Monday, September 14, 2015

making tamales

First thing is to soften your corn husks. I did this by pouring boiling water on them and letting them soak about an hour.

While those are soaking I prepared the masa using the recipe on the bag - making a double batch.  It does call for lard, which I have bought only one time ever in my life before. 

On the right side is a small dish of pure white fat that solidified from the liquid that cooked off the pork when I had it in the oven. Isn't this basically lard?  I used it in the recipe.

On the left is the broth from cooking the pork (it's reddish from the chili powder and spices). This is the liquid used in making the masa.

I mixed it in the Kitchen Aid mixer.

Once the corn husks have softened, spread a layer of masa in roughly a four inch square, in the top right of the corn husk (have the smaller end pointing to the left).

Spread a heaping tablespoon of your meat mixture down the center of your masa square.

Roll in such a way that the corn husk doesn't end up with an edge inside the tamale...fold the edge backward if you need to.  After rolling, fold that bottom edge upward. Leave the top open. Some people tie them up with a strip of corn husk and that makes them look really cute, but it seems like an unnecessary step.

It goes quicker than I expected!

I couldn't get them to stand up nicely in the steamer basket.   You cover them with a damp towel and put the lid on the pot. Steam over gently boiling water for about 90 minutes.  I set my kitchen timer to go off every 12 minutes so I could check the water level and add hot water to the pot if needed.  After they had cooked an hour I could tell they were feeling firmer, but I left them in there the whole 90 minutes.

Then I opened one for a test. Yep, they are done!

Not beautiful, but tasty!   

I made 3 dozen and still had half of the meat left.

I didn't have enough corn husks to finish using up the meat, so I bought some parchment paper at the grocery for a substitute. It was actually a bit harder to work with because the masa mixture didn't want to stay where I put it.

I eventually got the hang of it....

...and we had them for Sunday dinner with black beans & ham, southwest salad, baked sweet potato quarters, and buttered broccoli.   (No-Bake cookies for dessert)

My husband likes hot and spicy foods and these tamales were more on the mild side, so he added hot sauce. I warmed up some enchilada sauce to pour on them and some shredded cheese to sprinkle on top

I think the tamales were pretty good (a little dry) and it was fun to learn to make them.  There were seven dozen total (but they are small).
 I might try it again some time...I will know for sure once we use up all that I am putting in the freezer!  

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