LOOKING for: Tamales wrapped in corn husk.

rthummerSeptember 22, 2006

A friend of mine made some REAL tamales with masa flour with meat inside and the right hotness. Unfortunely she moved away and I never got the recipe. They were wrapped in the cornhusk. Do any of you know how to make tamales and the stuff to top them with also? Thanks!

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This is from a cookbook a friend gave me & it's very good:
1 1/2 lbs pork loin
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
2 TBL corn oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBL flour
1/2 cup chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1/4 tsp cum seeds, toasted & ground (I use cumin powder)

6 oz pkg dried corn husks
6 cups masa harina
2 cups corn oil
4 1/2 cups water or more, as needed
1-2 TBL chili powder
2 tsp salt

A day or 2 ahead, begin making the filling. Preheat oven to 350.

Place the pork, onion & bay leaf in a medium baking dish & cover w/the water. Bake approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is cooked through & pulls apart easily. Remove the pork from the broth. Set the meat aside to cook a few minutes & refrigerate the broth. When the pork has cooled enough to handle, shred it fine, either with 2 forks or with the plastic dough blade in a Cuisinart. Refrigerate the broth, covered, overnight. The following day, strain the broth of fat solidified on its surface. If the broth doesn't measure 2 cups, add water to make 2 cups liquid. Reserve the pork & broth.

In a large heavy skillet, warm the oil over medium heat & add the garlic & pork. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture & stir constantly for about a minute as the flour begins to brown. Add the chili powder, reserved broth, salt, oregano & cumin. continue cooking over medium heat for about 30 minutes ora until the mixture has thickened & is almost dry. Watch carefully toward the end of the cooking time, stirring frequently to avoid burning. The filling will be meltingly tender. Reserve teh mixture.

To prepare the corn husks, place them in a deep bowl or pan & ocver them w/hot water. Soak them 30 minutes or until soft & pliable. Separate the husks & rinse them under warm running water to remove any grit or brown silks. Soak the husks in more warm water until ready to use them.

To prepare the masa, the dough made from masa harina cornmeal, measure the masa harina into a large bowl. Add the oil, water, chili powder & salt. Mix with a sturdy spoon, a powerful mixer or your hands until smooth. When well-blended, the masa should have the consistency of a moist cookie dough.

To assemble the tamales, the amount of masa & filling used for each tamale should be approximately equal, but will vary depending on the size & shape of the tamale. To make 2 dozen 4 oz tamales, use 2 TBL masa & filling for each tamale.

Hold a corn husk flat on one hand. With a rubber spatula, spread a thin layer of masa across the husk & top w/the filling. Roll the husk into the desired shape, using your imagination. Repeat the procedure until all the filling & masa are used.

Cook the tamales over simmering water for 1 to 1 3/4 hours until the masa is firm & no longer sticks to the corn husk. Unwrap one tamale to check its consistency.

The tamales should be eaten warm. The husks are usually left on when the tamales are served unadorned, to be removed by each guest before eating. But when they're topped by chili gravy, the husks are removed before the sauce is added. Sprinkle cheese & onion over the sauce before serving.~~Texas Home Cooking

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 9:02AM
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Well, I went to the grocery store and got all the stuff I needed to make the tamales. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. I already have my filling made and am making the tamales for tomorrow's dinner with a Mexican salad. Thanks!!!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2006 at 8:53PM
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I used to make these and liked using beef boullion (sp ?) instead of water for the masa mixture. Or chicken broth for those with dark turkey meat filling.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 2:20AM
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Banana leaves also impart a nice flavor to tamales. Sometimes Mexican or Asian markets have them.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 4:44AM
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You're welcome! They're a bit of work but worth it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 6:54AM
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Thanks to all of you!! Hubby and I had our tamales, with some left over. I just love those tamales! Baci, what flavor does the banana leaf give to the tamales? I have never tried that, but will give it a try next time.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:18PM
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Glad you liked them. Iris Gal had a good idea about using the broth or bouillon in the masa mixture.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 6:58AM
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Rthummer I am late in responding, but the idea was not mine, but one I saw on one of the Julia Childs shows. She did a show that I think was named "Praise the lArd," in which the cooking involved Mexican cuisine & lard. I do not use lard, but adapted the banana leaf/tamale recipe. She mixed ingredients directly into the masa & I believe used a mole &/or perhaps made a mole from scratch. Cheese was incorporated into the masa. You need to use fresh banana leaves, but they are much easier to work with than corn husks. I believe frozen ones are also sold, but I have not tried them. Look in Asian & Mexican markets to find them. They may be seasonal, but I have been seeing them in the markets recently. It is a way of cutting time while making tamales from scratch. I do not know how I would describe the flavor, but if you make another batch of tamales, try some with a few banana leaves for a different taste & authentic cuisine.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 9:28AM
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What brand of canned tamales and where do you find them?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 10:17PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have to add : Don't store packaged corn husks in the pantry. I stored some for a couple months and when I went to get them out they were full of worms. I had to clean out the pantry because of them.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 2:27PM
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(bumblebeez: extra protein? darfc....)

    Bookmark   August 8, 2008 at 12:24AM
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beachlily z9a

Oh, my subconscious was running fulltime. Yesterday, I purchased new corn husks. Today, I pulled 1/2 a hormone-less turkey breast out of the freezer. I should be able to roast that big thing by ... maybe Thursday. Too big to eat for the two of us. In the past I've made turkey tamales that were awesome ... just use the spices from the pork filling. Obviously, by the weekend, fresh home-made tamales will be on the menu here. Thanks Ginger for your recipe. I've always used one that used Crisco and was guilty. Love tamales, and homemade are the best!! I've done vegetarian tamales using Mexican homegrown peppers, but I don't have them at the moment, so turkey will do!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 8:24PM
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Hope you like them, Beachlily.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 4:24AM
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I have a package of Masa Harina that has been unopened in my frig for a couple of years. Should I buy fresh before I make tamales or is it o.k. to use?


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 11:30AM
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beachlily z9a

Reporting back. Love those tamales, Ginger!! The dough was very easy to use, much easier than my last recipe. The turkey tamales had the same seasoning as given in the recipe, except that I added one chilpotle pepper and some of the adobo sauce to the turkey, then added fresh roasted anaheim pepper and some cooked onion to the mix. I tried it--really spicy, but in the tamale all it did was to give it a great flavor. A few tamales turned vegetarian with the same anaheims, onion and chilpotle plus tomatillas. Really good, but the turkey are the best.

Great recipe that I will keep in the favorites file. Thanks! Ahhh .. now to pay attention to Fay. She decided to visit Florida's east central coast. Rude lady!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 4:50PM
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So glad you reported back. Hope Fay doesn't cause you too many problems. I know how those things go.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:47PM
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all these recipes call for dried corn husks, can fresh ones be used?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 7:42PM
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I've wondered too about fresh husks. They are so narrow compared to the dried ones I buy.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 3:05AM
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