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Other than Brewing => All Things Food => Topic started by: euge on December 20, 2010, 08:31:48 pm

Title: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 20, 2010, 08:31:48 pm
It's the holiday season. People around these parts make tamales. Today I'm doing pork and will present them to the critics at our xmas dinner.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRAfLogWWAI/AAAAAAAAAaE/Um6pS_HatF8/s640/2010-12-20%2021.28.14.jpg)

More to follow!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: capozzoli on December 20, 2010, 08:47:23 pm
Oh man, I love making tamales. I love that premade masa harina dough. We cant get that around here. I have gotten it at the HEB when I have been down there. They had a couple of different brands as I recall. One was made from mote blank. The pazole corn.

I like making naka tamal. They are Nicaraguan Tamales. I think I posted them in the ethnic cooking thread.

We make all kinds of tamales around here including sweet ones. Ever had chocolate tamales. Oh man they are good. They are great made with strawberries or bananas. Almost any fruit will work.

They are great made with sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, those I put a custard in the center.

One of my favorite tamales is lobster tamales. They work great cause you make a lobster stock to make the dough then chop a lot of meat and other stuff for the filling. Makes the lobster go a lot farther.

I have a great tamale magazine from Mexico.Tons of recipes for tamales. One of the more strange ones from the book is Tamales de betebel.

VIVA LA MEXICO!!!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: bluesman on December 20, 2010, 09:07:41 pm
+1

Great Mexican dish!

When done right of course. I worked as a line cook in a Mexican restaurant many moons ago and we made the greatest tamales on the planet. It's been a long time since I've made them but I think it's about time to give them a whirl once again. I love Mexican food with a passion.

Thanks for the post Euge. :)
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: weazletoe on December 20, 2010, 09:07:54 pm
What a coincidence. I was hoping to do some in the next week or two. Talk about timing!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 20, 2010, 09:57:42 pm
I've rolled them up. Got two dozen. These things are crazy easy to make. Will steam for at least an hour then check if done.

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRAxh1yKCsI/AAAAAAAAAaY/0PpDrCl28L4/s640/2010-12-20%2022.36.06.jpg)
(http://lh5.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRAxtWnP-hI/AAAAAAAAAaY/uSQeXwvgHn4/s640/2010-12-20%2022.36.17.jpg)
(http://lh6.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRAzFeu8QkI/AAAAAAAAAag/y8mUG4IDqYU/s640/2010-12-20%2022.53.19.jpg)
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: jaybeerman on December 20, 2010, 09:59:21 pm
1.  and we made the greatest tamales on the planet.  
2. I love Mexican food with a passion.

1. Hmm I have a good source of Oaxacan tamales that says otherwise.  ;D
2. Same here; I could eat Japanese, Chinese and Mexican every day. Maybe with a little Turkish, Nepalese/Indian, French thrown in for good measure

Thanks for the post Euge. :)
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: weazletoe on December 20, 2010, 10:04:06 pm
You realize this post is worthless, without telling us how you did your pork..... ;D

This recipe I got is as follows.....Brown your pork on all sides...and them simmer for 6+ hours covered in water, mixed with adobo sauce, and 2 cans of chipotles. So far, that's the best I have to go on, so I'm gonna go with it.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 20, 2010, 10:14:17 pm
Aww...Thanks guys. :D

I did the 8 lb pork butt for 17 hours on the BGE with a chile garlic lime injection. Came apart in strands after a rest. Once pulled I only mixed it with coarse salt, fresh cracked pepper and red pepper flakes. Then portioned it out... Sauce can be mixed in as desired

There's no comino but plenty of heat from the fiery salsa. I want to see if leaving it out will be noticed. More pics in an hour or so with the finished tamales. Meanwhile kickin back with a Dundee and Malheur blend... 8)

I'm addicted to Texmex.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 21, 2010, 12:33:40 am
Ahh just ate four solid tamales. Steamed 2 hours and are gutbustingly delicious. Merry xmas.

