Heat Up Your Vegetarian Dip with Salsa Verde from Sol Cocina Chef 'Salsas and Moles'

Heat up your vegetarian dip with this recipe from Salsas and Moles,  Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...

Salsa Verde (Cooked Tomatillo Salsa with Cilantro and Jalapeño)

Makes about 3 cups

Native green tomatillos are the most widely used base for salsas throughout Mexico. They have a tart-sweet taste that greatly enhances other flavors. The most common is the green tomatillo, but cooks love to use tiny purple tomatillos de milpa (milperas), and yellow tomatillos are prized and expensive.

This typically simple salsa verde will become a staple in your repertoire. At the store, choose firm tomatillos with their papery husks intact. Before using, remove the husks and wash off the sticky film under cold running water.

6 medium tomatillos, husked and washed

1 clove garlic

1⁄2 white onion cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large jalapeno or serrano chile, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt

10 sprigs cilantro, stemmed


Place the tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and salt in a 11⁄2-quart saucepan. Add just enough water to barely cover the tomatillos and quickly bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the vegetables until the tomatillos have softened and the tip of a knife can be inserted, about 5 minutes; do not overcook.

Drain off the cooking water and transfer the contents of the saucepan to a blender, along with the cilantro leaves. Pulse the salsa until smooth. You will still be able to see some seeds, along with flecks of cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired.

Serving Ideas: Spoon this salsa onto anything and everything— eggs, simmered or grilled meats, tacos, quesadillas, or huaraches (masa cakes) with beans and cheese. This is the salsa used to make classic chilaquiles verdes as well as elegant, rich enchiladas suizas: corn tortillas stuffed with chicken and cheese and bathed in tart salsa verde and rich Mexican-style crema. Salsa verde is also the base for chicken or pork chile verde. 

(* Reprinted with permission from Salsas and Moles, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, Photographs copyright © 2015 by Maren Caruso

Salsa Cinco de Mayo Away with Mango Habanero Salsa from Sol Cocina chef 'Salsas and Moles'

Salsa Cinco de Mayo away with this recipe from Salsas and Moles,  Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More (Ten Speed Press, April 2015) by Deborah Schneider of Sol Cocina...


Makes about 1 cup

The sweeter the fruit in a salsa, the hotter the chile has to be, and honey-sweet ripe mango is best matched with searing-hot habanero. But if habaneros are too hot for you, try substituting a minced serrano chile. I sometimes vary this salsa by including a couple of small mint leaves or a leaf of basil, minced and stirred in at the last moment.

1⁄2 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced into 1/4 inch pieces

1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon finely diced red onion

1⁄4 teaspoon very finely minced habanero chile

1 and 1/2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 sprig cilantro, stemmed and minced

1/2 Roma tomato, diced into 1/4 inch pieces (optional)

1/4 teaspoon sugar (optional)


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and taste. Season strongly; if the mangoes are not too sweet, you may want to add the 1⁄4 teaspoon of sugar. If you happen to have any leftovers, stir then taste and adjust the seasoning as desired before serving.

Serving Ideas: This classic salsa is good by itself, but it is a perfect complement to seafood of any kind. Try adding it to a green salad along with some diced cucumber and a light vinaigrette.

(* Reprinted with permission from Salsas and Moles, by Deborah Schneider, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, Photographs copyright © 2015 by Maren Caruso

Do Not Dip in Your Beer, Barmbrack Speckled Loaf Recipe by Rachel Allen on St Patrick's Day

Do Not Dip in Your Beer

On St Patrick's Day, Barmbrack Speckled Loaf Recipe from Rachel's Irish Family Food (Harper Collins) by Rachel Allen on St Patrick's Day.


Originally shared on February 25, 2013

(* Recipe from Rachel's Irish Family Food by Rachel Allen- Harper Collins, February 2013- reproduced with permission)

Turn Up Heat on Super Bowl Table, Tropical Fruit Salad with Sriracha Sesame Vinagrette

Healthier than spicy buffalo wings, turn up the heat on Super Bowl table with this Tropical Fruit Salad with Sriracha-Sesame Vinaigrette recipe (originally shared in 2011) from The Sriracha Cookbook (Ten Speed Press) by Randy Clemens. A little square tome with 50 recipes that pack a punch.

