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#1
Old 11-14-2001, 03:50 PM
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I'm thinking of taking up the tradition of making tamales for the holidays. I bought all the ingredients and read the recipe. Now I need to know, what do you use to steam these babies for an hour?

I have one of those collapsible vegetable steamer baskets and a big pot. Do I use that and just keep adding water every few minutes?

I'm making a small batch of approximately 16 tamales, not one of the big batches using 7 pounds of meat.

Also, if you make tamales for the holidays, are you sick of it, or do you think it's fun? Is it worth doing?
#2
Old 11-14-2001, 03:57 PM
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The few times I've made tamales, I've used the equipment you mention and they turned out just fine. Just keep an eye on the water level, as you say.
#3
Old 11-14-2001, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
...what do you use to steam these babies for an hour?

I have one of those collapsible vegetable steamer baskets and a big pot. Do I use that and just keep adding water every few minutes?

I'm making a small batch of approximately 16 tamales, not one of the big batches using 7 pounds of meat.

Also, if you make tamales for the holidays, are you sick of it, or do you think it's fun? Is it worth doing?
They're a lot of work, but they're fun. My wife and I have been learning to make them, and we've gotten about five good batches so far (and threw out the first batch altogether!).

We steam the tamales in what was marketed as a pasta cooker, i.e., metal pan inside of a larger metal pan. The inside pan has holes in the bottom. It cost about $12, which is significantly cheaper than the $60 or so for the "traditional" tamale steamers my wife is always pointing out. I need to add water every 15 minutes or so, because the inside pan goes deep -- I can only fit about 3/4" of water (you don't want the water inside the inside pan).

We fit about 25 to 30 in our pan. The famous "masa spreader" for tamales doesn't work so well. Use a wet, metal spatula to spread the masa. We've also found that if you let the masa set a couple of hours in the fridge it spreads a lot easier, and doesn't seem to negatively impact the quality.

We steam ours about an hour and a half.

We also soak the corn husks overnight to make them flexible. Don't be afraid to use a second corn husk if the masa escapes from the first one (or if they're small husks).

Good luck, and have fun!
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#4
Old 11-14-2001, 05:03 PM
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Tortilla Press!

Although you don't need one, using a tortilla press will make your tamale-making experience much, much better. Especially since your only other option would be to use a wet spatula to spread the masa. With a tortilla press, just put down some wax paper, then your pre-soaked corn husk, throw on a small ball of masa, more wax paper, then press. Peel off the wax paper, add your filling, and close your tamale... next!

With a press (which only costs about $10 around here, maybe more if your not-so-close to Mexico, but probably not), you'll be able to make >5 tamales in the time you'd make one without. Trust me.

Also, if you're going into production to make tamales, you may as well make zillions of them; don't limit yourself to 16 (especially since you'll screw some up). And I applaud your decision to bring tamales to your holiday table! I've been having them for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas for as long as I can remember...
#5
Old 11-14-2001, 05:43 PM
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Re: Tortilla Press!

Quote:
Originally posted by Pantellerite
Although you don't need one, using a tortilla press will make your tamale-making experience much, much better...
Doh! This seems like a perfect idea! But, how do you make sure the masa's spread in rectangularish fashion instead of pefectly round? My wife's been wanting a tortilla press, ostensibly to make tortillas (even though they're a dime a dozen in Mexiquito). I guess this would be a good time to invest the $12.95 (as they are here) for one.

Why are tamales a "Christmas" tradition? The Mexican bakery and the "real" Mexican restaurants in Mexiquito seem to sell them all year around. I ask this 'cos maybe we've been silly making them when the mood strikes us (although as I'd said previously, we do little batches, so maybe it's a labor thing).
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#6
Old 11-14-2001, 06:34 PM
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its not to say you can't have them year round, but they def. are a christmas tradition. kinda like a turkey dinner just screams thanksgiving.

in my family, it is a great tradition.. its a time for all the women to get together and gossip and chat and laugh!

never used a tortilla press though. we usually make them assembly line style. Usually the younger girls sort out the husks, etc. Time is not of the essence though.

also, there are loads of recipes for tamales...one of my favorites is sweet tamales.
#7
Old 11-14-2001, 07:08 PM
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Damn, wish you had made this post about 4 days ago. I ran across a locally produced program from one of the Denver PBS stations and they featured tamale making.

