Tamales are a traditional Mexican recipe. During the holiday’s Mexican families get together to make tamales. It takes some time to make Tamales but it’s worth every minute. Here’s an easy way to learning how to make Tamales. The Hispanic Food Network is the place for all your traditional Tamale recipes.
HFN Mexican Tamales
- 24 dried corn husks
- 1 tbsp chicken-flavored bouillon powder
- 1 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts
- ¾ lbs skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ cup hot salsa verde
- Kosher salt
- 1 dried ancho chile stemmed and seeded
- 4 cups masa harina instant corn flour
- 1 1/3 cups lard
- Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.
- Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.
- Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.
- Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.
- Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.
Did You Know
In the pre-Columbian era, the Mayas ate tamales and often served them at feasts and festivals. The Classic Maya hieroglyph for tamales has been identified on pots and other objects dating back to the Classic Era (200–1000 CE), although it is likely they were eaten much earlier. While tortillas are the basis for the contemporary Maya diet, there is remarkably little evidence for tortilla production among the Classic period Maya. A lack of griddles in the archaeological record suggests that the primary foodstuff of the Mesoamerican diet may have been the tamale, a cooked, vegetal-wrapped mass of maize dough. Tamales are cooked without the use of ceramic technologies and therefore the form of the tamale is thought to predate the tortilla. Similarities between the two maize products can be found in both the ingredients and preparation techniques and the linguistic ambiguity exhibited by the pan-Mayan term was referring to a basic, daily consumed maize product that can refer to either tortillas or tamales.
In the pre-Columbian era, the Aztecs ate tamales with fillings such as turkey, flamingo, frog, axolotl, pocket gopher, rabbit, fish, turkey eggs, honey, fruits, squash, and beans, as well as with no filling. Aztec tamales differed from modern tamales by not having added fat.
One of the most significant rituals for the Aztecs was the feast of Atamalcualiztli (eating of water tamales). This ritual, held every eight years for a whole week, was done by eating tamales without any seasoning, spices, or filling which allowed the maize freedom from being overworked in the usual tamale cooking methods.
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