Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot Tamales!

Last night I made tamales for the first time. I had high hopes for them, and luckily I wasn't disappointed! I am not Hispanic, but sometimes I really wish I was because I love Mexican food and I'd love to be a whiz at cooking it.

So, in order to find a recipe, I did what any person would do. I looked it up on Youtube! I found this nice video explaining how to make the tamales. It really got me in the mood with those crazy skeletons and peppy music! :-) Of course I tweaked their recipe in order to use what I already had in the pantry.

I'll show how I made them, then post the recipe below. I got all the ingredients together and set up a little assembly line.


First, the masa dough gets spread on the soaked corn husk. In the Youtube video, the sisters do an awesome job spreading the dough perfectly with the backs of spoons. I found it was easier for me to dip my fingertips in water, then push the dough into place like Play-Doh.


Then I put the filling inside.


Wrapped the sides...


Folded the bottom up...


And put them in the steamer pot.


Then I did it again until I ran out of ingredients!


Then I steamed them for an hour and ten minutes.


I served them with a little sour cream and a sauce I made. The sauce was simply a can of diced tomatoes, half an onion, salt, a splash of lime juice, cilantro, and garlic and onion powder to taste. Sort-of like a very smooth salsa, only cooked.


I brought leftovers to eat at work today and they were even better since they really got a chance to firm up. I'm definitely going to make these again!

Here are the details:

Masa Dough:

2 c Masa Harina
2/3 cup lard
1/2 tsp salt
garlic powder to taste
onion powder to taste
~1 1/4 c beef broth (I used the broth from my jar of venison)

Whip lard until smooth, then add the masa and seasonings. Slowly add the broth until the right consistency is reached. I'm not exactly sure what the perfect consistency is, but you should know. It'll just feel right. Soft, but not runny, and able to be spread. You may want slightly more broth. Let the dough sit for about 20 minutes to absorb and soften.


Filling: (here's what I used, you can tweak it to your liking)

1 jar of canned venison (probably 2 lbs of meat before cooking)
1 can of Rotel (tomatoes with chiles)
1 onion
1 clove garlic
cilantro

Put Rotel, garlic, onion, and cilantro in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Put meat in a pot on the stove (medium heat) and add blended mixture. Stir and cook until heated through. If you don't have canned meat or don't want to use it, just do some method of cooking the meat low and slow so it's nice and tender, like in a crock pot.



The nice thing about this recipe is it can be tweaked depending on personal preferences. But I'm not pretending to be an expert...because like I said, this was the first time I've made them. :-)

Adios!

5 comments:

Shannon said...

Yum, tamales! I had no idea they were so easy to make. Thanks for posting this, I'm going to try making my own!

Becky said...

Wow, Kate! Those look great! You've inspired me too. I want to try to make them but I don't have a steamer pot... only a bamboo type steamer. I guess I can always wrap the tamalas all the way instead of leaving the top open so they won't leak when I put them flat?

katiegirl said...

I think they'd be fine laid flat Becky. You can definitely wrap them all the way around! David told me that was the way he's always had them, wrapped up like little packages. :-)

Jennifer said...

Looks really good Katie. Dont know if I'll ever make any but wish I had some right now :)

Deb said...

I never have had one but you make them look pretty good! Great job putting in the work to make what you like! Love, Momma

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