Chef's Kitchen: Hemisphere's 'open face' pork tamales

By Allison Walker Torres, Entertainment Reporter/Anchor
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 11:47 AM EST

As you're watching planes taxiing outside the window of Hemisphere Restaurant, there's nothing "plain" about Chef Jeffrey Powell's version of a pork tamale.

"I guess you could say it's the 'fancy chef' way of serving tamales," Powell smiled, comparing his version to his mom's, who inspired this dish.

Hemisphere is inside the Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport. Not only is the restaurant sporting an entirely sleek, new look, but so is the menu.

"Silky and sexy," he smiles, referring to the masa, but a fitting description of the space.

His tamales are deconstructed, so they're served "open face." To accompany it is a grilled apple & fennel salad that stars a brie-like disc of goat cheese kissed by flames. That slight scorch on the sugar sprinkles completely modifies the flavor components.

It works.

So let's cook!

Open Face Pork Tamales

Ingredients Preparation

8oz Pulled Pork 1) Place cooked masa in the middle of plate
6oz Red Chili Sauce 2) Toss pork with 4 oz of chili sauce and place on top of masa
8oz Masa Harina 3) Drizzle 1oz of chili sauce around masa
2oz Guasacaca 4) Drizzle 1oz of Guasacaca around masa
2oz Pickled Onions 5) Top with pickled onions

1. Place cooked masa in the middle of plate
2. Toss pork with 4oz of chili sauce and place on top of masa
3. Drizzle 1oz of chili sauce around masa
4. Drizzle 1oz of Guasacaca around masa
5. Top with pickled onions

Pulled Pork

3 lbs Pork Shoulder
2 Oranges
1 White Onions
2 tbls Chipolte Chili powder
2 tbls Dried Oregano
5 Cloves of Garlic
1 stick of Cinnamon
2 Bay Leaves
6 Whole Black Peppercorns
1 Lager Beer
1 tbls Salt

1. Cut pork into 2in squares
2. Crush garlic with side of knife
3. Quarter onions and oranges, squeeze juice from oranges
4.  Toss with chili powder, oregano, and salt
5.  Place in roasting pan with remaining ingredients
6.  Cover with aluminum foil, bake 280 degrees for 3 hours
7.  Let cool, pull pork apart

Masa Harina

2 cups Masa Harina Flour
2 cups Chicken Stock
¾ cup Bacon Fat (can substitute lard)
1 tsp Chipolte Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper To Taste

1. Bring chicken stock to a boil
2. Heat bacon fat and slowly mix in masa
3. Slowly mix in chicken stock

Red Chili Sauce

6 Pasilla Chili
4 Ancho Chili
6 Guajillo Chili
1 white onion (chopped)
10 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
1 cup Canned Tomatoes
½ cup Chili Powder
1 cup Chili Soaking Liquid
3 tbls Honey
2 tbls Cumin
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Ground Allspice
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Deseed chilies, and bring enough water to cover chilies to a boil
2. Pour water over chilies and let soak for 30 minutes
3. Sauté onions and garlic
4. Add tomato and 1 cup of chili soaking liquid, bring to a boil
5. Let cool slightly, blend till smooth adding more soaking if needed

Guasacaca

2 Avocados
1 small Onion
1 small Green Pepper
1 Jalapeno
2 Garlic Cloves
½ cup Cilantro
½ cup Parsley
¼ cup White Vinegar
1 tbls Lime Juice
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste

1. Place first 9 ingredients in blender, blend till smooth
2. While blender is running slowly add oil 

Pickled Onion
1 ½ cups Red Wine Vinegar 1) Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil
3 Garlic Cloves 2) Turn off heat and add onions
5 whole Black Peppercorn
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1 tbls Salt
1 tbls Sugar
1 Red Onion

1. Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil
2. Turn off heat and add onions

Grilled Fennel and Apple Salad

Makes 2 Entrees

Ingredients Preparation

1 Small Fennel Bulb 1) Cut fennel and apple into 8 wedges, lightly oil and grill
1 Granny Smith Apple 2) Toss spinach and Frisse in cranberry vinaigrette
2 tbsp Toasted Hazelnuts (chopped) 3) sprinkle sugar on Buche de Cherve
2 slices Buche de Cherve ½ inch each 4) torch sugar till caramelized
2 tsp Sugar
½ cup Baby Spinach
1 cup Frisse
2oz Cranberry Vinaigrette

1. Cut fennel and apple into 8 wedges, lightly oil and grill
2. Toss spinach and Frisse in cranberry vinaigrette
3. Sprinkle sugar on Buche de Cherve
4. Torch sugar till caramelized

Cranberry Vinaigrette

½ cup Red Wine Vinegar
½ cup Cranberry Juice
2 Garlic Cloves
1 tbsp Rosemary
1 tsp Dijon
¼ cup Olive Oil