Tropical fruit salad with sriracha

Perfect for vegetarian guests

(* Recipe from The Sriracha Cookbook '50 Rooster Sauce Recipes that Pack a Punch' by Randy Clemens, copyright Ten Speed Press, 2011, Photograph by Leo Gong)


Half-inch Layer of Pimento Cheese Ready to Fall on Super Bowl Table, 'Heritage' Recipe

To paraphrase the weatherman announcing icy mix, half-inch layer of Pimento Cheese is ready to fall on Super Bowl table courtesy of this recipe from Heritage (Artisan Books, October 2014) by Sean Brock.

Pimento Cheese

Makes 2½ to 3 cups

I’ve seen people almost get into fistfights over who has a better pimento cheese recipe. Southerners don’t mess around when it comes to their cherished “pâté de Sud.” We slather the stuff on everything from celery stalks to saltine crackers, and some people won’t even consider eating a hamburger without a half-inch layer of pimento cheese in the stack.

Everyone has his or her own way of making pimento cheese, but the biggest debate always revolves around what kind of mayo is used. I prefer Duke’s; it happens to be my favorite. But you can use your favorite brand—that’s what making a signature pimento cheese is all about. Of course this is best made with pimento peppers you roast yourself, but if you can’t get the fresh peppers, substitute 12 ounces jarred whole pimentos, drained and diced (don’t use jarred chopped pimentos—they have no flavor).

3 large pimento peppers (about 12 ounces)
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup mayonnaise, preferably Duke’s
½ teaspoon Husk Hot Sauce (page 238)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon sugar
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika (see Resources, page 326)
¼ cup Pickled Ramps (page 233), chopped, plus ½ cup of the brine
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater

Pimento Cheese

1. Roast the peppers over an open flame on a gas stovetop, one pepper at a time, on the prongs of a carving fork. Or place on a baking sheet and roast under a hot broiler. In either case, turn the peppers to blister all sides. Then transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to let the peppers steam until cool enough to handle.

2. Carefully peel the blackened skin off each pepper. Cut the peppers lengthwise in half, open out flat on a cutting board, and carefully scrape away all the seeds and membrane. Dice the peppers.

3. Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until softened. Add the mayonnaise and mix well. Add the hot sauce, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and smoked paprika and stir to blend. Add the ramps, ramp brine, and cheddar cheese and stir again. Fold in the diced pimentos.

4. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Tightly covered, the pimento cheese will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

For creamer pimento cheese, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

(*Excerpted from Heritage by Sean Brock -Artisan Books, Copyright © 2014- Photographs by Peter Frank Edwards)

Veggie Fungi, Spicy Black Bean, Poblano, and Oyster Mushroom Burger from 'Shroom'

Go veggie fungi with this burger from ShroomMind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms (Andrews McMeel, September 2014) by Becky Selengut.

Spicy Black Bean, Poblano, and Oyster Mushroom Burgers with Red Onion Jam

Serves 4

I eat beef, so when I decided to create a mushroom-based vegetarian burger, I wanted it to be as satisfying as a beef burger without it being beef-like (most vegetarians will tell you that’s not really the point). The few times I’ve tried veggie burgers, I’ve been amazed that people could regularly eat them; it would take a lot of mustard and ketchup for me to get past how dry most of them are. This is one of several recipes in this book that you can make for vegetarians (or really, anyone) who is an avowed mushroom hater. The mushrooms take a background role in these burgers, providing texture (from a shorter cooking time on the stems) and umami. The feta just starts to melt when the burgers are done browning, forming little pools of awesome. This is a perfect dish to make if you have leftover beans and rice in the house. Keep in mind that it is really important to squeeze your hands together when forming the burgers. This helps to bind the mixture and keep them from crumbling in the pan. That being said, this is a messy burger affair, so tuck a napkin into your shirt when eating. There is a fair amount of prep involved in making these, so feel free to double the recipe. Freeze any uncooked burgers on a baking pan and then pack them away in a container or freezer bag for another day.

Spicy Lime and Chipotle Mayo

½ cup mayonnaise (I love Best Foods/Hellmann’s)
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (substitute spicy pure chili powder of your choice)
⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt

Red Onion Jam and Burgers

2 poblano chiles
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 small red onions, small diced (about 3 cups)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1¼ cups Mushroom Stock (see below)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 portobello mushroom, gills and stem removed, cap small diced
½ pound fresh oyster mushrooms, stems separated from caps and both small diced
1 bunch cilantro, stems chopped to make ¼ cup, leaves reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cooked brown rice
¾ cup cooked and drained black beans, squished with a potato masher (leave some texture)
3 ounces French or Israeli feta
1½ cups panko bread crumbs
4 hamburger buns, toasted if you like

For Serving:

1 avocado
Lettuce leaves
Tomato slices


To make the mayo, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, lime zest and juice, chili powder, and salt. Taste and add more salt if you’d like. Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.