One of the woman created this Tamale spreader, is was a plastic spatula like thing. You get a blob of your Masa mix (or whatever your tamale consists of) and it scraped it perfectly on the husk.

If it helps you you might be able to email them about it and ask if they have the reference for it at http://kbdi.org

The only thing about tamales is the time consumption. Oh and virtually any mock up to steam them should be fine.
#8
Old 11-14-2001, 07:28 PM
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I think http://mex-sales.com is the masa spreader that we bought in Little Mexico, that we hate. If not, my apologies to this little company.

techchick68, is this the spreader you saw?

It seems to be a great product, well-liked by many. I first encountered it at http://mexicanfood.miningco.com, but in our experience, the masa only sticks to it, and the spreader doesn't work too well. It could be that the masa recipe we use doesn't get along with the spreader -- we use the recipe on the Maseca bag.

On that note, we use "Maseca for Tamales," mostly because, well, it has the recipe for the masa on the bag, and it's worked so far. Let me try to make this a factual question, for the purposes of keeping this thread from getting moved: what other varieties of "Maseca" work for Tamales without substantial changes to the recipe? Also, do I have to use Maseca? Can't I go to my local grocery and get pretty much any type of corn flour? You know, like for making corn bread?
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#9
Old 11-14-2001, 07:36 PM
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No, it has to be masa for it to taste like a tamale. Masa is treated with lime and has a very different flavor.

I suppose if you steamed cornmeal in husks the results would be edible, but it wouldn't be tamales.

However, any brand of masa should be OK.
#10
Old 11-14-2001, 08:39 PM
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The most important thing to have when making tamales is:

An old Mexican woman.
#11
Old 11-14-2001, 09:09 PM
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Re: Re: Tortilla Press!

Quote:
Originally posted by Balthisar
Quote:
Originally posted by Pantellerite
Although you don't need one, using a tortilla press will make your tamale-making experience much, much better...
Doh! This seems like a perfect idea! But, how do you make sure the masa's spread in rectangularish fashion instead of pefectly round?
No le hace, hombre! When you squish it, you get a big disk in the midst of which you put your filling. The rectangular shape forms as you fold the husks into the shape of the tamal.
#12
Old 11-14-2001, 09:20 PM
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Some more pointers:
[*] Make sure to use real masa made with lard. It will have the rich and silky flavor that makes for a great tamale.
[*] I recommend stongly against using a tortilla press when forming the masa into the husks. Too much pressure will give the masa a leaden consistency and result in an undesirably dense tamale. I have always used a spatula or large spoon to dole out the masa. Be sure to spread it out laterally without smashing it down too much. It helps if the masa has been whipped before use in order to make it airy and light. There is nothing like a nice, fluffy tamale.
[*] Make your pork mole the night before. Be sure to cut the meat into relatively small pieces if you are not going to the trouble of cooking down a big chunk of pork shoulder or Boston butt. Also make sure to let the meat mixture cool completely. This allows the spices to marry up with the meat and makes it easier to spoon the filling into the tamales. Mole requires many hours of cooking in order to both lose its "vegetable" edge (from the ground pumpkin seeds in authentic products) and fully penetrate the meat. This is especially true if you are making tamales with chicken mole.
[*] Avoid stacking the tamales too high in the steamer. One or two layers is the most I ever do in order to avoid compressing them too much. Again, piling them up high will smash them down and give you an overly dense filling.
[*] For an interesting change-up, try using a pipan verde to make green tamales. The pork is cooked in the exact same way and the flavor is a real eye opener compared to the usual mole.
[*] Be sure to soak the corn husks in water before using them. If the husks are too small, use a smear of masa to join them together into a larger expanse.
[*] Most of all, making tamales is thirsty work. I recommend swilling huge quantities of a good Mexican beer to cool down in the steamy hot kitchen.
[*] Have fun and enjoy these splendid examples of authentic Mexican cooking. There are much easier to make than it seems. I obtained great results the very first time that I made them.
#13
Old 11-14-2001, 10:09 PM
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Balthisar,

That could be it but the pictures they showed of that masa spreader wasn't very good. In the show the lady did it with ease, obviously she's had experience with it but the other lady didn't and it seemed to work well for her.

