Have you at any time heard the words:
Tamales, Arepas, Tortillas and Empanadas?
They are not words spoken by people from out of space.
In fact these words are Latin American in origin and they represent the staple food for millions.
Just like bread is to North Americans and Europeans.
They are very nutritious, easy to make, and taste wonderful.
All it takes is a little time and a small investment to create these staples right in your own home.
Tamales, Arepas, Tortillas and Empanadas are all made with one particular ingredient.
It is called Masa or corn flour.
Maiz is the Spanish word for corn.
Therefore, all you need is one bag of Mr. Goudas Masa Flour, which is the base ingredient in all the above.
(And you know what happened to him when he decided to create the best corn flour on the market.
He went masa-minded, even in his dreams).
He did everything to ensure that he brought the best corn flour to you.
After all, he did not want to disappoint the millions and millions of Latin American consumers who depend on his skillful judgement.
We will give you the know-how of creating these wonderful recipes.
Let us see how he began his Latin American adventure and how the human brain works.
The following story leads us into Latin Food in all its glory.
Over the last year and a half, there have been a series of tragic events in and about our organization.
Four of our loyal employees Robert Di Piero Charles Keith Rafael Onofre Colleen Bradley passed away in quick succession, and they were still quite young.
Lenio Montini, a very personal and close friend of Mr. Goudas, as well as an important supplier, also passed away.
And, to top off the tragedies, the personal companion of Mr. Goudas for over 17 years, his loyal and faithful dog Irma, died.
This was too much for all of us to handle, especially Mr. Goudas, over such a short period.
One morning Mr. Goudas arrived at the office (at least this is what the story says) at 4:00 a.m. as usual.
However, his early morning secretary Maria, who has been with him for many years and is now 70 years old, was unusually absent.
Fearing the worst, Mr. Goudas asked the night shift supervisor why she was not present.
The gentleman did not respond.
So when he asked him again and still did not get a response, questions were raised in his mind.
Not wanting to confront any bad news, he left the office and drove to the airport, with the final destination being somewhere in Mexico, and only one credit card in his pocket.
With no knowledge of the Spanish language, he found himself in a predicament somewhere in a flea market, trying to use his credit card to buy a burrito or taco or something.
They did not accept credit cards...solo dinero, por favor (cash only, please).
He saw a little kid standing on a ladder, hanging up some clothing on the fringes of a booth, while singing like an angel.
He approached the kid and attempted to converse with him about accompanying him while he played the harmonica, which he always carried with him.
The store owner came out of the store and Mr. Goudas began attempting to explain who he was by using sign language.
He told him that because the kid had a very good voice and he himself knew how to play the harmonica, he was trying to encourage the formation of a duo.
He also stated that he was a very famous man in Canada.
Upon looking him over, the owner stated that he did not look too famous to him, dressed as he was in casual wear, shorts and slippers, not even properly shaved.
In fact, he told Mr. Goudas that he looked like a bum.
Nevertheless, Mr. Goudas waited until the kid, who was singing all along, finished work, so that they could form a duo, and play on a corner somewhere to collect some dinero (petty cash).
So finally the kid agreed.
They ended up playing outside one of the cantinas, which was full of patrons a little on the tequila side (famous Mexican liquor).
Apparently, when they started playing one famous Mexican song, with the boy singing and Mr. Goudas playing the harmonica, they were shooed away.
Mr. Goudas did not understand what they were trying to say, he thought that they were enjoying the music, so he continued playing.
Finally, the Mexicans came out, and one of them pushed Mr. Goudas away and his harmonica fell on the ground.
He tried to tell him that he had damaged the harmonica, but in response the Mexican then stomped on the harmonica and crushed it.
This was a no-no to him and he started fighting the Mexican who was almost twice his size.
The Mexican was joined by a few of his amigos (Spanish for friends) and they beat the mierda (Spanish for shit) out of him.
At that point in time, with the pain in his hips and behind, finally, he ended up with very happy news...
He woke up!
The whole darned situation was just a dream!
When he finally arrived at the office, he found Maria waiting with his usual morning coffee.
Upon greeting him, she commented that he was looking very rough, as if somebody had beat him up!
He smiled at her and said he will talk about it later.
When everyone arrived at the office later that morning, he told them about his dream in graphic detail. The whole office erupted in laughter!
Then, one of the employees said to him.
You have been eating too many burritos lately!
Your Masa creation is getting to your head.
This article is not intended to be a criticism of the Mexican culture.
Please see it for its humour.
Mr. Goudas is actually a big fan of Mexico, its people, culture and music.
And he loves to play Mexican songs on his harmonica.
In photo Mr. Goudas and Livia Papadimitri
We hope you enjoyed this story and that you will also enjoy creating the following dishes.