To make the burgers, over a gas flame or under the broiler, blacken the poblano chiles (you want all parts to be blackened). Transfer the chiles to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to trap the steam, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil. After a moment, add the onions and salt. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the stock and simmer until all the liquid is evaporated; continue to cook until the onions are caramelized, 15 to 20 minutes (add a little water if necessary if it gets too dry). Once the onions are browned and very soft, pull half of the onions out of the pan and reserve. Add the sugar to the pan and cook for a minute, then add the vinegar and the remaining ¼ cup stock. Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates. Scrape the red onion jam into a small bowl and set aside to serve with the rest of the toppings. No need to clean the pan—you’ll be using it again.

Remove and discard the skin and seeds from the roasted chiles and cut them into small dice. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan, along with the chiles and the reserved sautéed onions. Set the pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped portobello, oyster mushroom caps, and cilantro stems and sauté until lightly browned and tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste, soy sauce, cumin, and black pepper and sauté for another minute or two. Add the chopped oyster mushroom stems and sauté for another minute or two, adding a little water if necessary. Add the contents of the pan to a big bowl, along with the rice, black beans, feta, 1 cup of the panko, and 1 tablespoon of the chipotle mayo. Mix well, and form into 4 large burgers (see headnote). Spread the remaining ½ cup panko onto a plate and coat each side of the burgers.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil. When the skillet heats up, carefully place the burgers in the skillet and cook until you get a nice deep dark brown sear on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Spread the chipotle mayo all over the insides of the toasted buns. Pit, peel, and slice the avocado. Add the burgers to the buns and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and cilantro leaves.

Mushroom Stock:

You will not be sorry you took the time to make your own. As you cook and are busy prepping vegetables and such, e.g., carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, parsley, and thyme, rather than toss or compost the carrot tops and peels, celery ends and leaves, onion ends and cores, shiitake and button stems, thyme and parsley stems, and any other produce bits you collect, save them. (Skip vegetables like kale, cabbage, broccoli, or anything with a dominating flavor or color that you wouldn’t want in a mushroom stock—no beets!)

To make the stock, add these vegetable scraps to a quart-size resealable plastic bag that lives in the freezer. When the bag is full, you are ready to make your stock. At the market, pick up a small onion, some dried porcini, and a handful of fresh shiitake mushrooms. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a little high-heat oil on a rimmed baking pan. Throw the shiitakes, along with the chopped-up onion, onto the pan, and toss with the oil. Roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little wine or water, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the pan. Dump the mushrooms and onions, along with the liquid, into a stockpot along with the contents of that freezer bag (no need to thaw) and a few rehydrated pieces of dried porcini (along with the strained soaking liquid). Cover with 3 quarts water, chuck in about 5 peppercorns, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Pour the contents of the pot through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. You should end up with about 2 quarts mushroom stock. Want to make vegetable stock? Do the same thing, but just use fewer mushrooms and more vegetables (and a big flavor bonus if you roast some of the vegetables as you would the shiitake and onion). If you want to make mushroom stock but don’t have a full bag of trimmings in the freezer, just use an assortment of vegetables and mushrooms (equaling roughly 1 quart) and follow the same general procedure.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission, from ShroomMind-Bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms -Andrews McMeel, September 2014- by Becky Selengut, Photograph, Clare Barboza)

Rossy Earle 'Squash, Apple and Cheddar Soup' from 'Everyday Squash Book'

On cold winter evenings, we will be forever grateful to Rossy Earle for this Squash, Apple and Cheddar Soup recipe from Everyday Squash The Most Versatile & Affordable Superfood (Harper, October 2014, US edition) by Rob Firing, Ivy Knight and Kerry Knight.

Squash, Apple & Cheddar Soup

This soup by Rossy Earle, the retail chef kitchen manager at Toronto’s Ryerson University and one of the chefs on the kitchen team at CBC’s Steven and Chris show, is sure to become a favourite. It incorporates the best flavours of autumn—squash and apples—and crowns them in cheddar, a beautiful combo.