I recently got a book (actually 2) from Rick Bayless that has several recipes for tamales in it and somewhere he mentioned the brand he uses. For the life of me I can't find it but the recipe calls for (say for 16 tamales) 1 pound of course-masa for tamales or 1 3/4 cup dried masa harina with one cup plus 2 tbsp hot water then allowed to cool.

If I remember correctly, masa should be the consistancy of Play-Doh, not too wet and not too dry. Slighty, more moisture content than you'd find in pasta dough.

If you have any Mexican specialty stores in your area you can get fresh masa which is what he recommends over and over.
#14
Old 11-14-2001, 10:38 PM
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Ah, you guys bring back memories. Very pleasant ones. And you're making me very hungry.
Tamales are definitely special occasion food. Christmas, Thanksgiving, or to show off at a fund raiser for the local church. All sorts of tamales.
As I remember it, my friends motrer would put the masa on the husk with a big spoon and smooth it out with her wetted fingers. If you arrange them in a traditional steamer correctly they won't mash each other. She also patted tortillas by hand, an almost lost art by then (late 50's, early 60's). Refried beans made with fresh lard, smeared on a fresh tortilla is pure heaven.
Sweet tamales. Yum.
I also remember something very much like a tamale, but without the husk and fried in grease.
Damn, I'm hungry.
Peace,
mangeorge
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#15
Old 11-14-2001, 11:13 PM
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Thanks for all the info! I think that as a novice, I will stick to the simple recipe on the Maseca for Tamales bag. I checked out the "old Mexican woman" page, and was frightened away by the admonition that it would take 10 to 12 hours. That's a little too much for me!

So I'll make the meat-chili mixture the day before, and cool the masa before trying to spread it, oh yeah, and whip it real good.

I hope it tastes good. I hate to waste two pounds of perfectly good pork.

Can I hear more about those "sweet tamales"?
#16
Old 11-14-2001, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
Can I hear more about those "sweet tamales"? [/B]
Usually, these are chicken or pork tamales made for the holidays that have raisins incorporated into the meat mixture. Here is a link to a tamale thread at about.com's cooking site.
#17
Old 11-15-2001, 12:01 AM
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well, a very easy way to make tamales, especially if you don't have the time:
go to any mexican bakery. they SHOULD sell the masa prepared, esp if they sell corn tortillas there. then you add the lard (or shortenig as prefered) and meat, etc.

let me give you the approx recipe for the sweet tamales. when I talk with the mama, I will get a more exact recipe.
we usually do this by taste anyway...

add to the masa:
crushed pinapple (canned ok)
raisins
marsachino cherries
shredded coconut
pecan pieces

sugar is added
as is:
cinamon
anise

note: these are not American sweet. they are "sweet" if you understand.
Usually they are served to the kids as the meat ones are "hot". or adults like them for desert. these are also nice cold.


as for the tamales without the husks, fried..those sound like gorditas.

get some of the tamale masa (any left over is ok). make it in to a small tortilla shape, about 5 inches in Diameter, 1/4" thick. fry. split it length wise (like a hamburger bun)but NOT all the way. stuff with your regular taco type stuff. VERY VERY good.
#18
Old 11-15-2001, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zenster
Usually, these are chicken or pork tamales made for the holidays that have raisins incorporated into the meat mixture. Here is a link to a tamale thread at about.com's cooking site. [/B]
what part of mexico are these from? Southern?
My mom is from Chihuahua. there, meat is not incorporated into the sweet tamales.
#19
Old 11-15-2001, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bad News Baboon
My mom is from Chihuahua. there, meat is not incorporated into the sweet tamales.
Chihuahua? Yo quiero El Grande Estado de Chihuahua! Viva Ojinaga!

Most of the Mexican food I'm familiar with these days is more Chihuahua-style, and the Mexican food I grew up with (via Mom) is more Tamaulipas-Nuevo Leon style (she's from the Rio Grande valley), so maybe it's just a northern Mexico thing, but I've never seen sweet tamales con carne, either.

