January-February 2013 | SPICY KICKOFF

Hobo's owner/executive chef Gretchen Hanson
Hobo's Gretchen Hanson spices up your Super Bowl SundayTequila-Infused Camarones  on Homemade Cheese Papusas with Chipotle Crema Baxter Farms Black Bean and Pasilla  Chili Tamale Pie with 16 Mile Corn Cheddar Crust and Old Court Sweet Pepper JamCumin-scented  Wild Salmon with Cilantro Cream SPICY KICKOFF



Hobo’s owner/executive chef Gretchen Hanson goes deep in her playbook of recipes to help you serve up a Super Bowl-winning party

My birthday lands in the end of January, so it seemed, growing up, I would invariably share my birthday weekend (or at least just a party) with the Super Bowl. Our high school season was finished, and the last hurrah after all the bowl games would be celebrated with my dad inviting all the football players over for a game of touch football, a pool party, the Super Bowl, a good feeding and (oh, yeah) my birthday as an afterthought. I didn’t mind, though, because birthdays meant complete freedom to order anything I wanted as far as groceries went. Couple that with the entire football team and a Super Bowl party, and I could cook enough to feed an army — and did. The lime cilantro salmon dish was created for just such a birthday/Super Bowl party back when I was 15. I had the salmon flown in fresh from Alaska and built an outdoor sandpit in the backyard. But other than the coastline, I haven’t even tweaked the recipe since then, except to move it inside. 
Football has since overtaken baseball as the number-one American pastime, with its own style of tailgating food and culture. While I have been to some amazing over-the-top Super Bowl parties over the last 25 years on my adopted East Coast, I nonetheless miss our own way of celebrating the day, with the obligatory pregame game of touch football, our laidback Southern California approach to just about everything and our lighter, Chicano-inspired cuisine. Most of all, though, I miss the glory days of promise and youth, with bright-eyed, brown-skinned boys throwing a football just for the joy of it with my dad, who to me will always remain younger than I am now. Happy Super Bowl Sunday, and as long as your team isn’t playing the Chargers, I hope they win!
Tequila-Infused Camarones on Homemade Cheese Papusas with Chipotle Crema 

Adobo grilled shrimp (or tofu or chicken)
1 lb. (16-20) shrimp 
1 shot tequila 
¼ cup lime juice 
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. coriander
½ tsp. salt
1 chipotle chili, smashed
½ tbs. agave nectar
1 tbs. organic canola oil with warm water
Peel & devein shrimp but leave the tails. On the hottest possible setting, let your pan begin to smoke and then drizzle with organic canola oil just before placing shrimp flat in pan. Put no more than 10 shrimp at a time in a 12-inch pan (you have to keep a very high heat, and too many shrimp will bring the temp down); let them sear on one side for 60 seconds and then turn them to the other side. After another minute, add a couple tablespoons of the marinade and cook for another minute. Pull shrimp off heat and do second half. Pan WILL smoke, so make sure you have good ventilation.
Cabbage Slaw
One small red onion, finely diced
Red, yellow and orange sweet peppers, diced
½ to 1 cup cleaned cilantro leaves
1 cabbage, very finely shredded 
1 – 5 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup organic canola oil
2 tsp. fresh-ground cumin from toasted cumin seeds 
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 tsp. white pepper
Mix everything thoroughly. I like my salad more tangy, so I usually up the lime juice.
Homemade Papusas
2 cups masa harina 
1 cup warm water
1 cup grated 16 Mile cheddar cheese
Stir the masa harina and warm water together in a mixing bowl until smooth. It will have the texture of very soft and fine play dough. Shape the dough into eight, 2-inch diameter balls. Poke a large hole in the center of each ball so that it looks like a kid’s teacup. Put cheese in each hole to fill and close the top. Flatten till it is like a thick pancake in your hand. (Don’t worry if some of the cheese shreds stick out.)
Heat a comal or seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla into the skillet at a time; cook until cheese melts and tortillas are lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Flatten as needed with a spatula, and remove from heat when cooked through; keep warm in napkins.
Chipotle Cream Sauce 
2/3 cup crema Mexicana (or sour cream)
2 whole chipotles
1 Valencia Orange, squeezed
1 dash lime juice
1/4 tsp. salt flakes
Puree in blender and put in a squeeze bottle.
4 ripe avocados
1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, smashed
½ Roma tomato, seeded and diced
2 tbs. cilantro, finely chopped 
1 jalapeno seeded, white pith 
removed and finely diced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1 tbs. vegan (or regular) mayo
½ tsp. Maldon sea salt flakes, plus more to taste
Prep all veggies, scoop out avocado into a bowl and mash with everything. Avocado turns brown when air touches it (from oxidization), so if you are not eating it right away, cover the top with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice and cling wrap.
Fire-Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
20 medium-sized tomatillos
5-8 jalapenos, stems removed 
10 cloves peeled garlic
Sea salt flakes to taste
1 bunch thoroughly cleaned cilantro
2 tbs. organic canola oil
Toss tomatillos, jalapenos and garlic with canola. Place under broiler, turning constantly until they are blackened and blistered. Puree in blender with cilantro. Do not remove stems; just make sure they are cleaned of all grit and salt.
(NOTE: You may want to remove the tomatillos as they are blackened, so they all get cooked thoroughly. An alternative method is to hold the tomatillos close to the flame of the gas burner until they blacken and then put them in a medium-heat oven until soft. Be careful when blackening the jalapenos, since the smoke can burn your lungs.)
** Compose by putting warmed papusas on a plate; top with cabbage slaw and shrimp. Drizzle with chipotle cream and top with tomatillo salsa and guacamole. All salsas can also be served separately with chips, if desired. Also, instead of making papusas, you can use warmed or fried tortillas.
Baxter Farms Black Bean and Pasilla Chili Tamale Pie with 16 Mile Corn Cheddar Crust and Old Court Sweet Pepper Jam

