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Fancy Fast Food?

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Chripotle Christmas Tamales (Fancy Chipotle Mexican Grill II) by Erik of Fancy Fast Food
Steve Ells and the folks at Chipotle Mexican Grill have been on a mission: to make “rapidly prepared food” (a.k.a. fast food) in the most socially responsible way possible for a nationwide chain of restaurants. While that’s respectable and all, Ells and his team forgot one thing: they’re claiming to be a Mexican grill, and they’ve done nothing to pay homage to Mexico — the country whose cuisine they’ve been inspired by. Perhaps this act of supposed cultural insensitivity is intentional, perhaps they just don’t care. Or maybe they’re just too busy enlisting Americans like Willie Nelson to cover Coldplay’s “The Scientist” for their anti-factory farm ad campaign, that they simply just forgot that “Mexican” is their middle name. There are many customs in Mexico, particularly during the holidays. In terms of Christmas culinary tradition, tamales — that delicacy of meat wrapped in a corn flour dough and steamed in a corn husk — are traditionally prepared, served, and eaten during the season of Navidad. Why hasn’t Chipotle Mexican Grill embraced this? Have no fear, Mr. Ells & Co., for here’s a Fancy Fast Food recipe that uses all your existing ingredients and repurposes them, so you don’t have to look like complete culturally-insensitive pricks. We here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen will take care of the tamales; in the meantime, try and get Willie Nelson to sing “Feliz Navidad” for your next ad campaign.
Ingredients (from Chipotle Mexican Grill):
3 Burritos with nothing but Carnitas and Roasted Chili & Corn Salsa 
3 bags of chips with Red Tomatillo Salsa
1 bottle of water
First, unwrap each of the burritos and separate the ingredients. Hand pick out the shreds of pork and collect them into a bowl, and then scoop out and pour all the corn salsa into another bowl. Take each of the remaining tortillas and rinse them off in the sink, being careful not to tear them. Place them flat and let them dry with paper towels. Chipotle Mexican Grill already marinates and seasons their pork, but we’re going to make it a little spicier for the Mexican palate. Put all the carnitas in a small saucepan, stir in some of the tomatillo salsa (to your liking), and let the two fuse together for 5-10 minutes over a low heat. The main ingredient of tamales is masa harina, a corn flour made from a variety of corns. We only have two kinds — corn kernel salsa and corn chips — so we’ll have to make do. First, take the chips and crush them down into a fine powder. There are many ways to do this; you could use a food processor or coffee been grinder, but if you really want to get the chips down to a fine powder, grind them yourself with a stone mortar and pestle. Start slowly so you don’t get chips all over your kitchen counter, and gradually grind them down to a fine flour. Collect it all into a bowl. The other type of corn is wet, so we’ll purée that in a food processor. As the blade spins, gradually spoon in some of the ground corn flour, and pour in a little water as needed, until it becomes a mushy dough. Masa! We don’t have corn husks to steam our tamales in, so we’ll have to improvise using the big tortillas. However, we can at least make them look a little bit more like corn husks, by adding a fibrous texture to them. After much experimentation, the best way to do this is to lightly roll a pizza cutter up and down each tortilla. Score — but don’t cut — in one direction until it starts resembling the texture of a corn husk. If you’ve made tamales before, the rest is familiar. Spread some makeshift masa into the center of the “husk.” Add a strip of carnitas in the center, and then fold over the “husk” — one side and then the other, and then fold the ends in. A real corn husk can be folded in a way that you need not tie it together before steaming, but in this case, we’ll tie each with kitchen string — they make them look like three little Christmas gifts that way (for each of the three kings, if you will). Steam the tamales in a steamer, and then unwrap each carefully. Inside you’ll find a surprisingly decent tamale — one that actually tastes like a tamale — ready to serve for Christmas, may it be in Mexico, or in your nearest Chipotle Mexican Grill. Add some tomatillo salsa for garnish and an extra kick of spice, and have a Feliz Navidad!

