So after the imprompture chicken nachos night before last, I had Mexican on the brain. I have some pulled pork in the freezer, Hmmmm..... Tamales!
Its really pretty easy, problem boils down to consistency. Because there just is no such thing as measurements. You can't hardly mess it up, so fear not. Just dive in.
You have filling, sauce, masa, and assembly.
The filling is defrosted, all I had to do was kick it up a knotch. You like that huh, knotch.
Normal Mexican tamales normally have either red or green sauce.... Doh! Depending upon the peppers you use. Red type dryed chilis, you guessed it. Or fresh green peppers which land you the other style.
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But I cheated, I used some locally made red enchillada sauce. I don't mind saying theirs is superior to anything I could do.
Masa, there are numerous types but MaSeCa instant is probably the most common. I also like Bob's. Its slightly courser the the corn flour type used for tortillas. Some say it makes them more tender with the corn flour, but I just prefer the texture.
Mine usually has 4C of corn flour, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, some kind of warm stock, this time it was the left over hock stock I saved from a few weeks back, A little baking powder (I don't know why), and some melted lard (Ya just can't substitute for it).
AND a container with additional warm water, you'll have constantly adjust the fluid in the Maza. Also it helps to keep the maza from sticking to you.
Corn husks, its worth the extra 25 cents to get the good husks. The cheap ones are nothing but frustrating! Place part of the package (unless you are having a tamale party), in a pan of boiling water and allow to sit a few hours, (sorta like sausage casings).
When your hands are in the maza and the filling and sauce, camera pictures are not an option. LOL
I don't do the little old lady style loading the maza on the tamale. I don't use a spoon or a extra wide putty knife. I use an ice cream scoop, I get an equal dollop of maza everytime and roll it into a gold bal and squish it between my hands. I shape it and put it on the husk. then I flatten it a little more. Ok, It works for me. No, I won't be doing 100 at a sitting, but 2 dozen is a grape.
Rolling is easy, I won't compare it to rolling store bought tobacco in a Prince Albert paper, but its a lot like that. I thought I handled that explaination nicely! Then fold over the top.
Stack 'em in a pan of boiling water somehow above the boiling water.
I used a canning tray on top of three custard bowls. I also used a penny in the pan, its supposed to clater to insure your pan has not gone dry. Well it sounded good to me anyway, didn't work.
You want to use the steam but not any pressure from the boiling water. So I use a damp bar towel as a cover.
Its almost like looking for the thin blue smoke from the boiling pot. The boiling water totally hydrates the maza, expanding it and allowing it to gel or firm up.
24 or 25 tamales in an hour from start to cleaned up and in the reefer.
I am strange, Ok, OK, stop laughing....... when college as a mear tadpole, the local watering hole always had homemade tamales and home made sausage in cooking pots at the end of the bar. Every Friday afternoon after classes, after a test, or just because I could.... I would hit Nick's, drafts of miller lite (I said I was young) we a .25/Cup, the tamales were .10/each, a link of sausage was .50. I never ate tamales till then and the barkeep got me eatting tamales with creole mustard. I was hooked.
To this day I like hot tamales, creole mustard, and semi flat cowboy cool Miller Lite beer! What can I say, it was college! I didn't swallow any goldfish!
My only note today. More Salt!! That maza just absorbed it all with no return in taste.
Its some good stuff! Don't fear the learning process. Just don't waste that pulled pork...LOL