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Old 02-27-2011, 05:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chopper View Post
she says that your problem is that you need several people in the kitchen at once to be able to get it right.
And she's absolute right. If you have people around that will actually stick around to help you out.
In my world it doesn't work out that way. They can come up with a million excuses to get out of it. Well fine and all that I get more done alone anyway.

If you wan to simplify it. Boiling the corn husks beforehand isn't really that necessary. Using as as your hands can stand of HOT tap water and soaking the husks for 30 minutes or so will work. They only need to be pliable. Take out a hand full at a time. Tap the stack and strain them in a colander or wring them out. If you have a little excess water on them dab a dry paper towel over them. Set up you assembly line.
Spread, filling, wrap, steam or freeze what you want.
The dough, and fillings can be made ahead and frozen.
When you want to make a batch thaw them out and use at room temp.

Munky.
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Old 02-27-2011, 07:26 PM   #12
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Has anyone ever tried using fresh corn husks??? I'd be curios to know if they would work...
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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Soaked too many corn husks...

Okay, did the tamale. BUT, I didn't plan very well. I soaked more husks than I had filling...don't have time/freezer space to make more filling and fill those. Question: What would be better--freeze the extra husks or let them dry out again?

Since I don't know where to get these things were I live, I rather not toss them on the compost (although I can replenish my stash in April).

Re: Fresh--I tried using fresh corn husks. Our corn doesn't produce husks like the ones you buy (size wise). I tried glueing them together with masa paste--waste of effort. I don't see why you couldn't use fresh ones.
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Old 02-28-2011, 04:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by CWS4322 View Post
Okay, did the tamale. BUT, I didn't plan very well. I soaked more husks than I had filling...don't have time/freezer space to make more filling and fill those. Question: What would be better--freeze the extra husks or let them dry out again?

Since I don't know where to get these things were I live, I rather not toss them on the compost (although I can replenish my stash in April).

Re: Fresh--I tried using fresh corn husks. Our corn doesn't produce husks like the ones you buy (size wise). I tried glueing them together with masa paste--waste of effort. I don't see why you couldn't use fresh ones.
If I had the space, I would let them dry out again, to save room in my freezer.
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Old 02-28-2011, 05:36 PM   #15
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I have more space in my freezer <g> since we are turning off freezers as we eat up last summer's bounty...do you think they'd freeze okay, take them out and let them thaw before using them again?
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:54 PM   #16
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I made a bunch of tamale last night for the office pot-luck today. I used Boston Butt for the meat, seasoned appropriately, made a sauce that tasted great, had plenty of filling and sauce. I cut parchment paper into four inch squares and made the masa dough. I spread the dough to all sides of the paper, as thinly as possible with my fingers. I placed about a tbs. of filling in the middle and rolled the dough inward to make a tube that completely surrounded the filling. I them steamed them until done (about 45 minutes). My problem is this. The filling tasted great and the dough was perfect. The texture of the cooked tamale was spot on, except for one thing. As the masa dough cooked, it swelled like it was supposed to. But even spreading it as thinly as I had, it was so much outer, that the inner got lost. That is, the cooked outside portion (the dough) overpowered the filling. There was far too little filling. The sum was not equal to the parts.

What size is good for the squares insure that there is sufficient filling to balance the flavors?

Also, does anyone have any great fillings for dessert tamale? (I jsut learned last week that the singular form is tamal, while the plural form is tamale, but don't tell anyone else. That way, we can feel smart).

And lest anyone should complain about me using parchment paper as the wrapper, you try to find corn husks, in Sault Ste. Marie, MI., in February. :-)

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
First, a quick Spanish lession. The singular is tamal. The plural is tamales. There is no such word as tamale in Spanish.

As to your question about the amount of filling, Central American tamales are a bit different from Mexican tamales but one thing holds true for both - tamales are all about the masa, not the filling. A proper tamal is mostly masa, with only a small amount of filling.

You can make decent masa from dry masa flour (masa harina) but the best is made with fresh, unprepared masa. If you have a large Latino community in your area you should be able to buy it in a Latin market, at least around the Christmas season. For the adventurous, here's how to make your own: mexico in my kitchen: How to make corn masa. Cmo hacer su propia masa de maz .

Buen Provecho!
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FincaPerlitas View Post
First, a quick Spanish lession. The singular is tamal. The plural is tamales. There is no such word as tamale in Spanish.

As to your question about the amount of filling, Central American tamales are a bit different from Mexican tamales but one thing holds true for both - tamales are all about the masa, not the filling. A proper tamal is mostly masa, with only a small amount of filling.

You can make decent masa from dry masa flour (masa harina) but the best is made with fresh, unprepared masa. If you have a large Latino community in your area you should be able to buy it in a Latin market, at least around the Christmas season. For the adventurous, here's how to make your own: mexico in my kitchen: How to make corn masa. Cmo hacer su propia masa de maz .

Buen Provecho!
Thank you for the Spanish lesson. As for the size of our Hispanic community here in Sault Ste.Marie, MI, about zero. Available Spanish or Mexican ingredients available, a few peppers, pre-made chili powders, cummin, cilantro, Occasionally, plantains, Terrible chorizo, commercially made salsas, beans, dried masa harina, Ma Seca brand, and Quaker brand (which is wonderfully fragrant). I can buy canned hominy, and sweet corn only. Oh, and suprisingly, the fresh corn tortillas are pretty good.

That about covers it. If I want something great like tamales, enchiladas, or carne asada, pretty much, I have to make it.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
If I want something great like tamales, enchiladas, or carne asada, pretty much, I have to make it.
I'm in the same boat, only I can't get Masa or corn husks here. I have to pick them up when I make the 2400 mi. roundtrip to MN.
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Old 03-01-2011, 11:33 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
Thank you for the Spanish lesson. As for the size of our Hispanic community here in Sault Ste.Marie, MI, about zero. Available Spanish or Mexican ingredients available, a few peppers, pre-made chili powders, cummin, cilantro, Occasionally, plantains, Terrible chorizo, commercially made salsas, beans, dried masa harina, Ma Seca brand, and Quaker brand (which is wonderfully fragrant). I can buy canned hominy, and sweet corn only. Oh, and suprisingly, the fresh corn tortillas are pretty good.

That about covers it. If I want something great like tamales, enchiladas, or carne asada, pretty much, I have to make it.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
There was a really good (and easy) recipe for Chorizo at the site FP sent us to for masa! And an excellent one for tamale.
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #20
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Goodweed, you're braver than I! I'm going for tamale pie (my husband's request). To be honest with you, all the Mexican women I've known made them in huge family groups, not one person, because it is such a job. Then they'd have a feast, distribute them, freeze them. I've been lucky enough to benefit from their largesse on occasion.

I would guess that like any of the multitude of foods you wrap before cooking (egg rolls, stuffed grape leaves, halupke, etc), you are probably better to err on the side of less filling than more. Haven't tried tamales, but have many of the former and others explode upon cooking!

One great (pleasant) surprise was finding that moving to a small midwestern town in NE IL was a great Mexican community. Yumm-yumm. I can get it all. But I still wouldn't try to make the tamales. I sometimes miss moving from one reply to another. Did you do it? How did it turn out?
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