If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.
Recipe for the week of December 19, 2011:

Chripotle Christmas Tamales (Fancy Chipotle Mexican Grill II)
by Erik of Fancy Fast Food

Steve Ells and the folks at Chipotle Mexican Grill have been on a mission: to make “rapidly prepared food” (a.k.a. fast food) in the most socially responsible way possible for a nationwide chain of restaurants. While that’s respectable and all, Ells and his team forgot one thing: they’re claiming to be a Mexican grill, and they’ve done nothing to pay homage to Mexico — the country whose cuisine they’ve been inspired by. Perhaps this act of supposed cultural insensitivity is intentional, perhaps they just don’t care. Or maybe they’re just too busy enlisting Americans like Willie Nelson to cover Coldplay’s “The Scientist” for their anti-factory farm ad campaign, that they simply just forgot that “Mexican” is their middle name.

There are many customs in Mexico, particularly during the holidays. In terms of Christmas culinary tradition, tamales — that delicacy of meat wrapped in a corn flour dough and steamed in a corn husk — are traditionally prepared, served, and eaten during the season of Navidad. Why hasn’t Chipotle Mexican Grill embraced this?

Have no fear, Mr. Ells & Co., for here’s a Fancy Fast Food recipe that uses all your existing ingredients and repurposes them, so you don’t have to look like complete culturally-insensitive pricks. We here in the Fancy Fast Food kitchen will take care of the tamales; in the meantime, try and get Willie Nelson to sing “Feliz Navidad” for your next ad campaign.

Ingredients (from Chipotle Mexican Grill):

  • 3 Burritos with nothing but Carnitas and Roasted Chili & Corn Salsa
  • 3 bags of chips with Red Tomatillo Salsa
  • 1 bottle of water

First, unwrap each of the burritos and separate the ingredients. Hand pick out the shreds of pork and collect them into a bowl, and then scoop out and pour all the corn salsa into another bowl. Take each of the remaining tortillas and rinse them off in the sink, being careful not to tear them. Place them flat and let them dry with paper towels.

Chipotle Mexican Grill already marinates and seasons their pork, but we’re going to make it a little spicier for the Mexican palate. Put all the carnitas in a small saucepan, stir in some of the tomatillo salsa (to your liking), and let the two fuse together for 5-10 minutes over a low heat.

The main ingredient of tamales is masa harina, a corn flour made from a variety of corns. We only have two kinds — corn kernel salsa and corn chips — so we’ll have to make do. First, take the chips and crush them down into a fine powder. There are many ways to do this; you could use a food processor or coffee been grinder, but if you really want to get the chips down to a fine powder, grind them yourself with a stone mortar and pestle. Start slowly so you don’t get chips all over your kitchen counter, and gradually grind them down to a fine flour. Collect it all into a bowl.

The other type of corn is wet, so we’ll purée that in a food processor. As the blade spins, gradually spoon in some of the ground corn flour, and pour in a little water as needed, until it becomes a mushy dough. Masa!

We don’t have corn husks to steam our tamales in, so we’ll have to improvise using the big tortillas. However, we can at least make them look a little bit more like corn husks, by adding a fibrous texture to them. After much experimentation, the best way to do this is to lightly roll a pizza cutter up and down each tortilla. Score — but don’t cut — in one direction until it starts resembling the texture of a corn husk.

If you’ve made tamales before, the rest is familiar. Spread some makeshift masa into the center of the “husk.” Add a strip of carnitas in the center, and then fold over the “husk” — one side and then the other, and then fold the ends in. A real corn husk can be folded in a way that you need not tie it together before steaming, but in this case, we’ll tie each with kitchen string — they make them look like three little Christmas gifts that way (for each of the three kings, if you will).



Steam the tamales in a steamer, and then unwrap each carefully. Inside you’ll find a surprisingly decent tamale — one that actually tastes like a tamale — ready to serve for Christmas, may it be in Mexico, or in your nearest Chipotle Mexican Grill. Add some tomatillo salsa for garnish and an extra kick of spice, and have a Feliz Navidad!



If you are viewing this recipe in an aggregator (like tumblr’s Dashboard), or as a reblogged post, please check out the real website at FancyFastFood.com.

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