Makes 6 to 8 ser vings

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup garlic cloves
1 large onion, diced
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1 large butternut squash, roasted and mashed (see page 26)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
Pinch of ground nutmeg
½ cup apple cider
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup whipping (35%) cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Crème fraîche, sour cream or plain
Greek yogurt (optional)
Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Squash, Apple and Cheddar Soup

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and apple and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and apple is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the squash, maple syrup and nutmeg. Deglaze with the apple cider (see Tip).

Stir in the stock and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and discard the bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade, purée until smooth.
Return the mixture to the pot. Stir in cream and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Whisk in the cheese, until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, add a bit more apple cider.

Ladle into serving bowls. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche (if using). Sprinkle with extra cheese and chives. Serve immediately.

Tip: To deglaze a pan, add liquid, usually stock or wine, and stir to dissolve the cooking sediments from the bottom of the pan, capturing robust, concentrated flavours

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from Everyday Squash The Most Versatile & Affordable Superfood -Harper, October 2014- by Rob Firing, Ivy Knight and Kerry Knight)

Get Your Balanced Eating Mojo Back before New Year's Feast, Thai Wrap Recipe from 'Organic Avenue'

Get your balanced eating mojo back before New Year's feast with this very sensible lunch recipe from Organic Avenue (William Morrow, April 2014) by Denise Mari.

Thai Wrap with Thai Almond Cream and Sweet and Spicy Prune Dipping Sauce

This wrap, at once sweet, spicy, and tangy, is also a good protein source, thanks to the almond
butter and cashews. Collard leaves do make a neat little wrapper—sturdy enough to support a
substantial filling but tender enough to be enjoyed out of hand, a clever way of getting in your
greens, and they are great for folks who are counting their carbs or calories.

The filling and dipping sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so they can be made ahead and kept ready for rolling your wraps as you’re ready for them.

Makes 4 wraps

Sweet and Spicy Prune Dipping Sauce
(Makes about ¾ cup/180 milliliters)

5 pitted prunes, soaked in water to cover for 2 to 3 hours and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1½ teaspoons tamari
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ cup (120 milliliters) water
Pinch of salt
4 pinches of red chile flakes

Thai Almond Cream

½ cup (4 ounces/110 grams) almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
1½ teaspoons fresh ginger juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon tamari
½ garlic clove, cut in half
2 tablespoons water


4 large collard green leaves
1 cup (100 grams) shredded cabbage
1 mango, cut in half, pitted, peeled and flesh cut into long, thin strips
2 medium carrots, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
½ cup (50 grams) chopped cashews

Thai Wrap photo

Make the Sweet and Spicy Prune Dipping Sauce:

Combine all the ingredients except the chile flakes in a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the sauce among 4 dipping bowls, add a pinch of chile flakes to each, and set aside.

Make the Thai Almond Cream:

Rinse the blender, then combine all the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

Assemble the wraps:

Place a collard leaf bottom side up on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, shave off as much of the thick part of the stem as possible. Spread one quarter of the almond cream over the leaf, leaving a ½-inch (1.25-centimeter) border on all sides. Make a line of one quarter of the cabbage over the bottom third of the collard leaf; above the cabbage, make a line of one quarter of the mango; finish with a line of one quarter of the carrot. Sprinkle with one quarter of the mint, basil, and cilantro. Top with one quarter of the cashews. Working from the end facing you, tightly roll the collard leaf away from you. Place seam side down, tuck in the sides, and cut the wrap in half using a serrated knife. Place on a plate; repeat with the remaining 3 wraps and filling. Place a bowl of dipping sauce on each plate and serve

(* Recipe from Organic Avenue by Denise Mari- William Morrow, April 2014- reproduced with permission)

Side Ideas, Jack Be Little Pumpkin and Polenta Souffle from 'Farm Fork Food' by Eric Skokan

Need side ideas as in side dishes that is, here's  a vegetarian option from Farm, Fork, FoodA Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm (Kyle Books, October 2014) by Eric Skokan of Black Cat, a Boulder (Colorado) farm to table bistro.

Jack Be Little Pumpkin and Polenta Souffle 

Roasted heirloom pumpkin and a ragout of mushrooms fill a soufflé dish, which is topped with a soufflé made from polenta. With the addition of Parmesan and sautéed Brussels sprouts, this entrée is a showstopper. The Jack Be Little pumpkins are themselves a fun stand-in for a basic soufflé dish. Other possible varieties include acorn, delicata and dumpling squashes. If those are not available, butternut squash makes a fine substitute.