In anticipation of making these dishes we asked Senora Esperanza at Rancho Latino Restuarant 2290 Keele Street, Toronto, to give us her professional opinion.
Since she did not speak English very well, we enlisted a volunteer translator, 10 year old Juan Pablo, who told us that the Empanadas taste much better when you add Aji, which is made from onions, pimentos, green onions, haberneros, cilantro, oil and salt.
He then posed for this picture, showing us how much he enjoyed the empanadas.
He intends to become a doctor when he grows older.
He is a very smart young man who speaks fluent Spanish and English, having been in Canada only 3 years from Colombia.
The recipe for Empanadas follows below.
Again, the following recipe is geared towards beginners who wish to experiment with Latin cuisine.
The ingredients are incorporated into the recipe:
3 cups Mr. Goudas Masa Flour,
1 teaspoon vinegar,
1 teaspoon salt,
1/2 cup cold water,
3 tablespoons shortening.
Combine water, eggs, and vinegar in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, pour Masa flour and salt.
Blend the shortening into the Masa flour mix.
Slowly and gently pour the liquid ingredients into the center of the flour mix and blend with a fork until it forms into a dough.
Lightly flour a portion of your working area and knead the dough until it is smooth and soft.
Place in lightly floured and covered bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
FOR VEGETERIANS ELIMINATE THE MEAT
Your choice of either 1 pound of boneless beef, chicken or pork.
Wash meat and set aside. Saute 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic and 1 large onion in 1/4 cup oil.
Add meat and cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 can of Mr. Goudas Chicken Broth, salt and pepper to taste.
Blend in 1 can of Mr. Goudas Mixed Vegetables and sautee for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll onto your lightly floured working area.
Cut off pieces and form into circles 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
Place a spoonful or two of your filling on the dough.
Slightly moisten the edges of the dough and fold over into a half-circle or half moon shape, and press the edges together sealing the meat filling inside.
Repeat process as necessary.
Pour enough oil to cover Empanadas into a frying pan and heat.
Deep fry Empanadas until lightly golden.
Drain on paper towels and serve warm...con mucho gusto. Adios, hasta la vista.
FOR VEGETERIANS ELIMINATE THE MEAT
In the photo is Andonio Figola
The Italian translation and narration of the Koukla story done by Antonio Figola.
4 cups Mr. Goudas masa flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 can Mr. Goudas Chicken Broth
2 tbsp crushed jalapeno peppers
1/2 cup of butter, softened
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Warm the chicken broth and add a little at a time to the dry ingredients.
Mix gently using a wooden spoon until the dough is formed.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.
Slowly add portions of the masa dough into the butter batter.
Continue beating the mixture (if it becomes too tough add a little more liquid) until it is light and soft.
Tamale assembly involves the use of either corn husks, banana or plantain leaves, which have to be softened in warm water and dried by shaking.
For the cooked meat filling of the tamale, you may use either chicken, beef or pork belly.
Using either the leaves or husks, spread approximately 2 tablespoons of the masa mix into the centre of the smooth side using the back of a wooden spoon.
Add one tablespoon of the meat filling onto the masa mix and roll each husk or leaf until the meat filling is enclosed within the masa mix.
Continue this procedure until all the ingredients are utilized.
Bring a large pot, half filled with water, to a boil.
Place tamales in a large steamer, immerse in the boiling water, cover and bring to a slow boil.
Continue cooking for approximately 2 hours until the husk/leaves begin to fall away from the filling.
Sample one of your creations to see if it is cooked to your desired perfection.
Remove from water.
Your Tamales should be soft and delicious.
Our recipe is geared to beginners and those experimenting with Latino cuisine.
You need not invest in a tortilla press or griddle.
For now we suggest you use a rolling pin and a heavy cast iron frying pan.
2 Cups Mr. Goudas Masa Flour
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place masa flour, salt and water in a bowl and mix thoroughly to combine the ingredients.
Using your hands, apply pressure to the mixture and knead into a dough.
Once firm in texture, not too soft and alternately not too hard, pinch off or cut off large enough pieces to form into a ball.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the palms of your hands and roll or form each piece into a ball shape.
Continue this procedure until all the dough is utilized.
Each ball shape piece of dough has to be flattened.
Place cast iron frying pan/griddle on stove at medium heat.
Sprinkle some masa flour on a clean, dry area of your working space, on your hands and on the rolling pin
Flatten each ball and place on heated griddle.
Turn over, after approximately 1 minute.
(It is similar to cooking pancakes).
Place each cooked Tortilla in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
The above recipes and pictures are courtesy of Spyros Peter Goudas.
All rights reserved.
No reproduction for commercial use is allowed without the express permission of the copyright holder.
Please Note: There are thousands of bread recipes from all over the world, however, in this website, we have mentioned bread, in the following recipes