Monday, December 24, 2012

Pork Molotes with Pickled Onions

I bought a bag of masa harina, or corn flour last year and figured it was time to use what remained of the bag on something new. I found a molote recipe online, a dough-encased meat pocket originating from Oaxaca, Mexico. This version includes pickled onions, a delightful combination and a fun alternative to the standard Western holiday eating I've been indulging in lately. The original recipe calls for an empanada iron in which to cook the molotes. Since I don't have one, I pan fried these pockets in canola oil. These go well with a light coleslaw of your choice. 

Adapted From:

Makes about 12 molotes


Marinated Pork

1 t dried oregano

1 1/2 T ground black pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1 whole head of garlic
1 t salt
4 oranges, juiced
1 lime juiced
1/4 red onion
4 lb pork shoulder

Pickled Onions

2 large, red onions, sliced 1/8 inch thick

1 cup fresh lime juice
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 t salt
A few molote challenges along the way.

Molote Dough

2 cups masa harina corn flour

1 cup all purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t vegetable shortening
1/2 t salt
2 1/2 cups of warm water
canola oil for frying


Marinated Pork

Place all ingredients except the pork in bowl equipped to handle the spray of a hand blender and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into a sealable plastic bag and add the pork to it, ensuring the mix coats all of the surface of the meat. Let stand for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place the pork in a tin foil-lined roasting pan. Cover the roast loosely with tin foil and bake for 2 hours. The meat should be tender and falling off the bone.  Once cooked, cube the meat and set it aside.

Pickled Onions

Combine the juices and salt in a bowl. Add the onions to the mix and cover the bowl. Set aside.

Molote Dough

Mix the flours together with the baking powder, salt and shortening. Add the water and mix until all the flour mixture is combined with it.

Separate the dough into about 12 balls. Roll each ball flat between plastic sheets. Add a spoonful or two of the cubed pork and some onions onto half of the dough. Fold the other half overtop and seal the outside edges by pressing them closed with your thumb.

Heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil on high heat in a large pan. Place a molote in the pan and let brown for about three-five minutes on each side.

We served our molotes with salsa, sour cream and a side of coleslaw. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

I believe the actual feedback from the subjects of this shortbread experiment went something like this:

Question: So, what's your first reaction?

Answer: This would be better without lemon and rosemary.

I get it. Your grandmother made shortbread, mince tarts and fudge...perhaps some ungodly marshmallow concoction too. Doesn't matter what she made, this is what you know and what you look for at Christmas.  I feel much the same way. Unfortunately, I'm also a sucker for unique flavour combinations and I think there's a place for recipes like rosemary lemon shortbread.  This particular one is zesty and delicious, especially with a mug of black tea. Just be sure to have the classic version handy too. You don't want your Christmas party to get ugly. 


Makes 3 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 4 1/2 t minced, fresh rosemary
  • 1 t lemon peel
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t salt


Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla extract to the butter mix, stirring well. In a separate bowl combine the flour, rosemary and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in batches. 

Chill the dough for two hours or overnight. When ready to bake, let the dough warm up and roll it into tablespoon-sized balls. With a spoon, press the balls into a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, flattening them to 1/4 inch-width disks.

Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a golden brown.