18 January 2010

Tamales

Tamales!


The original recipe is courtesy of my mom. "Hi mom!" I veganized it this year.

Filling:
Portbella mushrooms (a lot - If you can buy them in bulk at your grocer, this would be ideal - try to get 10% off for buying bulk!)
Garlic
Onion
3 Bay Leaves
Salt
Oregano
Water or Broth (I used vegetable stock)
A can or two of olives

and/or

Frozen Corn
a very large can or two of green chilis
a can or two of olives

To make mushroom filling: Use food processor to shred mushrooms. Dehydrate at around 150* until dry. Throw in crock-pot. Add about a head of garlic (to taste), an onion, 3 bay leaves, 1tsp oregano. Fill with enough water or broth to cover. heat on low overnight.

The Next Morning:

Take your package of cornhusks and separate them. put in large bucket, bowl, or dish pan. Cover with water. Place something heavy (like a glass lid) on top to keep submerged. Let soak.

Drain mushrooms. SAVE broth. Separate and throw out the garlic, onion, bay leaves.

Make mole:
¾ Cup flour        
½ tsp. salt
½ Cup shortening or vegetable oil    
 ¼ tsp cloves
7 Cups liquid (mushroom broth and water if necessary)  

¼ tsp. cumin
½ to 1 Cup chili powder (more if you like it really spicy)
 ½ tsp ground garlic
Brown the flour in fat.  Add broth a little at a time, stirring and cooking over low heat until sauce becomes thick.  Add chili powder and other spices.  Mix well. 


Place cornhusks in colander to drain

Make masa. I buy a wet package of unprepared - I found it in the meat section of the grocery store.
5 pounds Masa (unprepared)     
1 Cup vegetable oil
1 TBL baking powder      
1 ½ cups of broth
1 TBL salt

Mix masa.  Add ingredients in very small amounts to masa.  Mix well after each addition until masa is creamy texture.  Too much liquid will ruin the consistency, so add with caution.  Add a couple large spoonfuls of your mole sauce for color.

Open and drain cans of olives and green chilis (if you are making chili/corn filled tamales)
Chop green chilis, rinse well

Fill bottom of tamale pot with water. Place a ball of foil on bottom of pot "shelf"

Okay, the fun part. Assembly.

You will find your cornhusks have a very smooth side and a slightly rough or bumpy side. You always put your filling on the smooth side.

Take a cornhusk, and wipe any excess moisture off with a towel. Spread some masa on the smooth side of the husk edge to edge. It should look something like this:


Now, fill it up!:
These tamales have (left) mushrooms, one olive, mole and (right) (still frozen) corn, chopped green chilis, one olive, mole.

Once you put your filling in it, wrap it and fold the narrow part of the corn husk up. It should look like this:




In tamale pot place tamale, open side up, in center against ball of foil. As you make your tamales, put them in the pot around the center ball. The first few you make will probably not stand up, don't worry about it, just make sure they're standing when you steam them.




Fill the pot with tamales. Steam for approx. 1 ½  to 2 hours.  Check water level after about an hour and a quarter.  Add more if needed.

You will know tamales are finished when the masa no longer has white spots AND no longer sticks to the corn husk.

Enjoy! 

2 comments:

Jennifer@womanvfood said...

Those look sooooo gooooood! Sounds like a lot of work though! Maybe one of these days :)

kellycrochets said...

It definitely is. Plan to make a day of it. I forgot to mention, if you start the day off right, you've got a margarita, tequila sunrise, Bloody Mary, or mimosa in one hand and you're stirring the mole with the other.