Tag Archives: mexican

Green Corn Tamale Mac and Cheese

Today is absolutely disgusting in New York. Cold rain, sloshy grey snow, and a layer of smog that just instantly makes you depressed is looming over us. Every time I close my eyes, I’m basically dreaming about summer and all of its day drinking and eating by the Williamsburg waterfront. But instead of being all depressed, I’ve got a cure for today’s gloom and doom and of course, it’s in the form of a recipe.Every year, I help make a bomb ass dish for Wisconsin Cheese’s 30 Ways 30 Days (which basically gives you 30 different mac’n’cheese recipes for 30 days). This years inspired comfort food might just be my favorite because it has everything to do with summer. And let’s face it, when it’s 40 degrees outside and there’s grimy weather ruining your state of mind, warm days spent in the sun while chowing down on delicous food is really the only thing that matters.You can find my article [here] or just check it out below!

If you’ve spent any time in Brooklyn during the summer, you know that everything revolves around food. And as a person who’s obsessed with all things food, my weekends were spent noshing at Smorgusburg, admiring produce at the green market, and obsessing over vintage kitchenware at the Brooklyn Flea. From artisanal chile and mango popsicles to handcrafted candied bacon cupcakes, it’s about the only thing that really matters in my borough besides who has the hippest shoes. But one day, after meeting another like-minded foodie babe (Tina Trachtenberg from the 90’s cult-favorite band Trachtenberg family slideshow players), things changed. Instead of being a bystander in the Brooklyn food scene, we decided to get in on the action and start an underground tamale business.

Instead of partying on Friday nights, we spent our time roasting poblanos, mixing masa, and blending fresh produce to create the perfect salsa. Come Saturday morning, my tamale fairy godmother and I would be stuffing these husk-wrapped delights into giant silver pots – letting them steam for hours before we hit the road. And because we made this business up on a whim, we didn’t really have a vehicle or storefront to sell them out of so we went the DIY path and made our own. With a rickety old metal laundry basket on wheels, a million neon fake flowers, and hand-stitched banners that read “Good Golly Miss Tamale”, we made our very own portable tamale wagon. And when the tamales were ready to be sold, we’d put everything in our push-cart and hit the road, selling tamales to all the hipsters and tourists that wandered into our neighborhood, and ducking down alleyways to avoid the occasional cop run-in – we didn’t have permits after all.

The varieties of what we sold changed just as often as trends in our beloved neighborhood, but I will always remember my favorite tamale; which was made with masa harina, roasted poblanos, and Mexican cheese. So as a homage to one of the most memorable, exciting, and inspirational summers, this mac n cheese is inspired by my favorite green corn tamales. Made with a creamy sauce featuring Wisconsin queso quesadilla and Wisconsin Monteray jack, and studded with roasted poblano peppers, freshly shucked corn, and pickled jalapenos, this spicy macaroni and cheese will forever remind me of summer. And after the last few days of horribly cold weather, it’s about the only thing that is helping me through the winter.


Green Corn Tamale Mac and Cheese

Serves 6


1 pound pasta shells
4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups freshly shucked corn*
1/2 cup roasted poblano peppers, roughly chopped
5 pickled jalapenos, sliced into rings
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) Wisconsin Queso Quesadilla Cheese, shredded
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) Wisconsin Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

In medium sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons butter, add onions and pinch salt; cook until onions are translucent; about 5 minutes. Add corn, poblanos and jalapenos; cook 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

In medium saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour until roux forms; cook 2 minutes until bubbling and reduce heat to low; cook 2-3 minutes more. Whisk in heavy cream and increase heat to medium, allowing cream to thicken.

Slowly whisk in cheese until it’s completely melted. Add garlic salt and salt and pepper to taste.
In large bowl, add cooked pasta, corn and pepper mixture, and cheese sauce; gently toss to coat.

Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

*Frozen corn can be substituted.

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Marco Polo – Manchego Grilled Cheese with Roasted Corn, Pickled Jalapenos and Smoked Chile Butter

Alright I’m gonna make this quick, I’ve got a crowded train to catch and a sixer of bud to slam. I felt bad that I left my vegetarian buds out with my previous 4th of July post, especially since I just wrote about the plethora of opportunities for vegetarian BBQ. Because of this, I decided to get real and make something that’s veg-head friendly. For this grilled cheese, I combine grilled corn on the cob, manchego cheese, and pickled jalapenos.  I grill it between two hearty slices of Texas toast that are smeared in smokey chile butter. And for the zinger (literally), fresh lime juice is squeezed on top for the perfect little splash of citrus. And errr, I know how what my state of mind is going to be this weekend (or lack thereof) so I’ll try to make this as drunk-friendly as possible, just in case, ya know… 

So liquid diets are cool and all but waking up with the worst hangover of your life sucks, so it’s probably a good idea to eat.


-2 slices of Texas toast
-1 cup of shredded manchego
-1 lime wedge
-1 tbs of pickled jalapenos
-1 ear of roasted corn
-1 tbs of smoked chile butter
  (combine 2 pats of unsalted butter, a pinch garlic
   salt, 1 tsp smoked paprika, & 1 heaping tsp chile

Alright everyone, to begin, get a grater out and carefully grate up a cup of manchego. I know this can be tricky and it’s super important that you don’t get your fingers too close to the metal. It can get pretty gnarly considering how thin your blood will be at this point. If there’s any kids in the room or sober people, forcibly give them this responsibility.

Once it’s grated, you can step back in and fumble some cheese onto the bread. Use half, or as much as you can pile on without it getting ridiculous.