(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRBVyUCN4AI/AAAAAAAAAaw/avZwA9tkE08/s640/2010-12-21%2001.04.23.jpg)
(http://lh3.ggpht.com/_BGa2L64KQdY/TRBUW37j8dI/AAAAAAAAAao/fnzhmGpNNx4/s640/2010-12-21%2001.05.17.jpg)
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: gordonstrong on December 21, 2010, 06:50:54 am
I love tamales but have never made them.  Are they ever made with carnitas?  That's about one of the best things to do to a pig on the planet, but I wondered if you'd be losing some of that intensity by wrapping it in masa.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on December 21, 2010, 06:32:52 pm
I love tamales!  Those look really good, Euge.  I've done queso fresco and black bean tamales as well as pulled pork ones.

Capp, with all the exotic ingredients you seem to get your hands on, you can't get masa harina or maseca??  There's a phenomenal Mexican grocery really close to where I live.  Next time you need some, let me know and I'll ship some to you.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: capozzoli on December 21, 2010, 07:36:33 pm
Lots of masa harina. Just not that wet fresh stuff that is in the bag. I have only seen that down near the boarder.

I make great dough with the dry flour. That is really good stuff but that wet stuff is amazing. Makes great tortillas. doesn't stay fresh long. When I ask for it at the Mexican grocery stores around here thats why they say they dont carry it. It has a very short shelf life.

Can you get the fresh masa harina stuff around your way?
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: redbeerman on December 23, 2010, 07:56:10 am
I love tamales  ;D.  I haven't seen the wet stuff here either Cap, and we have quite a large Mexican population here (mushroom farms).  My only problem with tamales is that they are not very healthy for me. :(
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 23, 2010, 10:20:37 am
My colleagues were very complementary of my tamales. Woohoo. Honorary Mexican! Went through 6 dozen plus tacos al pastor, mexican rice, beans, queso etc...
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: gmac on December 23, 2010, 02:20:24 pm
Can you use anything besides corn husks?  I have masa and I can do the rest but I have no idea at all where to find corn husks (except in a corn field).  Banana leaves would be even less likely.  I'm thinking parchment paper etc.  Something I can buy in a Canadian grocery store - tropical ingredients are pretty much non-existent.  We only have masa mix because we have a lot of seasonal labour for harvest.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 23, 2010, 05:37:01 pm
Parchment paper sounds interesting. I'll it in my next batch. If anything, make sure you use plenty of fat in the masa so it won't stick to the paper.

You can probably find the husks online. They don't go bad.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: capozzoli on December 23, 2010, 05:53:21 pm
Hey gmac, you can use just green corn husks. They dont have to be dry. In fact if you use fresh green corn husks they impart a much better flavor into the tamales. They are easier to work with too, no soaking needed. Corn on the cob might be hard to come by this time of year though.

My neighbors make these really good tamales from fresh corn. They husk the corn and use the husks. Then they make a a mash from the kernels that they removed from the cob. That is spiced a little wrapped up in the leaves and steamed. WOW, they are awesome.

And redbeerman, what is not good for you in tamales? IF you are worried about cholesterol there are plenty of tamale recipes without pork fat. Such as the one above.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: gmac on December 23, 2010, 09:39:47 pm
I just wish I'd kept some corn husks.  Next year.  I actually look at corn for a living (yes, it's as exciting as it sounds) and I should have known better and grabbed a few handfuls. 
I'll try the green husks next year.  Thanks for the advice. 
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: uthristy on December 24, 2010, 07:15:48 am
When done right of course. I worked as a line cook in a Mexican restaurant many moons ago and we made the greatest tamales on the planet.

As my mother says Gringo's can't cook real Mexican food, "it comes from  the soul of the cook" ;)

Who am I to argue with mom? LOL
I sure miss the smell of her cooking for days on end before the holidays.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: capozzoli on December 24, 2010, 07:41:24 am
Do you have any of your moms recipes that you could share?

We do a Nicaraguan feast at least once a year.that includes Nacatamal. They are wrapped in banana leaves or steamed in a clay pot.

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal001.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal002.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal004.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal006.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal003.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal008.jpg)

Dulce tamales are great too. We make coconut tamales. Sweetened condensed milk tamales. Banana tamales.

Here is a chocolata tamale.

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009_0315chocolate001.jpg)

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/CocolateTamales001.jpg)

And here is a raspberry tamale.

