Saturday, November 28, 2009


I have been asked to share how to make here goes. I don't have photos now, but I can add them in the next time that I make tamales.

What You Need
Corn husks
Large container or sink for soaking
Container or plastic bag for keeping the husks in
Tamale dough
Steaming bucket or something you can steam them in

Tamale Dough
6 cups masa harina
5 cups warm water or broth
1 1/2 cups lard or shortening
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl combine masa and warm water or broth until combined. Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes or so to let the masa soften. Then mix it on low speed until a dough forms.
After Masa is prepared-
Gradually add in the salt, cumin and onion powder.
In a separate bowl, whip lard or shortening until fluffy. Add the lard to the dough a little at a time while mixing until well combined.The mixture should be about the consistency of peanut butter. If not, add more masa, water or broth as necessary. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Tamale Fillings

Pork and Chicken
1 pork roast (6-8 pounds) cooked and shredded
1 large chicken (5 pounds) cooked and shredded
1/2 c corn oi
6 Tablespoon chili powder
2 Tablespoon garlic salt
3 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon (or less) black pepper
2 Tablespoon salt.

Beef filling
3 cups shredded beef
8 large roasted chiles- skin, seeds and veins removed and coarsely chopped.
1 white onion- peeled and coarsely chopped.
6 cloves of garlic- peeled and crushed.
1 jalapeno- seeded and diced
3 potatoes- peeled, boiled and chopped into large chunks.
1 cup homemade chile sauce or store bought.

Green Chile
1 cup green chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups shredded Jack cheese
1/2 cup green chile sauce
1/2 cup whole corn kernels added to dough

México Del sur
2 cups shredded chicken, seasoned with hoja santa
1 cup fresh, whole corn kernels
1 cup finely diced tomatoes
1/2 cup red chile sauce

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken marinated in citrus flavors
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
2 serrano chiles, finely diced
1/4 cup orange juice

Black Bean and Cheese
2 cups seasoned black beans
1/4 cup liquid from beans (bean broth)
1/2 cup of cilantro
1 cup queso panela shredded
1/2 cup onion, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 cups cooked shrimp or lobster
1 cup shredded Jack cheese
1/2 cup mariscos sauce- 1/4 cup heavy cream mixed with 1/4 cup mayonnaise, seasoned with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped.

How To Wrap a Tamale

Here's How:
Sort the husks
Go through the corn husks removing any debris. Separate the larger usable pieces from the smaller bits and pieces.

Soak the husks
Place the husks into a large bowl or sink. Cover husks with warm water. Set a heavy item (like a heavy bowl) on top of the husks to keep them submerged.

Prepare the husks
Remove the husks from the water and pat dry. Use only the larger and medium sized husks for the tamales. When looking at the husk, they have a narrow end, a broad end, and 2 long sides.

Adding the dough
Lay a husk on a flat surface. Place 1-2 tablespoons of dough onto the husk. When spreading the dough, leave a space of about 4 inches from the narrow end of the husk and about 2 inches from the other end. Spread the dough to the edge of one of the long sides and 2 inches away from the other long side. Try to keep the dough approximately 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick.

Spread about a tablespoon of filling down the center of the dough.

Locate the long side with a 2 inch space with no masa. Fold that over, slightly overlapping the other side so the edges of the dough meet. Wrap the extra husk around the back. Fold the bottom empty part up.

Set tamales upright in a steamer. You can buy large steamers made just for this purpose. You may have something else you can use to create the same effect. The key is to have a small amount of boiling water on the bottom of the pot and a colander or mesh of some sort to keep the tamales away from the water.
Steam for about 90 minutes

Do not let the water boil up completely. Add hot water to the pot as necessary but keep it away from the tamales. If some of the husks are too small or you have trouble closing them, use extra pieces of husk to wrap around the open areas.

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