Sweet Corn Pudding Crust
2 cups white finely ground cornmeal
2 tbs. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
¾ cup butter
2 eggs 
Small can cream-style corn
1 cup grated 16 Mile cheddar cheese

Soften butter and cream with sugar until fluffy; add eggs and beat well, 
then add cream-style corn and dry ingredients. Fold in cheese.
Sweet Pepper Jam
1 cup diced Fresno chilies
2 cups diced red onion
2 bottles 16 Mile Old Court Ale 
1 cup organic sugar, or evaporated cane juice 
2 tbs. agave nectar
1 pinch sea salt
1 tsp cornstarch mixed to a paste with warm water

Make sure that chilies and onions are diced very fine and covered with the beer in a medium saucepan. Bring to a slow boil and add the sugar salt and agave. Stir constantly. When beer is thick and gooey, lower heat and whisk in cornstarch only if needed. (If you reduce enough, you will not need to use the cornstarch as a thickener. I add it to the recipe because a lot of people lose their nerve in the last few minutes, and it ends up watery.)
Tamale Pie Filling
2 ½ cups cooked black beans (1 large 28 oz. can) 
2 ½ cups fire-roasted tomatoes (1 large 28 oz. can)
1 cup roasted (browned) onions
1 small 16 oz. can corn kernels 
2 tbs. organic canola oil
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Maldon sea salt flakes (I love these, but you can substitute regular sea salt) 
1 tsp. mild chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne
½ tsp. ground coriander
2 Pasilla or Poblano chilies, finely diced
1 sweet red pepper, finely diced
¼ cup vegetable stock or water
¼ cup red pepper jam
1 cup grated cheese (I use 16 Mile cheddar cheese from Chapel Creek)
Heat canola oil over medium heat and add drained corn kernels, cumin and chili powder. Cook, stirring constantly until crispy and fragrant. Add chilies, peppers, roasted onions and vegetable stock and stir until softened. Add all ingredients except cheese and cook until warmed thorough. Add cheese and spoon into a casserole dish with at least three inches of headroom. Top with corn crust and bake at 350° until crust is cooked and inside is bubbly, about 40- 45 minutes. Check frequently to make sure the edges don’t get too crispy, and wrap the top with a piece of aluminum foil if necessary. Halfway through cooking, you can put 1/3 cup of red pepper jam in the center and sprinkle more grated cheese on top.
Cumin-scented Wild Salmon with Cilantro Cream

Lime cilantro salmon
2 cups crema Mexicana (can substitute 1 ½ cups mayo plus ½ cup sour cream) 
1 bunch cilantro (cleaned thoroughly; leave on stems)
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Maldon sea salt flakes (expensive, but so worth it)
½ cup lime juice, plus quarter-cup
6 filets of wild salmon, skin on, roughly a four-pound side, trimmed
2 tbs. organic canola oil
Clean salmon filets if necessary. Put in ¼ cup lime juice for a couple of hours to marinate. Mix all the other ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy except canola oil. Preheat broiler to high. Heat nonstick 16-inch pan over high heat, add canola and place salmon filets flesh-side down for three minutes, then flip over to put skin-side down. Spoon lime cilantro cream over filets (about 2 tbs. per) and put under high-heat broiler (about 4-5 inches from heat) for five minutes, which will bring them to medium-rare. Cook three minutes longer for medium, but watch carefully. Each oven is different and will vary greatly. Reserve sauce for the side and garnish with lime circles and sour cream, if desired.

Spiced black beans and corn 
2 cups black beans, drained 
1 diced sweet red pepper 
1 cup corn
1 tbs. cumin
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. sea salt flakes
1 tsp. white pepper
½ tsp. oregano 
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups finely shredded cabbage
½ cup vegetable stock 
Toss everything except cabbage and vegetable stock together and sauté in nonstick pan until crispy and browned. Add cabbage and vegetable stock, cover and cook until just barely cooked through.
** (You can serve salmon on a platter atop the crispy black beans or on a bed of fresh multicolored pepper rings.)

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