Comfort Food and Easy Entertaining

As a private chef, caterer and cooking instructor I am often asked "What do you enjoy cooking when you're at home on a weeknight or entertaining guests at your table?" I started this blog to answer that question. Here I will share with all of you the recipes that I find delicious and comforting. Many of the recipes are my own versions of classic dishes, some are contemporary twists on old ideas, and some are discoveries I made while perusing my grandmother’s vast collection of cookbooks dating back to the early 1900’s. Please enjoy these videos. I have also included links to some of the published articles I have written recently. Please feel free to comment here or email me directly with any questions, comments or general thoughts. My email address and information on my catering, private chef and private cooking classes can be found on my website:

Homemade Tamales

Homemade Tamales

3 cups Masa for tamales
2 cups Cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup lard
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup enchilada sauce (see recipe on my blog at
24 corn husks
2 lbs Chipotle Shredded Pork (recipe on blog at or filling of your choice

Cover corn husks with hot water and let sit for 1 1/2-2 hours.

In a stand mixer combine masa and cornmeal.  Add lard and canola oil and mix until combined (it will look like course sand), scraping blade of mixer to help incorporate lard.  Add enchilada sauce and mix until incorporated.  Add cumin, cayenne, pepper and salt and mix again to combine.  Slowly pour in stock while mixer is running on low.  Process until dough forms and the dough is sticky.

Remove husks from water and pat dry.  Spread a 1/4 inch layer of masa mixture on the center of husk, leaving about 1 inch space around the edges.

Put about 1/4 cup of filling down the center of the masa and roll tamale onto itself trying to make the edges meet in the middle.  Fold husk around tamale and set on tray.

Once all tamales have been formed layer them in a steamer basket set over boiling water.  Cover and let steam for 30 minutes or until dough can easily pull away from husk.  Make sure to monitor water level so your pot does not boil dry.

Serve immediately, or reheat for service later.

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