Everyday Inspirations

 
 
{angie}
So one of the first things you should know about me, I have always wished I was Latina. The dark eyes, olive skin, family-oriented culture, romantic language, delicious food—it's all appealing to me. For some reason Mexican food in particular has always been an important part of my family despite the fact that I am totally a white girl. A few times a year my mom and I get together for a whole day and just make tamales. It's a day of female bonding and lots of hard work. I think our highest yield was about 12 dozen in one day. We then individually wrap them and freeze them to be reheated and eaten later. Warning: these are a lot of work, but well worth it as they are delicious! I highly recommend you make these in large batches and with a partner or two as they go much faster in an assembly line (and frankly, you'll want the company). From my family to yours, enjoy and salud!
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Corn and Green Chili Filling
2-3 cans of corn
1-2 cans of green chiles
2 teaspoons cumin
Cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded

Combine all ingredients except cheese in a bowl. Shred the cheese into a separate bowl. When filling tamales, spoon corn mix on first, then top with cheese.

Corn Husks Preparation
Corn husks must be pliable, so submerge them in very warm water about 30 minutes before you intend to begin assembly. You will notice that some of the husks are too small in diameter to hold a tamale. That's okay, you can tear these into strips and use for ties on the ends. A large plastic bowl in the kitchen sink works well to get the corn husks sufficiently immersed.

Masa Preparation
8 cups masa (available at most grocery stores in the Mexican food section)
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup shortening or lard
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons chili powder
4 teaspoons

Blend the masa by working the ingredients together with your fingers.
I often add in additional chili powder or some cumin to this recipe as well. This recipe makes about 30-40 tamales.

Assembly

Remove corn husks from water and place on a flat working area near the masa dough. Form 1.5" balls of masa dough and place on wax paper. Press out the masa onto a plate or tortilla press. Transfer the masa to a flattened corn husk. The edges of the masa may hang over the husk by a little bit, allowing for overlap when folding. Spoon a heaping tablespoon full of the desired filling lengthwise down the masa dough. Fold the husk edges and press the edges of the masa dough together. The husk edges should overlap. Tie the ends with strips of corn husks. In a large steamer, steam the tamales for 45 minutes. While they are cooking, be sure to check the water level every ten or so minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Wrap in freezer wrap and place in freezer bags. To reheat, place on plate and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Serve as is or with salsa.

For beef, chicken, and pork filing recipes click read more.
Habanero Pork
2-3 pound bone-in pork roast
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 onion, diced
1 habanero chili, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
4 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, removed from stems and chopped

Place roast in roasting pan. Top with chili powder, onion, chili, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water to make steam and seal pan with foil. Bake until tender, at least 3 hours. Drain drippings, remove excess fat, and cut into small pieces. Add cilantro and combine well.

Green Chili Beef
2-3 pound beef pot or round roast
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
1 can green chiles
4 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro, removed from stems and chopped

Please roast in roasting pan. Top with onion, garlic, chiles, cumin, salt and pepper. Add 1 cup water to make steam and seal pan with foil. Bake until tender, at least 3 hours. Drain drippings, remove excess fat, and cut into small pieces. Add cilantro and combine well.

Jalepeño Chicken
2 pounds chicken breasts
Olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
3 teaspoons cumin
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can of jalepeno peppers
Cilantro, removed from stems and chopped

Drizzle olive oil on chicken. Top with garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bake until tender. Dice chicken. Stir in jalepeno peppers and cilantro; combine well.



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