each time I take my keyboard to present you the most requested meals; I try as much as possible to be more selective and also more professional to also give you the desire to make the meal in question without delay
today I present to you one of my favorites called Tamales.
you will know how to make the most delicious, authentic Mexican Tamales
If you are a fan of authentic Mexican food, this tamales recipe is definitely for you. Tamales are delicious and are a bit of an art form to get right.this tradional Native American dish is made by stuffing masa dough with a filling of meat, cheese, chili peppers, or beans, then steaming it inside a corn husk or banana leaf and serving it with salsa or hot sauce.
What are tamales?
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish consisting of prepared corn masa that is filled with delicious fillings and wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves before being steamed. They can be found in many different sizes and flavors, including cheese and Peppers ,Pork Meat,Corn,Chicken or ground turkey meat etc…
Today, I am going to teach you how to make chicken tamales, but the mode of preparation is similar regardless of the flavor.
What kind of Masa should you use for Tamales?
The masa, or dough, that you use for tamales is very important. The traditional method of preparing masa for tamales goes back a very long time, and it usually takes some time to do. I remember that my abuelita used to wake up so early in the morning to start cutting the corn husks or banana leaves from the farm that she cultivated on her own.
After getting the leaves she would start making the meat and the masa. My abuelita always used to make her own masa by using freshly ground nixtamal. She added pork lard to give it some extra flavor and then got to work on the delicious guajillo salsa, which I loved! She always used to assign me to “help”, but that almost always just mean that I got to lick the spoons and bowls that were left after she was done wrapping the tamales. That was definitely my favorite part!
HOW TO STORE (AND FREEZE) TAMALES:
That said, half of the fun of making tamales is that this recipe makes a BIG batch for leftovers! So unless you are having a big tamale party the day you are baking, you will likely have plenty to store for later. Which is lucky for you. 😉
In general, tamales will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To store them, you want to try to have as little air in your storage container as possible. So adding a handful to a ziplock bag (pressing out any extra air) works well. Or if you really want them to be as fresh as possible, you can wrap them individually in plastic wrap.
HOW TO REHEAT TAMALES:
My three favorite methods use either a:
- Steamer: Simply re-steam your tamales for 15 minutes or so (or a bit longer if they were frozen).
- Oven: Wrap your tamales in foil and bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes until warmed through.
- Microwave: Admittedly my favorite, and the easiest. Just place 1-3 tamales on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for a minute so until warmed through.
HOMEMADE MEXICAN TAMALES !!
For the Dough:
- 4 cups Masa Harina (Maseca brand if available)
- 3 cups broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable broth)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/3 cups lard
- 8 ounce package dried corn husks
- Red chili pork
- Salsa verde chicken See notes for recipe
- bean and cheese See notes for recipe
- Authentic Mexican Rice , for serving, optional
- Soak the corn husks in a bowl of very hot water for 30 minutes or until softened.
- Prepare desired fillings*.
- Make the masa dough: In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the lard and 2 tablespoons of broth until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Combine the masa flour, baking powder, salt, and cumin in a separate bowl; stir into the lard mixture and beat well with an electric mixer.
- Add the broth, little by little to form a very soft dough. Beat on high speed for several minutes. The dough should spread like creamy peanut butter and be slightly sticky.* Cover the mixing bowl with a damp paper towel, to keep the dough from drying out.
- Assemble the tamales: Lay a corn husk, glossy side up, on the counter with the wide end at the top. Scoop about ¼ cup of dough onto the top, center of the corn husk. Lay a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and use your hands to press and spread the masa into a thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick. Keep the dough spread along the top half of the corn husk to allow plenty of room to fold the bottom husk up, when it’s time.
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of desired filling in a line down the center of the dough. (You don’t want too much filling).
- Fold in one long side of the husk over the filling. Fold in the other long side, overlapping the first (like folding a brochure). Fold the bottom of the husk up.
- Tying tamales (optional): You don’t have to tie a corn husk string around the tamales--it does take more time and they will hold together without it. However, if you’re making multiple fillings, tying ones of a certain kind can help to identify them.
- Cook on the stove-top or Instant Pot: Add water to the bottom of your steamer or instant pot. (About 1 cup for IP and a few cups for a steamer pot—don’t fill above the steamer rack.) Lay a few extra corn husks on the bottom rack to keep the tamales from falling through and any boiling water from directly touching them.
- Place tamales standing upright, with their open end up, just tightly enough to keep them standing. If using a steamer pot, lay a few soaked corn husks or a wet towel over the top of the tamales before closing the lid.
- Steamer: Bring water to a boil (in Mexico they would often place a coin at the bottom of thesteamer and when the coin started to tap in the pot you know the water was boiling.) Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and steam for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check them after 45 minutes.
- Instant Pot: Cook on Manual/High Pressure for 25 minutes. Allow pressure to naturallyrelease for 10 minutes, and then quick release.
- To test if the tamales are done: Remove one and try to pull the husk off. If the husk pulls away cleanly from the tamale they're done. If the dough is still sticky or wet looking, cook them for 5-10 minutes longer and try again.
- Store leftover tamales in the refrigerator for 5-7 days depending on the freshness of your ingredients.
- To test the masa dough. You can test if the masa tamale dough is ready by placing a tiny ball of dough into a glass of water — If the dough floats, it’s ready. If the dough sinks to the bottom of the glass then beat it for longer and add a little more broth. Test again.
- Tamale Filling Suggestions: You’ll need about 3 ½-4 cups of filling for one batch of tamale dough.
- Salsa verde chicken: 3 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken mixed with 16 ounce can salsa verde (I like Herdez brand)
- Bean and cheese: 15 oz can refried beans and 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Red chili pork: 1 recipe red chili pork as yu can use other meats o your choice just be carefull to follow the same intructions