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Old 10-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
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What Could You Make With Corn Flour, Salsa Verde, Rice, and Tomato Sauce?

Hello All,

I'm the chef instructor of a small rural high school culinary arts program in Arizona. Arizona, like most states, was hit hard by the recession and shortfalls in state budget funding of public education have hit a lot of districts hard. I actually lost my last teaching job in Tucson due to budget cuts and was lucky to find this job.

I inherited what appears to have been a home economics kitchen which I've been transforming into a commercial kitchen. We're actually going to apply for our commercial license by the end of this month so that we can open a small student operated restaurant. This will give my advanced students some much needed hands-on experience while also defraying food costs through sales.

I've also inherited two annual catering events that come out of my department's food budget. The first upcoming event will be Veterans Day. I am told that 80 veterans will be in attendance.

Although I appreciate our veterans, I'm on a tight food budget. It occurred to me that I might save some money by using up supplies my predecessor left me.

In my dry good storage are 44 pounds of masa de harina (corn flour), a dozen bottles of salsa verde, 50 lbs. of long grain rice, and a half dozen #10 cans of tomato sauce.

I've been thinking of using these to make a tamale pie that I could serve with Spanish rice and beans ... but I'm open to other suggestions.

One of my students stated the obvious. Why make tamale pie when we could make actual tamales? The answer was that I'm trying to conserve my food budget and dry corn husks are expensive.

So ... does anyone have any advice on what I can do with 44 pounds of corn flour, a dozen bottles of salsa verde, and six #10 cans of tomato sauce?

Given my location in rural Arizona, tamale pie with Spanish rice and beans seems to be the obvious solution. I would just have to buy dried pinto beans, onions, and cheese.

Any constructive advice would be appreciated.

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Old 10-03-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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What about Gorditas from the masa.You could top them with either Pork Chile Verde or Carnitas or Chili Rojo.
You could make small ones and do a trio.You would have the red/green/white flag thing going on that way and those that don't like spicy will stille be taken care of.

You could also make Horchata with the rice too.
Agua Fresca would be another cheap drink.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:01 PM   #3
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You could also do a frozen rice pudding for a treat.
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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Thank you for your replies ... dessert has not been traditionally offered and I'm a bit worried over establishing a precedent because this is how the Veterans Day meal got started to begin with.

The Gordita is an interesting idea. It'd be more presentable than a slice of tamale pie, though tamale pie would be easier to make. We have a commercial deep fryer. On the other hand, the tamale pie would also be more cost effective since I wouldn't have to buy pork.

I'll think about this ...
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:06 PM   #5
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I went with pork since it so much cheaper than beef.
Does your tamale pie have protein? Pretty easy to substitute just about anything.You probably have an Abundance of teenagers!
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
Does your tamale pie have protein?
I was going to put cheese in the tamale pie.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
.You probably have an Abundance of teenagers!
I went from being one of ninety teachers at a high school in an affluent Tucson suburb to being one of just sixteen teachers in a small rural school.

Since we're small, there are few electives. In Tucson, I had 184 students ... and at my new school I have 146.

The kids seem to be a lot nicer though. In Tucson, getting the kids to clean the kitchen was a challenge. Students from affluent families complained that they weren't "servants." If I did something nice for them like get them a case of burgers to grill for lunch, they'd complain that I didn't get them any fries or sodas.

In contrast, the kids at my new school seem much more appreciative. Nearly anything I do for them is greeted with a smile and a thank you.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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Traditional tamales have a meat filling. I'm having a hard time picturing a cheese tamale or cheese tamale pie. Perhaps a better use for the masa harina would be to make corn tortillas. These could then be used to make enchiladas. Cheese enchiladas are definitely workable. This opens other inexpensive protein choices...chicken, ground beef, etc.

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Old 10-03-2010, 08:45 PM   #9
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Traditional tamales have a meat filling. I'm having a hard time picturing a cheese tamale or cheese tamale pie. Perhaps a better use for the masa harina would be to make corn tortillas. These could then be used to make enchiladas. Cheese enchiladas are definitely workable. This opens other inexpensive protein choices...chicken, ground beef, etc.

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Hmmm ... well ... it isn't as though I don't have the manpower to do this. I have 146 students ...

Since the veterans are for the most part, senior citizens, I think I'd be safe in assuming no more than two enchiladas per person which would mean that I need a minimum of 160 corn tortillas.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:23 AM   #10
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You could also offer green sauce or red sauce on the cheese enchiladas. Since the Verde is already done, you would only have to spice up some tomato sauce for the red. I think more will tend toward the red as something familiar.

Spanish rice along with the enchiladas.
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