(http://i291.photobucket.com/albums/ll294/capozzoli_2008/2009Nacatamal007.jpg)

Yep, gringos can make tamales, but only if they learned from a Mexican.  ;)
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: uthristy on December 24, 2010, 08:29:14 am
Do you have any of your moms recipes that you could share?

No but my sister does and says its not the same, mom would get her supplies in Ciudad Juárez (her hometown) every year.Take simple Chorizo, the only brand that she would use is Peyton's  and I have never seen it east of Texas, all others are hard - nasty and bland.

Great now I have the munchies :D
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 24, 2010, 11:39:38 am
Great looking tamales cap. I've got ideas for tamales. Haha watch out Bobby Flay.

Seems like there's as many ways to make tamales as there is beer. Every one of my female colleagues told me a different way to make them- especially in regards to cooking time. One flat out told me she won't do it since there's too much work involved. Dunno I thought it was easy.

Uthristy I believe we get Peyton's chorizo here. And you're right- bad chorizo ain't worth squat.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: beerocd on December 24, 2010, 12:34:17 pm
Would naked tamales steam up ok? I'm thinking rolling it up like sushi, using a mat of some sort. At least looking at the pictures of the masa, then the filling on a leaf to use for rolling - Mexican sushi. :)

I was reading something else on another site saying the leaves and parchment paper were initially used to protect the food from the cooking vessel leaching toxins into the food. Or I suppose just to keep it clean. Since we've got those two problems generally licked - are naked tamales possible?


Edit: not that I can't get the supplies here around Chicago. Plenty of ethnic stuff of all sorts in this area. Just curious.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: capozzoli on December 24, 2010, 02:18:06 pm
You will need some kind of wrapping or container. There is a stage during cooking where the dough turns to a cake batter consistence before it sets. It will most likely run all over the place.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: beerocd on December 24, 2010, 06:42:13 pm
You will need some kind of wrapping or container. There is a stage during cooking where the dough turns to a cake batter consistence before it sets. It will most likely run all over the place.

Ah, so cupcake tamales, creme brule tamales, ramekin tamales, poached egg shaped tamales....
I'll probably go get the husks, just like to do what if/why scenarios.
We have cake pans in various shapes - that would be really interesting, cake size tamales with a meat filling.
Can you imagine the look on the guests faces!  :o
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 24, 2010, 07:03:15 pm
The dough also expands during cooking so you might get steamed muffin shaped tamales. It might be neat to then crisp them up under the broiler.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on December 25, 2010, 11:40:51 am
I made another 4 dozen last night. Scaled back the masa to 1/8 cup per tamale. This time I "doctored" up some molé and added that to the shredded pork. About 3/4 of the tamales also got cheese. Cooked them for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Even better than the first batch. Sublime.

Merry xmas!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: Pawtucket Patriot on September 03, 2011, 12:42:41 pm
Lots of masa harina. Just not that wet fresh stuff that is in the bag. I have only seen that down near the boarder.

I make great dough with the dry flour. That is really good stuff but that wet stuff is amazing. Makes great tortillas. doesn't stay fresh long. When I ask for it at the Mexican grocery stores around here thats why they say they dont carry it. It has a very short shelf life.

Can you get the fresh masa harina stuff around your way?

Dude, I found out yesterday that the mexican grocery near my house has fresh masa dough.  I'm making tamales ASAP!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: nicneufeld on September 03, 2011, 02:50:50 pm
I've been making a lot of tamales lately too.  Need to buy another bag of masa harina.

I know it isn't traditional per se but using rendered bacon lard instead of shortening/white lard adds a lovely flavor!
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: euge on September 03, 2011, 03:34:34 pm
Bacon fat is 100% appropriate in my book. Doing a brisket right now so maybe some beef and green chile tamales in the future? I like the muffin pan and paper inserts idea.
Title: Re: Tamales
Post by: nicneufeld on September 03, 2011, 07:13:47 pm
Bacon fat is 100% appropriate in my book. Doing a brisket right now so maybe some beef and green chile tamales in the future? I like the muffin pan and paper inserts idea.

I've heard some people use those thin foil sheets too.  So far the corn husks work for me though.  Usually my tamales stem from leftovers of grilled or smoked meat (mixed with appropriate chilies, onions, tomatoes and spices), or leftovers from tacos (basically the same thing, grilled/smoked meat plus veg).