Growing up I was exposed to a lot of delicious food, and the one item that I considered a treat and my #1 comfort food are nacatamales. I was trying to figure out a way to describe them to you and found that Wiki does a decent job on doing that (call me lazy).
A nacatamal is a dish found in Nicaragua and Honduras similar to the tamal. The nacatamal is perhaps the largest production within the traditional Nicaraguan kitchen and it is an event often reserved for Sundays at mid-morning, it is usually eaten together with fresh bread and Nicaraguan-style coffee. It is common to enjoy nacatamales during special occasions and to invite extended family and neighbors to partake.
My plan initially was to make tamales after becoming hooked on them while in Chicago. But then I thought, tamales and nacatamales follow the same concept, so why not just add more ingredients and make it a nacatamal? “They” say that nacatamales are difficult to make, and they take a long time to complete. I pondered this.
Bring it on!
Naturally I deviated from the authentic recipe because a) I do not eat onions and b) I do not eat peppers. And guess what? You need both these ingredients. Not gonna happen. So these are the ingredients I settled on instead: rice, potatoes, tomatoes and pulled pork. And you know what? It really was not as difficult as I thought it would be, except for the fact that I forgot to add the most basic and important ingredient as far as I am concerned when it comes to cooking savory dishes. Yep, SALT! How in the h@#$ could I forget SALT?! One excuse is that I was so focused on getting what I read were the most difficult parts of the assembly down, that I completely disregarded the importance of proper seasoning. So now I have 10 bland nacatamales. Yes,I know I can still add the salt after the fact, but it is not the same! Arghh! I am so annoyed. It’s like baking a cake with no sugar!
Anyway, let me show you the process I went through. Sigh.