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Old 04-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #11
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Lard has a bad rep, but is actually healthier than we have been lead to believe:
Lard: The Other Good Fat?

Remember that the tamales don't have to look perfect to taste yummy. Some of the tamales DH makes look pretty peculiar, but I don't want to ever discourage his participation, and they always taste great no matter what.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
Lard has a bad rep, but is actually healthier than we have been lead to believe:
Lard: The Other Good Fat?



OMG - clicked on that linkie. I’ve already printed it out and taped it to the fridge. Love the taste that lard imparts. Now, I can use it with impunity.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:06 PM   #13
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If you can do as much prep work the night before.
Season the meat, shredded beef is much easier to work with then cubed
If necessary separate the corn husks before you start that assembly line.Some brands don't do that for you.You get this big bag of corn husk lumps.

I usually make the mesa the night before then refrigerate it.Take it out in the morning.
The morning of all I need to do is prepare the husks.I boil mine for about 30 minutes in a large roasting pan,keeping them submerged in the water.
When I need them I take out a dozen at a time,drain,completely dry them,then assemble.
Try to have the corn husk ties ready.It's a pain looking for one when your hand is full.They also need to be kept pliable.

Bring everything to the table.I start the line with Corn husks,Mesa,meats,ties,set the finished ones upright on a platter or have ziplock bags ready.

They can be steamed or nuked.To tell when they are done,pull back a corner of the husk.If the Mesa sticks it's not done.Depending on the size of the Tamale,(I make large ones) it will take about 30 minutes or so to fully cook.

Here's my own take on chili sauce.I add it to Beef,Chicken or Pork Tamales.It's a mild sauce.

Preheat oven @300 degrees

1 large bag of chili peppers,remove "stems and seeds that we don't neeeed". :)
Cut into large strips and then spread them onto a cookie sheet.Bake for 2 to 3 minutes.They burn very easily.

Remove them from the cookie to a bowl of cold water.Keep the water handy.
Add the chili's to a blender
Add 2 cups of the water that your chili's were cooling in.
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
4 garlic cloves leave whole
Blend it all together until it's smooth.

In a medium sauce pan.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to 2 teaspoons of flour.Whisk them together on medium heat,just until it starts to thicken up and brown just a bit.Remove it from the stove.
Add your chili sauce to the oil and flour.
Stir until it's well blended.Bring it back to the stove.On medium heat bring it to a low simmer.Add more of the water that you had the chili's soaking in,if the sauce is too thick.
And that's that.I just add enough of the sauce to the meat,to hold it together.

Good luck.

Munky.

Idon'tthinkIneedanymorecoffee :)
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:23 PM   #14
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I always steam mine...nuking them might risk uneven cooking, maybe? I have a humongous tamale steamer I bought here at the local market and I steam them for about two hours.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Munky View Post
If you can do as much prep work the night before.
Season the meat, shredded beef is much easier to work with then cubed
If necessary separate the corn husks before you start that assembly line.Some brands don't do that for you.You get this big bag of corn husk lumps.

I usually make the mesa the night before then refrigerate it.Take it out in the morning.
The morning of all I need to do is prepare the husks.I boil mine for about 30 minutes in a large roasting pan,keeping them submerged in the water.
When I need them I take out a dozen at a time,drain,completely dry them,then assemble.
Try to have the corn husk ties ready.It's a pain looking for one when your hand is full.They also need to be kept pliable.

Bring everything to the table.I start the line with Corn husks,Mesa,meats,ties,set the finished ones upright on a platter or have ziplock bags ready.

They can be steamed or nuked.To tell when they are done,pull back a corner of the husk.If the Mesa sticks it's not done.Depending on the size of the Tamale,(I make large ones) it will take about 30 minutes or so to fully cook.

Here's my own take on chili sauce.I add it to Beef,Chicken or Pork Tamales.It's a mild sauce.

Preheat oven @300 degrees

1 large bag of chili peppers,remove "stems and seeds that we don't neeeed". :)
Cut into large strips and then spread them onto a cookie sheet.Bake for 2 to 3 minutes.They burn very easily.

Remove them from the cookie to a bowl of cold water.Keep the water handy.
Add the chili's to a blender
Add 2 cups of the water that your chili's were cooling in.
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of crushed red peppers
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
4 garlic cloves leave whole
Blend it all together until it's smooth.

In a medium sauce pan.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to 2 teaspoons of flour.Whisk them together on medium heat,just until it starts to thicken up and brown just a bit.Remove it from the stove.
Add your chili sauce to the oil and flour.
Stir until it's well blended.Bring it back to the stove.On medium heat bring it to a low simmer.Add more of the water that you had the chili's soaking in,if the sauce is too thick.
And that's that.I just add enough of the sauce to the meat,to hold it together.

Good luck.

Munky.

Idon'tthinkIneedanymorecoffee :)
Thanks for the great directions...I've never done this and my girls will be helping me. This will give us a base to start.
kadesma
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #16
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Well, yesterday was D-day. Made the tamales. Took a dozen or so to get the hang of rolling ‘em and while they didn’t turn out all that pretty, they sure do taste good. My initial plans for an impromptu steamer didn’t pan out, so we steamed ‘em in the rice cooker. That worked, just had to do it in smaller batches.

As for the meat filling being a little too ‘spicy,’ - I liked it and HE liked it. HE said, “if they’re too hot for them, it’s just more for us.”

Ran out of both filling and corn husks before running out of masa. Going to try freezing it. If you can freeze cookie dough, why not masa? All it is, is corn meal, lard and stock, right?

Anyway, thanks everyone for all the thoughts and input. Here, have a cyber tamale. Some homemade pico de gallo to top it?
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #17
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SS, I always end up with more masa than I can use, and it freezes very well.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:19 PM   #18
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I learned to make tamales from Guy Fieri's show and we love the way he does it. I use my sister in laws filling and his instructions and they come out great every time. I steam mine, I would never nuke them the first time I cook them. I do nuke them to reheat them but wrapping them in a wet paper towel. It keeps them moist.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #19
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Given the amount of work it takes to make tamales, I am amazed that there are so many dedicated people out there who make them and enjoy them. Bravo to you all!
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:59 PM   #20
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I only make them once a year on Winter Solstice which is what makes them special for me. They are a great deal of work, but we love them.
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