly found in tropical regions of the world. Tamarindo consists of a combination of 3 ingredients: tamarind, water and sugar.

List of kitchen utensils and utensils needed to prepare this meal:

  • Tamale steamer or a large pot with a steamer basket
  • Medium pot for hot chocolate
  • Large pot for boiling chicken
  • Medium pot for boiling vegetables (tomatillo and pasilla)
  • Large pot or container to soak the casing – or use a sink
  • Blender
  • Whip
  • Large spoon or rice spatula (to spread the masa on the envelope)
  • Knife
  • Mixing spatulas or spoons
  • Medium pitcher for the Jarritos cocktail
  • Bowl for pulled chicken and sauce
  • Container for sliced ​​jalapeños
  • Container for sliced ​​cheese
  • Colander to drain the pods

Mexican Golden Tipped Hot Chocolate with Tennessee Honey from Jack Daniel and Ibarra

Ingredients Makes four cocktails

  • 1½ Ibarra chocolate bars
  • 4 cups of almond or skim milk
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground chipotle pepper
  • 4 ounces of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey

Instructions:

  • Step 1 – Prepare Ibarra Hot Chocolate on the Stovetop – One and a half bar of chocolate and four cups of almond or skim milk.
  • Step 2 – Add a pinch of the following ingredients: ground cinnamon, ground chipotle pepper and stir until melted.
  • Step 3 – Remove from heat and add 4 ounces of Tennessee Jack Daniel’s honey.
  • Step 4 – Serve in four individual cups and garnish with whipped cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Honey Tamarindo with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jarritos Tamarindo

Ingredients: Makes four cocktails

  • 1 – 2 cups of ice
  • 4 ounces of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
  • ½ bottle of Jarritos tamarindo soda
  • Optional – Lemon juice and chilli-lime salt for the rim of the glass

Instructions:

  1. Fill a pitcher with ice cubes and 4 ounces of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
  2. Add about half the bottle of Jarritos tamarindo soda slowly to the pitcher
  3. Stir lightly and it’s ready to serve!
  4. Optional garnish: Lemon and chilli-lime salt edging

Chicken tamales with green salsa

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs of chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 lb of tomatillos
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 3 lb masa tamales
  • 1 packet of corn husks
  • Chicken broth to taste

Instructions:

Prepare the pods

  • • Step 1 – Soak the corn husks so that they soften and are easier to fold.
    • Step 2 – Place the corn husks in a large pot of hot water or fill the sink with hot water.
    • Step 3 – Press the pods into the water to make sure they are completely covered.
    • Step 4 – Soak the pods for 20 minutes, drain them and let them dry.

Prepare the chicken

  • Step 1 – Add chopped onion, peeled garlic clove, chopped chicken breasts and chicken broth to taste in a large saucepan.
  • Step 2 – Add water to cover the chicken well.
  • Step 3 – Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Step 4 – Once cooked, drain the chicken and allow it to cool before grating.

Make the salsa

  • Step 1 – Slice and quarter the tomatillos.
  • Step 2 – Cut the poblano pepper lengthwise, remove the veins and seeds and cut it into 1 inch slices.
  • Step 3 – Place the tomatillo quarters and poblano pepper slices in a pot of water and add salt if desired.
  • Step 4 – Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and tender.
  • Step 5 – Once cooked, pour the vegetables into the blender and blend until smooth.

Prepare the garnish

  • Step 1 – Pour the pulled chicken into a large bowl.
  • Step 1 – Next, pour the salsa over the chicken and mix.

The Chicken Salsa Verde filling is now ready!

Assemble the chicken tamales

  • Step 1 – Lay a corn husk flat in your hand with the straight, wide edge facing you. With the other hand, pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of masa into the envelope.
  • Step 2 – Spread the masa evenly about ⅔ of the right edge of the wrap and halfway down. You will need the empty space to fold the tamales.
  • Step 3 – Take about a tablespoon of the chicken filling and place it on the masa in the pod. Spread evenly in the center of the dough.

Rajas and Tamales cheese (jalapeno and cheese)

Ingredients

  • 3 deveined and seeded jalapeño peppers
  • 1 10 oz package of cheese fresco

Instructions

Prepare the jalapenos and cheese

  • Step 1 – Cut the devein jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Step 2 – Cut the cheese into medium slices

Assemble the rajas and tamales with cheese

  • Step 1 – Lay a corn husk flat in your hand with the straight, wide edge facing you. With the other hand, pour about 2 to 3 tablespoons of masa into the envelope.
  • Step 2 – Spread the masa evenly about ⅔ of the right edge of the wrap and halfway down. You will need the empty space to fold the tamales.
  • Step 3 – Place a slice of cheese in the center of the masa and a slice of jalapeno on each side of the cheese.
  • Step 4 – Fold half of the corn husk towards the center to cover the filling, then fold the bottom of the corn husk over the tamale, then fold the other half over the tamale.
  • Step 5 – Place the folded tamale on a plate and repeat with the remaining corn husks.

Steam your tamales

  • Step 1 – Add a few cups of water to a steamer pot and heat until the water is hot.
  • Step 2 – Now it’s ready to place the steamer rack in the pot and heat the tamales.
  • Step 3 – Alternatively, you can use a pot with a steamer basket as long as you can get a good seal when you cover your pot.
  • Step 4 – Place the tamales in the steamer upright with the open part of the pod facing up, taking care not to crush them.
  • Step 5 – Once all the tamales are added to the steamer, cover and steam over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until cooked through. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.
  • Step 6 – Check every now and then to make sure there is enough water in the pot.

Mexican rice pudding

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of white rice
  • 2 ½ cups of water
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon stick
  • ¾ cup of 2% milk
  • ½ cup of condensed milk
  • ¼ cup of raisins (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Step 1 – Place the water, rice and the piece of cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  • Step 2 – While the rice is cooking, mix the whole milk with the condensed milk and stir. If you want to make your rice pudding sweeter, you can add more condensed milk.
  • Step 3 – The rice is ready when all the water evaporates. Make sure the rice has formed holes on the surface
  • Step 4 – Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the mixture of whole milk and condensed milk into the saucepan and stir. If you want to add the raisins or vanilla extract, you can add them now.
  • Step 5 – Return the pan to the heat, cover and continue cooking until it thickens. It will take about 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Step 6 – If the rice seems too dry for your taste, add ¼ cup of hot milk and stir. The result should look like a soft, creamy pudding.
  • Step 7 – Whether served hot or cold, place it in small cups and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Enjoy the video and don’t forget to share your finished dishes and virtual gatherings on social media by tagging the photos with the hashtag #rjkitchen.

Members of the Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial and press team were not involved in the creation of this content.


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