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Country Ham Tamal with pork carnitas, queso Oaxaca, mole coloradito, roasted squash, Swiss chard, pickled green tomatoes

By Flavor & The Menu
April 19, 2019

Tom Carlin

Southern meets Mexican in the best-selling Country Ham Tamal at Dove’s Luncheonette, a Tex-Mex diner in Chicago. Chef de Cuisine Tom Carlin braises country ham and pork carnitas in a red mole, then adds queso Oaxaca and masa to form the tamales. Once steamed, they’re unwrapped and served with mole coloradito, roasted squash, Swiss chard and pickled green tomatoes.

“Cinnamon and Mexican chocolate in the mole bring a dense richness to the dish that is then cut with the bright marinated squash and pickled green tomatoes,” says Carlin. “The tamal itself is sweet, savory and supple, with a little chew.”

He credits the dish’s success to its mash-up of two cultures. “I think the combination of a Southern sensibility and ingredients applied to a classic Mexican form makes it exciting,” says Carlin. “It has evolved over the past year with a variety of different sauces and garnishes as the seasons change. It is one of my favorites so I expect it to be around for a while.”

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