We Have Learned a New Tradition


Yesterday I braved a food item I have avoided making for twenty years. I hail from El Paso, Texas where this is a common staple. Granted, I never learned how to fix these the eleven years I lived there. Who needed to learn how to make them when they were sold every two blocks throughout the city.

The scrumptious, yummy tidbits I’m talking about are TAMALES.

Tamales are awesome. Corn masa wrapped around seasoned meat. Mexican heaven.

They are not easily obtained here in Central Arkansas so I finally broke down and made some of my own. I have to admit, my daughter spurred me on. We picked up a package of corn husks and that was all she wrote.

I discovered tamale making is not a secret science and it is possible for a novice to make edible food.

Here is our little journey.

First, you have to soak those corn husks. It doesn’t take long, but they must be wet to wrap properly.

While these are soaking, I cooked three chicken breasts with some green chilies. Sorry no picture of the chicken breast. Picture fail.

And the masa must be mixed with some oil and salt and water, or in this case, chicken broth from the meat.

Then you mix it until it is the consistency of peanut butter.

The mixture is then spread on 2/3s of the corn husk as demonstrated by my very capable daughter.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture on the masa.

Then roll it into a nice slender cigar shaped tube and tuck the bottom tip over the outside.

We stacked these neatly in a strainer and steamed them in a large pot for two hours. Yes it takes two hours to cook, but they are great when cooked properly.

The finished product was as yummy as the tamales we bought in El Paso.

These passed the taste test of all the family members.

Mexican heaven.


2 responses »

  1. Thank you so much for the tamale post. I haven’t had one of these since my last trip to Puerto Rico many years ago. I recall Tamale stands, one after another and another, sometimes no more than three yards apart.


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