And I'll have to respectfully disagree with Zenster, but with a little practice and a well-whipped masa, a tortilla press can make tamales that are just as good, light, and fluffy, in a lot less time.
#20
Old 11-15-2001, 12:35 PM
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What about holding the wrapped tamale closed? Do I need to go out and find tamale-wrapping string? Or will they stay closed reasonably well by themselves? Do I use waxed paper on top of the corn husk?
#21
Old 11-15-2001, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
What about holding the wrapped tamale closed? Do I need to go out and find tamale-wrapping string? Or will they stay closed reasonably well by themselves? Do I use waxed paper on top of the corn husk?
I lie the steamer pan on its side, and stack the tamales in so that the leaves don't open up. As they're stacked on top of each other, the leaves stay closed. Once the pot is full, stand it back up, and they hold themselves closed. Don't pack 'em in TOO tightly, though -- they need room to expand.

We, too, use the recipe on the Maseca for Tamales bag. I don't have authentic, Mexican taste, but for me, they come out tasting riquisimos, and my wife says they're good, too (and has central-Mexican taste). We've tried both manteca and Crisco, and the Crisco works well, and I feel better about eating it.

Don't worry about the 12-hour thing of the Old Mexican Woman. Maybe making 300 tamales that's so, but it takes us about 10 minutes to make the masa mix, then we sit on our buts letting it settle. About 30 to 45 minutes to stuff and wrap the tamales (about 30), and just over 1.5 hours waiting for them to cook. Of course, during cooking it's not like we stand around watching. There are other things to do. Last time, we made apple pie amidst the tamales. Also, I guess you need to factor in the time to cook the filling, which my wife does while I'm working, but I don't think it's THAT time consuming.

Besides the pork filling, we also mix in some with nothing but cheese and homemade, green salsa. Yum!

FWIW... the sweet tamales that I've had in Guanajuato were nothing more than sweet masa tamales -- no filling. They also tended to be dyed, I think, unless something in the sweetener made them green or pink.

Good luck! Let us know how they came out.
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#22
Old 11-15-2001, 04:32 PM
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Where's the atole ? ¿Cómo que tamales sin atole?
#23
Old 11-15-2001, 05:04 PM
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Well, I made the meat today and already made a mistake. I overcooked (burned) part of the chilis, and figured it would taste fine, anyway, which it doesn't. I mixed them in with the meat already, and it all tastes kind of...burned-y.

It's also too spicy for my husband's tastes, but maybe the rich, protective layer of masa will take the edge off it for him.

Next time I'll be gentler with the chilis. Also, I used pork stew meat and boiled it for three hours, 'cause I kept waiting for the meat to fall apart and it never did. Is it supposed to? I cut it up small, sauteed it, and mixed it with the chili mixture. Now it's in the fridge. I probably oversalted it, too, since I was trying to get rid of the ash taste from burning the chilis.

I found a page with some tamale filling recipes, and next time I'll probably try something different. I love the taste of the sauce restaurants usually put on enchiladas, if anyone knows what that is and can tell me how to recreate it in a tamale.

Speaking of sweet tamales, do they make ones that taste like that sweet corn cake stuff? That stuff is delicious!

I had salsa music playing on the CD player and everything. I don't drink beer, should I drink sangria or horchata, maybe? Which is better, tamarindo or jamaica?

Oh yeah, what about if I grilled the pork (on the barbecue grill) instead of boiling it? Anyone done that?

I'm going to finish this batch because I figure I need the practice manipulating the masa, anyway. If they're edible, I'll freeze them; and if they're not edible, I'll find some other use.
#24
Old 11-15-2001, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
Well, I made the meat today and already made a mistake
Give me a day or two, and I'll post my wife's recipe for her guiso, which I think means (more or less) "stew." This is the stuff we put in the tamales (and other varieties for burritos and so on -- boy, I eat good now!).

I know that she doesn't cook the meat until it separates, but when it's fully cooked -- boiled -- she does something I think is called "desabrar" it. Really, it's pulling the meat apart with your fingers until it's a bunch of stringy meat. Then she mixes in the rest of a spices and salsa and stuff, and cooks it again.

