Monday, December 22, 2008


Tamales are a Christmas tradition down here in South Texas. You can buy them from the grocery store but they are not very good. Not once you have had homemade! People start placing their tamale orders as soon as there is a hint of cool weather coming. After years of looking for the perfect tamales I decided to try my hand at making them myself.

It isn't as hard has I thought it would be. It has become one of those family traditions that mark the approach of Christmas, family, cold fronts and good food!

I started asking around to find someone to teach me to make tamales but found that most people just didn't make them anymore. They ordered them or their grandmothers or aunts made them. Everyone said it was too much work. Too hard. So I did what I always do when I want to learn something, I googled it! I found this site and then used it as a guideline to come up with my own version. I am now making them for friends and family and have even received a few orders! This year I have made chicken, pork, beef, bean and I am trying a potato and bean (papas y frijoles) as a breakfast tamale.

Tamale making tips:
Keep a little bowl of water by your work space. If the masa is sticking where you don't want it to or isn't sticking where you want it to just dip your fingers or spreader in the water and pat the masa into place.

Keep a damp rag handy. You can use it to wipe your hands or wipe off your work surface if it starts to get a little messy.

Make your masa about the consistency of peanut butter. If it dries out add a little warm water or broth to it.

If your corn husk is really wide just tear part of it off. I save those scraps to line the bottom of the steamer and lay them over the top of the tamales before steaming.

MaSeCa brand masa is the brand of masa I prefer. I have tried a few others and the results were not as good. MaSeCa mixes up well and spreads nicer than the other brands.

The premade masa has an off smell and taste to me. I like being able to use the cooking broth from my meats and adjust the spices. If your masa doesn't taste good before it is a tamale it is probably not going to taste good after it is a tamale!

Don't let anyone tell you that you can't make tamales!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Wow ~ these look soooo good! I've never even thought to make them...I might just give it a try! If I do, I'll let you know!:-) Thanks for sharing.

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