Tip of the Week

Sunday, November 6, 2011

You can make tamales too

For Halloween this year I decided to make tamales.  My Aunt helped me cook them and I found it was quite easy to make tamales.  Now I have been told more than once that making tamales is a Christmas tradition in Mexico and for many Mexican families.  However, if you love Mexican food, tamales can be made any time of the year. 

Any tamale recipe will work, I used Guy Fieri's recipe as a guideline for putting everything together.  There are many tamale recipes, both savory and sweet.  My tamales were filled with chicken and cheese and topped with an enchilada sauce.  I no longer buy foods that are canned, so I made my own enchilada sauce.  Guy Fieri also has a great recipe for making your own enchilada sauce and it makes a large batch.  I froze over half to use later. 

Freshly cooked tamales
One problem (minor at that) I encountered was that even soaking the corn husks for over an hour there were some husks that were difficult to work with.  Maybe soaking in lukewarm water will make the husks more pliable, but that will have to be tested next time. 

The chicken is easy to cook.  I used a CrockPot and let the chicken cook with some water and spices.  Typically I don't measure the spices, it really depends on how much chicken I am cooking and how spicy I want it.  Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Paprika, Salt and Pepper were all that I used for the chicken.  The chicken will end up being easily shredded with a fork.

Topped with enchilada sauce

Now let's start cooking.

My Aunt tried cooking the tamales in a bamboo steamer and that worked beautifully, so don't worry if you don't have a pot with a steamer insert. 

You can make tamales too.  The filling can be made ahead and the kids might even enjoy making their own tamale to eat.  Have fun and start cooking!
Ready for serving with a dollop of sour cream, avocado, arugula, chips and salsa

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