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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

shredded pork tamales ~ part 2

Guest Blogger:
We have the meat prepared and are now ready to mix the masa and assemble the tamales:

I found the corn husks in the Mexican food section at our local grocery store. Soak the husks in warm water for about 30 minutes. You may need to use something to keep them under water. As you are checking them, remove all the corn silk, and if it's stuck don't pull. Wait until they have soaked to finish pulling them off. The brand I bought were very easy to clean the silks off of. Some are just too small to use, some are huge and can be gently torn in half.

As I was researching masa recipes there were so many and they were so varied. All recipes called for lard, butter or a combination of the two. I decided to use coconut oil for a healthier version.

My Masa Recipe is:
*2 cups masa flour
*1/2 tsp salt (optional)
*6 TB melted coconut oil
*2+ cups broth (saved from the meat)
Mix all together. Start with 2 cups of broth and add more as needed. Take a corn husk and wipe the water off. Take some masa and pat down on the husk. Spread out to one side, leaving a border on the other side. Make sure to leave room at the bottom to create a tail.

I thought I might be putting it on too thick. However, once all was said and done they were really good and only one or two didn't have quite enough meat. But I love the masa, so I was happy. I found that it was easiest to use my hands, rather than a spoon, and it they were damp it was easiest.

Place the meat down the center. Roll the "full side" in first, then the "border" side in. Fold up the end. Seal the top together with your fingers. Place tamales into a steamer with water in the bottom. With water boiling, steam for one hour.

A few notes:
*Several recipes and my mom all said you only need a bit of water. However, the water had other ideas. Check it or use a penny. When the rattling stops you need more water.
*I used two pans, one I left a whole in the center and the other I filled as much as possible.
*The tamales were various sizes, depending on the size of the corn husks.

The tamales were wonderful! And having leftovers is the best part! We served them with a cilantro lime sour cream and various salsas. By taking out the lard and butter I felt really good about them too. What would I do next time? Not much different, but I want to cook the pork in the slow cooker and also try shredded beef and chicken. And please pardon me if my tamale terminology was not spot on.

And now for the Fabulous Recipe Award:

Teresa at Mexican-American Border Cooking was my inspiration for the pork filling. She had a three day post for tamales and some great ideas for sauces, and even a sweet tamale. Her posts were fun, informative and very easy to read. So I am proud to give her the Fabulous Recipe Award! Thanks Teresa! And I apologize for not putting this on the post yesterday, since it really was all about the meat! The award on my sidebar is a smaller size so you can take it from there!

For the masa mix I tried the recipe on the flour package (too dry) and a recipe from Food Network (very moist). So I tried my own combo and it was great. I don't think Food Network wants an award, but it would be fun to give it to them!


Julie said...

Those look so wonderful. Nothing like fresh tamales! said...

Thanks Julie, they were delicious and one of my favorite comfort foods!