You are never too old to learn, which is what I was doing for some of the recipes for this show. Thankfully, many friends in the Hispanic community helped me learn to make the Tamales. So, join me in learning how to make a Mexican dinner.


Lyle’s Mexican Rice


  • 1 cup Rice
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 8 oz Tomato sauce or 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup English Peas
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water


  • Place oil & rice in a skillet and stir until a golden brown. Drain off some of the excess oil. Add cumin, water, onions, and carrots. Cover & cook with a tight-fitting lid (about 15 minutes). Add English peas and cover and cook another 5 minutes or until all of water is consumed.



  • 3 lb Bag Yellow PopCorn Kernels unpopped
  • 2 cups Corn Meal from PopCorn
  • ½ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Masa Flour
  • 5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Shortening, butter, lard (melted), or cooking oil
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup Milk


  • Preheat oven at 375° F

Corn Meal

  • Place a small handful at a time of popcorn kernels in a glass jar blender
  • and pulverize… empty into a flour sifter and sift into a bowl.


  • Put the remainder back into the blender and blend again. Repeat each hand full, until you have 2 cups of popcorn cornmeal. Set aside & save small *hard pieces of corn.
  • Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl & stir until smooth.
  • Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter/flour (or use something like Baker’s Joy spray). Pour in the batter & spread smooth. Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.


*(Note: You can boil those larger pieces in water to make yellow grits for breakfast.)

Kathryn’s Mexican Salad



  • 1 Head Red and Green Lettuce optional Mixed lettuce rinsed, dried and torn
  • 3-4 cocktail tomatoes cut in quarters
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1 English cucumber seeded and chopped
  • ¼ large red onion thinly sliced- spread apart
  • 2/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 miniature red pepper chopped (optional)
  • 1 miniature Yellow pepper chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup black olives cut in half
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbled


  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • Zest of one lime optional
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt



  • Chop or tear lettuce and put into the salad bowl,
  • Slice tomatoes in quarters add to salad, slice onion in thin strips add to the bowl,
  • Chop cilantro finely and add to salad. Cut olives in half, add seed peppers finely chopped, and add to the salad. Save the Feta cheese until serving.


  • To make the dressing, zest, and juice one lime. Add to a small bowl or small jar. Add the olive oil, cumin, black pepper, and sea salt. Mix well or shake the jar to mix. Refrigerate both dressing and salad unless you are serving immediately.
  • Once you are ready to serve, pour salad dressing over the salad mix. Top with the Feta cheese and serve.
  • Makes enough for 4 servings

Lyle’s Old Time TAMALES


  • 3 lbs Pork cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2 small onions quartered
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 6 cups water or chicken stock
  • 4 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin Comino seasoning
  • 1/2 lb dried Ancho Peppers
  • Boiling water to soak peppers
  • 2 1/2 cups Masa
  • 1 1/2 cups instant grits
  • 1/2 cup water from soaked peppers & meat stock
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 2 Pkgs Corn Shucks


Step 1: Ancho Peppers

  • Soak Ancho’s in a pot of water for 6-8 hours. Drain remove seeds and stems but reserve the liquid. Process the drained peppers in a blender with some of the liquid. Using a seive pour the mixture through the strainer and set aside.

Step 2: Meat

  • For this recipe, we will be using a hotpot to save time, however, you can use a crockpot or large pan and roast in the oven.
  • Add the pork, onions, salt/pepper, and water/stock to your hotpot. Set your temperature according to the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking pork shoulder.
  • Once the pork is done, remove from the liquid and either shred or cut into small pieces.
  • Next, in a large skillet, add cumin, the oil, minced garlic, (please note that I didn’t use garlic because of my allergy.), and meat. Once the garlic has cooked a few minutes, pour half of the Ancho mixture over the meat. Set it aside.

Step 3: Corn Shucks

  • Soak shucks in hot water.

Step 4: Masa Dough

  • Mix masa & grits with enough the pepper liquid & meat juice to be like a pie dough.

Step 5: Assemble and Cook

  • Spread masa-grit mixture on corn shucks. Then spoon some meat mixture on shucks. Roll shucks, folding bottom. Then place in a steamer on the rack (you can use a colander). Put the plate upside down at the bottom of a large roasting pan. Cook 30 to 40 minutes, until shucks loosen easily from tamale.


Recipes provided by Lyle Oelfke

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