I'll got back on the exact procedure.
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#25
Old 11-15-2001, 07:38 PM
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This should be pretty close to restaurant enchilada sauce, although I've made sauce before without tomato in it.

You could use other types of large dried chiles, but the anchos give it a deeper flavor.


Basic Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

8 Ancho chiles
3 1/2 cups warm wter
1/2 cup onion -- chopped
2 cloves garlic -- chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. oregano
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tsp. chili powder

Instructions:

Cover chiles with warm water. Let stand until softened, about 30 minutes; drain. Strain liquid; reserve. Remove stems, seeds and membranes from chilies. Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in a 2-quart saucepan until onion is tender. Stir in chilies, 2 cups of the reserved liquid and the remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes; cool. Pour into a food processor workbowl fitted with steel blade or into a blender container; cover and process until smooth.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups sauce.

Use with favorite enchilada recipe.
#26
Old 11-15-2001, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by CBEscapee
Where's the atole ? ¿Cómo que tamales sin atole?
Atole?? Que rico! Qual sabor te gusta? me gusta chocolate!

Quote:
Originally posted by Pantellerite
Chihuahua? Yo quiero El Grande Estado de Chihuahua! Viva Ojinaga!
Viva Juarez!


Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
Speaking of sweet tamales, do they make ones that taste like that sweet corn cake stuff? That stuff is delicious!
I didn't see where you are from, but a chain in California called Chevy's had this stuff on the side. is this what you meant? I have a recipe for that if you'd like. The Sweet tamales, however, taste nothing like cornbread at all.

and the way we make tamales:

hold moist husk on palm,small point side up.
(you are soaking them, yes?)
get spatula run a streak down husk (kinda like if you were spackling)
add meat (if making them as such)
fold left side over
fold right side over
fold top down.

then place folded sides DOWN in pot.

wow! you guys are making me homesick with this thread!
#27
Old 11-15-2001, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
Well, I made the meat today and already made a mistake. I overcooked (burned) part of the chilis, and figured it would taste fine, anyway, which it doesn't. I mixed them in with the meat already, and it all tastes kind of...burned-y.

It's also too spicy for my husband's tastes, but maybe the rich, protective layer of masa will take the edge off it for him.

Next time I'll be gentler with the chilis. Also, I used pork stew meat and boiled it for three hours, 'cause I kept waiting for the meat to fall apart and it never did. Is it supposed to? I cut it up small, sauteed it, and mixed it with the chili mixture. Now it's in the fridge. I probably oversalted it, too, since I was trying to get rid of the ash taste from burning the chilis.

I found a page with some tamale filling recipes, and next time I'll probably try something different. I love the taste of the sauce restaurants usually put on enchiladas, if anyone knows what that is and can tell me how to recreate it in a tamale.

Speaking of sweet tamales, do they make ones that taste like that sweet corn cake stuff? That stuff is delicious!

I had salsa music playing on the CD player and everything. I don't drink beer, should I drink sangria or horchata, maybe? Which is better, tamarindo or jamaica?

Oh yeah, what about if I grilled the pork (on the barbecue grill) instead of boiling it? Anyone done that?

I'm going to finish this batch because I figure I need the practice manipulating the masa, anyway. If they're edible, I'll freeze them; and if they're not edible, I'll find some other use. [/B]
What may have happened is that the acidity of your sauce may have slowed the cooking process of the meat. A similar thing occurs if you try to cook beans in a tomato sauce, in some cases the beans will never cook completely.

I recommend that you take the meat, cut up or not, and cook it off according to my taco meat recipe as shown below (although you will probably want to leave out the garlic):

----------------------------------------

Beef Taco Meat
Carne de Res


Preparation time: 1 1/2 Hours

Serves: 6 People


Ingredients:

2-3 Lb Beef chuck roast
3-5 Cloves Garlic
3-4 Tbs Oil or fat
1 Qt Water or stock
1-2 Tbs Salt


Preparation:

Preheat a medium size cook pot over low heat. Add oil to the pan. Place the piece of meat in the pan or dress it into large pieces that will fit. Increase the heat to medium. Brown the meat thoroughly on all sides. Peel and crush the garlic into the hot fat. Do not brown the garlic. After three minutes or less pour in the water or stock. Add the salt and continue to cook uncovered until the meat falls apart and is tender. There should be very little stock left when finished.