Now THIS is probably the most dangerous part. Abandon ship. Give this to job to someone else. Seriously. Hand them a corn cob and shrug your shoulders. I found it helps if you make a whiny noise combined with a sad frightened face to let them realize how much of a bad idea it would be for you to use a knife right now.

After they help you out, stack it on. Kiss them on the face.

Now this next part – you can totes do it yourself. Just scoop out a spoonful of pickled jalapenos, let the excess juice drip off and put a few on. If you’re a bad ass you should probably use real jalapenos but I’m too much of a wuss, especially when I’m drinking and people are already probably annoyed with me.

With the remainder of the cheese, carefully plop it on and press down. 

Now take that second piece of bread and put it on top. Then smear some of that yummy smoked chile butter on top.  

Alright time for the kids to take over again. Have them crank up the heat to medium and gently place the sandwich in – butter side down. Don’t get too close to the flames, although you probably won’t care because your sense of feel has diminished, you’ll regret the burn in the morning. Hangover and burnt hands? No bueno.

And because you’ll probably have no concept of time, just keep checking the belly of the sandwich with a spatula. Once it’s crusty and golden and the cheese has started to melt, flip it.  Repeat.

When it’s done take it out of the pan,  let it sit for another minute so the butter absorbs and the cheese thickens, then squeeze a lime wedge on top and chow down.  You should probably give the person who made this for you a bite too.  They’ll appreciate it.

Wipe your mouth. Blast some Tennis and some Harlem. Do some cannon balls. DON’T FORGET TO REAPPLY SUNSCREEN. Have fun!



Señor Snappy – Roast Pork, Queso, Plantain, Pickled Red Onions and Jalapeno Grilled Cheese

¿Como estas mis amigos? Are you super excited that today is Cinco de Mayo? Because I sure as am.  I’ve got my tequila chilling in the fridge and my El Guincho (NSFW) record playing on repeat.  The limes and salt are set up like a shrine to our Lady Guadalupe and I’ve got my sombrero party shoes on.  If only all of my friends didn’t have real jobs so they could be here drinking with me.  But yeah, so to pass the time until happy hour rolls around – I’m making a fiesta grilled cheese for you and all your amigos to enjoy. Es muy bueno!

So what’s in this bad boy?


– 1 tbs of pickled jalapenos 
– 1 tbs of pickled red onions
– 1 tbs of shredded roast pork
– 2 pats of butter
– 1/2 cup of quesodilla queso
– 4 sweet plantains (aka maduros)
– 1 Bolillos (or a crunchy french bread)

One of the best parts about living in Williamsburg is the huge Hispanic population that makes up the other half of hipsterdom.  I don’t even have to get my passport stamped in order to have access to a zillion amazing little Ethnic markets.  I love it, I can find anything (and I mean anything), but most importantly I found the bread that tortas are made from (which are called Bolillos) at a super cute bakery called Grand Morales. This delicious disk shaped crusty french-like bread is absolutely perfect for this grilled cheese. It’s thick and hearty and holds up perfectly when it’s packed with tasty fillings.

So to begin you’ll want to cut your Bolillo in half and then gently cut off the top of the bread.  Then flip the butt of the bread over because later you’ll want to cover it with cheese and use the inside of the bread for the buttered outside.

Now it’s time for the queso! While I was at the market I found an entire shelf full of different kinds of queso.  Now let me inform you that I took like five years of spanish and the only thing I really retained was the names of food but beyond that I was totally screwed. I had absolutely no idea what to buy so I mustered up my español courage and asked the cashier what was the best melting cheese by wiggling my fingers in a poor attempt to sign “melt”. She directed me to queso quesadilla which should have been the most obvious choice, cause com’on duh quesadilla cheese – I should know that.

But yeah, so I got my queso quesadilla and shredded it and sprinkled it on to one half of the sandwich.

Once the cheese was on, I delicately placed some pickled jalapenos on top.  For these, I bought some of the pre-sliced nacho jalapenos at Whole Foods and drained them and then put them in the leftover brine from my favorite pickles in the world – McClures of Brooklyn.  They’ve been in there for quite a while but having been soaked in vinegar made them extra tasty.  They were still spicy but they were  also a little sweet as well.

Next came the roasted pork.  I cheated and bought mine pre-made but if you have time you should totally make this yourself.  When I was browsing recipes I came across this little gem, but with finals approaching and me scrambling to find a big girl job, I sadly resorted to the pre-made stuff to make my day a little easier. 

After that I put on the maduros.  If you’ve never had these and are wondering what in the world they are, let me tell you.  They’re the best things in the world.  They’re basically fried green plantains that look like big bananas and become sweet and caramelized once they are cooked in oil.  I love ’em so much.

Now at this point I put on some pickled red onions to balance out some of the sweetness.  To make these, I thinly sliced a red onion and then soaked them in red wine vinegar for like 30 minutes. 

Since the sandwich was getting rather high, I decided it would be best to grill the two halves seperately so the cheese could adhere to both pieces of bread and essentially glue the ingredients together. 

I went ahead and melted two pats of butter on medium heat and put each half in and smeared them around in the butter.

I let them cook for about 4 minutes on each side until the cheese started getting ooey and gooey and melty and goodie (sorry, overboard – i know, but you get the point).

Once I could tell the cheese had melted and wasn’t going anywhere, I carefully put the cheese-only side on top of the massive-amounts-of-ingredients-side and let the cheese work it’s magic.

After another minute of this delicious grilled cheese sitting in my skillet, I removed it and sliced it half, and then fought off my roommates from eating it so I could snap some pics.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Salud! And don’t forget to drink plenty of water before bed, tequila hangovers are no joke.