Monday, March 6, 2017

Tamales Peruanos de Quinoa

In Peruvian culture, tamales are not just a holiday treat. Sundays are special because it's considereed family day and there's no real peruvian Sunday brunch without coffee, pan con chicharron con bastante aj√≠, camotes fritos, and tamales con salsita criolla. Of all of these dishes, the tamales are the ones that I took on as a challenge to recreate as a detox dish. Normally they are made with hominy and lard, two big no-no's in the first 30 days of the program. Peruvian tamales are very different from Mexican tamales in many ways, but the most obvious one, is that we wrap ours in plantain leaves, not in corn husks. Ya me dio hambre. 

3 cups of quinoa
2 Tbsps  of olive oil
4 chopped cloves of fresh galic
1 medium sweet onion (pureed) 
3 Tbspoons of panca pepper paste
2 Tbspoons of yellow pepper paste
1 1/2 cups of water
1 cup of brown rice flour
10 plantain leaves, washed and cut into squares.
S&P al gusto

Note: The stuffing can be anything you'd like depending on your lifestyle, but for more traditional flavors stick to seasoned chicken or pork, onions, boiled eggs, and purple olives. 

Paso a paso:
1) Soak quinoa for at least an hour. Rinse and boil. Drain and set aside.

2) Heat up oil on a frying pan and add garlic, pureed onion, panca pepper paste, yellow pepper paste, water and salt and pepper. Then add the brown rice flour slowly. Cook for 5-7 minutes until thickened.

3) Pour sauce over the drained quinoa and mix in well. Add salt al gusto and pepper paste if more spice is desired.

 4) Plave about a 1/3 cup of quinoa "masa" on plantain leaf and add stuffing in the middle.

 5) Wrap by folding top then botom of leaf, then sides in to make a little rectangle.

 6) Wrap the whole tamal in foil paper and add to pot with 2 cups of water to steam for about 30 minutes.

7)  I can never do this part, but I highly recommend that you wait for it to cool down before you unwrap and eat.

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