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Friday, March 4, 2011

Mexican Tamales

This is my favorite tamale recipe.  You can essentially put any filling in it that you want, but this filling happens to be very good I must say.  The masa is low fat, which my hubby & in laws love. 

Mexican Tamales

24 dried corn husks
1/4 Cup fresh or frozen & thawed corn kernels
2 Cups masa harina
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup HOT water
1 Cup broth
3 Tablespoons lard or shortening (I personally use butter)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2-3 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded & minced (wear gloves)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 oz finely chopped boneless, skinless chicken or turkey breast
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 Cup dry white wine
Salt to taste

*Place corn husks in large bowl & cover with cold water; let soak for at least 2 hours
*puree the corn
*combine masa harina, salt, & baking powder; gradually add hot water, broth, pureed corn, & fat
*combine until consistency resembles play-doh (I use a stand mixer, I beat it for 15 minutes, but you can do it in a bowl or food processor also--the longer you beat it the more air will be incorporated into dough, making it lighter tasting)

*heat oil, add onions, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, & cinnamon; cook for 3 minutes
*stir in chicken or turkey & cilantro; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until meat is cooked through
*add wine & cook for 5 minutes, season with salt to taste

*place 1 corn husk flat on a work surface, tapered end toward you
*mound 3 heaping Tablespoons of masa mixture in the center of the top half of the corn husk
*make a shallow groove the length of the corn mixture; place a spoonful of the filling in the groove; pinch the sides of the groove together to encase the filling
*fold tapered half of the corn husk over the top to enclose the filling
*lay another corn husk flat on the work surface, tapered end away from you
*place the first husk in the center of the bottom half of the second husk
*fold tapered end over the bottom to encase the tamale
*tie the bundle into a neat rectangle, using strips of corn husk or string (I use dental floss, LOL)
*repeat to use the remaining corn husks & filling
*insert a steamer basket into a lare pot; add 1" water & bring to a simmer over medium heat; stack the tamales to the basket, cover, & simmer for 90 minutes, or until the dough is set & comes away easily from the corn husks when tested
*remove the string before serving

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