Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Tamale Cups

What is it about cute little cups of food or food on a stick?  Cute just makes it that much more tasty, doesnt it?

I love tamales.  I miss the lady in AZ who use to come to the office where I worked and sell us tamales for a dollar.  I would buy half a dozen when she would come in and stick five of them in the freezer.  They were a great dinner item for a single girl- delicious and inexpensive to boot.

These are a quick and miniature version of tamales.  You could stuff them however you want- pork, chicken, beef, beans.. whatever.
Tamale Cups

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, small dice (about 1 cup)
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth with 1 tablespoon corn starch mixed in
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces) OR
1 cup queso blanco
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Mix the masa harina with broth and oil.  If you find it it too dry add more liquid. You want it to form when you press it with your fingers.  If it is not forming then add more liquid.  Make sure you cover the bowl with a damp towel to keep it from drying out too fast.

In a frying pan saute onions in oil until lightly golden.  Add in beef and brown.  Add in garlic and remaining ingredients. Cook until it comes to a boil and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Lightly spray muffin tins with oil.  Press the masa harina mixture into the cups, evenly distributing the dough. Spoon filling into cup.  Place cheese over top.  Bake for about 20 minutes.

Garnish as desired.

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