----------------------------------------

Once the meat is tender, then bring it into the mole sauce and simmer to perfection.

As to the burned flavor. Whenever you suspect that you may have burned the concoction that you are cooking be sure to do one thing. Do not stir the mixture. Immediate pour off the liquid and whatever material has not stuck to the bottom of the pan and reserve it in another bowl or pot. If really large chunks of meat have stuck to the bottom, remove them but do not use the burned portion of them. It is the carbonaceous material that carries over the bitter and acrid flavor into the remainder. There may be some of that unpleasant flavor in the main batch when you are done, but it will be far less than if you stir or dislodge the crust at the bottom in any fashion.

You might want to use tho old trick of cooking a raw potato or two in the chili sauce to absorb some of the excess salt.

As to the enchilada sauce, please try Las Palmas brand chili colorado red enchilada sauce. It is quite decent (although I like their green sauce better). Another that has caught my fancy is the Ortega brand red enchilada sauce. It has a different balance of flavors that I prefer. Of course, home made will be better. Remember though, that the mole sauce is the most authentico para tamales.

If you are having trouble folding the hoyas, try soaking them in hot water to soften them more. You can always peel off a thin strand from the husk to tie the tamale with if that doesn't work.

I've given the tortilla press some thought and it might work if you avoid compressing the masa too much. A light touch with the handle could possibly do that. I've just had to many tamales that were like lead sinkers to be in favor of it.
#28
Old 11-15-2001, 11:29 PM
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BNB;

How could you mention thatplace in the same breath as mexican food? "Fresh Mex", indeed!
Ok, so their chips and salsa ain't too bad.
Peace,
mangeorge
#29
Old 11-16-2001, 05:20 AM
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Re: BNB;

Quote:
Originally posted by mangeorge
How could you mention thatplace in the same breath as mexican food? "Fresh Mex", indeed!
Ok, so their chips and salsa ain't too bad.
Peace,
mangeorge
never said it was mexican food, now did I?

I am pretty easy going when it comes to food. I am willing to try just about anything.

however.....

my one picky spot is Cheese Enchiladas. Mr Baboon calls me an enchilada snob.
I always judge mexican restaurants by their enchiladas.

ANY place that serves that GODAWFUL meat sauce on top of enchiladas is instantly a terrible place.

In my book, meat sauce (that DREADFUL chile con carne slop) is a big NO NO. It's just NOT done. and ALL 'mexican' restaurants here in Fort Worth do it. Other than a few places, this part of Texas has the worst mexican places. who would have thought?

[herman munster]
I hate it
I hate it
I hate it
[/herman munster]
#30
Old 11-16-2001, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zenster

If you are having trouble folding the hoyas, try soaking them in hot water to soften them more.
[/B]
kinda hard to fold a pot, no?

(yes, I know its a typo...hojas)
#31
Old 11-16-2001, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bad News Baboon
Quote:
Originally posted by CBEscapee
Where's the atole ? ¿Cómo que tamales sin atole?
Atole?? Que rico! Qual sabor te gusta? me gusta chocolate!
Para mi, ¡atole de coco! ¡Con tamales de rajas de chile con queso!


Quote:
Originally posted by bluethree
Speaking of sweet tamales, do they make ones that taste like that sweet corn cake stuff? That stuff is delicious!
Tamales dulces de elote are very common here in Jalisco and many other parts of Mexico. The fresh corn is cut from the cob,ground and prepared with butter,sugar,salt and baking powder. This is used instead of masa de nixtamal. There are many regional variations of this.

A friend of ours makes tamales barbones or bearded tamales, muy tipicos in Sinaloa. Made with a filling of shrimp with the heads left on, and the "whiskers' left poking out, hence the "beard"!

