Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Tradition...Tamales!

Every year my family makes Tamales for Xmas...well year after year it's been mostly Mom and Grandma making the elements for them and then the grandkids assemble them. I have never really felt all that confident in my kitchen skills so I was never sure I could pull off the tamale makin' on my own. However last year only Mom made Tamales...for whatever reason I don't really love hers, and Grandma hurt her shoulder this year, so I thought well if there was ever a time to step up the plate it is this year.

I had Grandma help me by making her famous sauce (which has 3 types of chilis, garlic, peanut butter, chocolate, pumpkin and sesame seed in it!!) and I did the rest. I went a little crazy because I figure when in Rome so we made beef/pork combo tamales ala family tradition, chicken chile verde tamales ala Mara experimental tradition, and sweet tamales which are kind of rare and unique around here so I was really excited about these. They are basically like dessert tamales.

Like any obsessed blogger, I catalogued the process the whole time with my camera. I started cooking the meats on Friday, and we assembled on Saturday. Greg helped. Started steaming on Sunday and into Monday, each batch takes between 2-4 hours to steam.

Here are the highlights. I am happy to report that every version was received with cheers by the family members and the most important taster, my cute guinea pig husband, who wants to eat tamales and cookies solely for meals the rest of this week. I like the way he thinks!!

crockpot beef with garlic, onion, water, simmered and cooked for 5+ hours.

shredded!!

mixed with Grandma's famous chili sauce....mmm.

prepared masa from a local Guadalajara market (which also has fab greasy burritos). yep this stuff has LARD in it!! yum.

added EVOO, baking powder, sauce for color and whipped into shape!

assembly station.

assembled and ready to be steamed for a few hours.

beautiful steamy goodness.

ta-da! finished product. i think these are actually the sweet ones as the beef and chicken ones are slightly larger.

speaking of sweet, here is the filling for the sweet tamales. hot rum soaked raisins, cinnamon, brown sugar.

done, cooled and cut-up. they ARE as tasty as they look.


1 comment:

Michael said...

Best thing in the world! We inaugurated veggie tamales as our Jewish xmas tradition this year too.