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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chili Today, Hot Tamales

Far too much good stuff going on. Last week I went to a tamale party at Rick & Mommy Nancy's. Years ago they used to host annual New Years tamale stuffing parties and they decided to revive the tradition.

Tamale making is a long process so the more tamale affectionados to help out, the better. This was my first tamale making gig but as I am a great fan of eating them I figured it is about time I participate. What with boiling chicken until the meat falls off the bone, shredding the meat and mixing the cornmeal massa, and assembling the ingredients like origami, then steaming the finished tamales, making tamales - a hundred or so - can easily fill up most of a day.

On the cool side, at least to me, tamale recipes seems the sort of cooking you don't really need a recipe for. When it came time to add spices to the shredded chicken, we got artistic. A little chopped jalapeno here, some garlic there, not to mention varying teaspoons, dollops & dashes of cumin, salt, pepper, paprika, cilantro, and anything else that seemed tasty.

The massa - cornmeal with good old fashioned artery hardening lard, salt and such was prepared the previous day. So after soaking corn husks in water, we were ready to go.

Paste the prepared massa onto a husk
the black bits are raisins - yummy

Then add a dollop of shredded chicken. spiced & mixed
with hot peppers & every Mexican spice found under the sun;

Fold the husk, then turn the thing 180 degrees & roll

Finished wrap - all full of goodness & tied off with a bow

Final step - the tamales have a hot tub party,
(they are steamed actually) then they are ready to eat

That's it! Yum.... The best thing about Tamale parties is everyone goes home with tamales! You can reheat them by steaming, or freeze them for future use. Tamales as 'leftovers' are heaven.

And now a word to the wise, or to those with eyes bigger than their stomachs & thick skulls like me. You see, once upon a bit, decades ago Rick and Nancy gave me a dozen tamales from one of their tamale parties. I ate some - yum... then I ate some more... yumm.... then I ate yet another and suddenly - I thought I was gonnna die! Tamales can be quite petite, and they go down easily. However, after you eat them, the cornmeal absorbs all your stomach liquid and blows up like a puffer fish. OUCH! So be careful eating your tamales - or else!

1 comment:

  1. that is so unfair, my neighbor was talking about making some, so I asked her if could have a taste, why? every mexican story usually involves the making of tamales, you know having children the books, sesame street and the like, so Ive wanted to try them, the irony is this all happened just this week. the baby was sick, and I missed my opportunity. :(