And you'll also commonly find tamales wrapped and steamed in banana leaves or hoja santa in a lot of regions. This Spanish language site is terrific and the recipes should be easy to translate. Tamales

Quote:
Originally posted by Mangeorge
I also remember something very much like a tamale, but without the husk and fried in grease.
Fried leftover tamales from the night before make a wonderful breakfast. They get nice and crunchy on the outside!!
#32
Old 11-16-2001, 10:52 AM
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Again, thanks for all the advice and recipes. I'll try Zenster's recipe next time I do this. But, what then do you use as mole sauce? The stuff in the jars in the store? Or is mole just the pepper-and-water stuff?

By sweet corn cake stuff, I was refering to the little dollop of substance some restaurants serve with an entree. Chi-Chi's is one of those restaurants. I haven't eaten at Chevy's but I'm sure it's the same stuff. I was just wondering if that's what the sweet tamales taste like, and it sounds like there's a big difference from one region to another.

I'm still interested in your guiso recipe, Balthisar.

On the tamale-folding, don't you fold all four sides? Do you just squish the last side together? That's what it said on that one website. Man, this is complicated.

Tomorrow's the big day--when I try to spread the masa and form the durn things.
#33
Old 11-16-2001, 01:29 PM
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no, we (meaning my family) never fold four sides. that one side is left "open".

well, I have never had any tamales that are like that dollop of stuff, but it seems that there are some out there like that.

slight hijack:

chi-chi's?!!!
what were they thinking?
did they not run that name by ANYONE who knows spanish?
(same goes to ChiChi Rodriguez)

and before I hear about it from my bad joke..
yes, I know its olla, not hoya. same sounds.
#34
Old 11-16-2001, 05:30 PM
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This thread has worked out well, but food threads do even better in Cafe Society. Also the folks there look for them.

So I'll shoot it over there.
#35
Old 11-16-2001, 06:19 PM
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I use a time and labor saving method of making tamales, and it really goes a lot faster.

When you fold and wrap your tamale, only fold up one of the long ends and leave the top end open. Don't bother to try to tie up the package, just line them up on the counter with the seam side down. When you're ready to steam, wad up a big ball of foil into a vague cone shape and put it in the middle of the steamer. Lean the tamales, open side pointing upward, against the ball of foil, working outwards in successive circles. Proceed with steaming. It's a good idea, when stuffing the tamales, to have the filling more toward what will become the open end so you don't have a lot of empty husk sticking up and taking up space.
#36
Old 11-16-2001, 06:35 PM
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I dunno, pugluvr.
A lot of the flavor in the masa comes from the infusion of the taste of the husks and filling. The masa is a big part of the tamale, IMO. Too many commercial makers skimp on the masa.
I'll admit, though, that I've never tried your version.
You gonna eat all those?
Peace,
mangeorge
#37
Old 11-17-2001, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern California
Posts: 435
Quote:
Originally posted by Balthisar
Why are tamales a "Christmas" tradition?
As far as I can remember, my mommy has been making tamales every Christmas. Memories of her sitting at the table with a HUGE bowl of masa, a HUGE bowl of pork and a pile of husks toiling away to make up a wonderful meal.

I'm suprised no one has said this joke already. Its kind of racially offensive but I found it funny.

Why do Mexicans make tamales during Christmas time?


So they have something to unwrap on Christmas morning.

My mommy was the one who always said that.
#38
Old 11-18-2001, 03:16 PM
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Location: USA/female/40s
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I made the tamales yesterday, and they came out just fine. I had no trouble spreading the masa on the corn husks. I soaked the husks for a few hours, and I whipped the lard (crisco) very well before adding the masa stuff. I need to perfect my spreading and folding technique, but all in all I'm quite pleased. It was a small batch, 14 tamales and it fit perfectly into the pot.

Next time I'll try a better meat recipe, use fewer peppers, and not burn them. I think I'll also add more salt into the masa mixture, 'cause the corn part tastes kind of bland to me.

They were definitely better than any store-bought tamales I've had.

I'm also going to be on the lookout for a sweet green corn tamale recipe.

Thanks again for all the help and advice.
#39
Old 11-18-2001, 03:38 PM
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congratulations bluethree!

#40
Old 11-20-2001, 09:15 PM
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Yeah, congrats bluethree. You survived all the advice.
And thanks for the update. Enjoy.
Peace,
mangeorge
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