Serves 4

8 Jack Be Little pumpkins
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, sliced
¼ cup minced garlic
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons softened butter, plus more for sautéeing
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1¼ cups cornmeal or polenta
1½ cups whole milk
4 bay leaves
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
3 cups Brussels sprouts, separated into leaves


Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Cut the tops from the pumpkins. Remove and discard the seeds and pulp from the cavities. Dress the pumpkins and tops with 1 tablespoon of the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender and beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large sauté pan over high heat, combine the mushrooms, onion, garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the pan to remove any browned bits. Add the butter and thyme, season with salt and set aside off the heat.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cornmeal, 1 quart water and milk, stirring very well to hydrate the cornmeal. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low. Add the bay leaves and cook, stirring often, until the mixture is very thick and the cornmeal is very soft. Add the cream and nutmeg, season with salt and stir well. Transfer the polenta to a large bowl and let cool. Add the egg yolks and mix well to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the whites into the polenta mixture in thirds without overmixing—a few loose streaks of egg white is fine.

Divide the mushrooms and onions among the roasted pumpkins, filling the cavities. Top with the polenta mixture until the pumpkins are full.

Bake until the polenta is set and the soufflés have risen, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over high heat, sauté the Brussels sprouts in a bit of butter until the leaves just begin to color, about 6 minutes. Season with salt.

Divide the pumpkins among four dinner plates. Garnish with the Brussels sprouts and pumpkin tops and serve immediately.

(Recipe reproduced with permission from Farm, Fork, FoodA Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm -Kyle Books, October 2014- by Eric Skokan, Photography: Con Poulos)

Spice Up Week End Table, Vegan Jalapeno Pesto Potato Tamales from 'Tamales'

Spice up your week-end table with this Vegan recipe from Tamales, Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals (Ten Speed Press, October 2014) by Alice Guadalupe Tapp...

Jalapeño Pesto Potato Tamales

Here is another great vegan tamale recipe from my sister, Diane. Because it’s vegan, the recipe eliminates the Parmesan or Romano cheese found in most pesto recipes. This is also on our menu at Tamara’s Tamales, and it keeps our vegan customers happy. It’s also delicious made with carrots instead of potatoes. Cut four large carrots into strips and parboil them before assembling the tamales.


1 very large potato, any type
3/4 cup olive oil
7 fresh jalapeños, deveined and seeded
3 large cloves garlic
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups Vegan Masa (page 26)

Jalapeño Pesto Potato Tamales

Peel and cut the potato lengthwise into 1/4-inch “French fry” strips. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the potato, and fry until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In food processor, process the jalapeños, garlic, pine nuts, cilantro, remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, and salt until smooth.

Assemble the tamales (see pages 5-6), using 1/4 cup masa, 4 or 5 strips of potato, and 2 heaping tablespoons jalapeño pesto for each tamale. Transfer to a steamer and steam for 50 minutes.

Vegan Masa

This masa is for those who follow plant-based diets or just prefer using olive oil to lard or butter. You may also use this masa to make vegan pupusas and tortillas. The results have the same texture and excellent taste.


1 cup margarine or vegetable shortening, chilled, or olive oil
21/2 pounds stone ground fresh masa (unprepared)
2 cups vegetable stock
11/2 teaspoons salt
2 to 4 tablespoons dried mushroom powder, store-bought or homemade (see Note)

If you use the margarine or shortening, place it in a mixing bowl and whip for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Add the masa and beat for 1 minute more, then add the stock, a little at a time, then add the salt and mushroom powder to taste. Continue beating for 2 to 4 minutes, or until a pinch of masa floats to the top of a cup of water.

If using the olive oil, pour it into shallow casserole dish, cover, and place in the freezer for at least 24 hours.

Remove right before using. It should be frozen to the hard stage. The temperature and the dense, solidified consistency help the masa remain light and fluffy during cooking. Combine the frozen oil and the masa in a mixing bowl and beat together for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock a little at a time, then add the salt and mushroom powder and beat until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes, or until a pinch of dough floats to the top of a cup of water.

Note: Making homemade mushroom powder is simple. Place any type of dried mushrooms in a food processor and process into a fine powder.


(*Reprinted with permission from Tamales, by Alice Guadalupe Tapp, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2014 by Sara Remington)