Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tamale Tutorial

The girls got this book at the library last week. It was one that had been read at school in class and enjoyed. Its about a girl who tries on her Mother's diamond ring without permission, and fears she's lost it in the tamales they had been making. She recruits her siblings and cousins to help eat the tamales, to try to find it. Victoria wondered if I'd ever had tamales, and said she hadn't. She wanted to try some. So.... with rings off, that's what I fixed for dinner. Here's a how-to.

Cover a chicken with water. Season with chili powder, garlic powder and salt to taste.

Cook until it's tender and falls from the bones.

Soak dried corn husks in warm water for 30 minutes or more, til soft and pliable.

Remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin, and shred it.
Place the shredded meat back into the stock and simmer 15 minutes.
Drain most of the liquid. Prepare chicken filling:
Saute 1/2 onion, add chicken,
season it to taste with more chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix 3 c. masa with 1 & 1/2 c. chicken broth and scant 1/2 tsp. salt.
Add some chili powder to it for a bit of color.
(Add water if necessary to incorporate all of the dry masa.)
Knead. It should be about the consistency of playdoh.

Place 1 lb. lard in mixer bowl, soften, add the masa mixture and mix together well,
to the consistency of frosting.
Place a little blob of it, (1 tsp. or so) into a bowl of water. It should float a bit.
Spread 1/4 c. masa mixture onto the inside of a corn husk, into about a 4x4 square.
Don't spread it all of the way to the left edge.
You can use a rice paddle to spread, but I end up using my fingers.
Place 2 tablespoons or so of the meat filling down the center of the spread masa.
(I got busy rolling tamales and didn't "film" the process)
But starting at the edge to your right,
roll once toward the left, fold tail up, and continue rolling to left edge.
Pretty soon, you'll end up with a whole mess of 'em.
Traditionally they are placed in a steamer.
I put mine on end in the crockpot, preheated on high,
add 1" of boiling water to the base of the tamales.
(Don't put water in before placing the tamales in, or you'll get steam burned.)

To ensure that the steam stays in well, place a sheet of aluminum foil on top and
place the lid on top of it. Steam for an hour or more.
They're done! Tamale wrapper on left......steamed tamale on the right.

served with frijoles and salsa.
cooling. preparing to freeze.
We prefer them cut into chunks in a casserole with chili beans,
with additional onion and cheese, and baked 30 min. or so at 350F.

1 comment:

kate said...

YUM!!! Whose camera were you using, since someone absconded with yours?


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