I'm so far behind...I'm going to try and catch up a little at a time. Before my mom and I left for Vegas we made some tamales so that Ross would have something to eat while we were gone. Instead of making them traditionally by layering the masa and the filling we just mixed it all together and packed it into the husk. I say we, but my mom really did most of the work. I separated the husks and packed the tamales into the pan.
So, here's how we did it. We made two different kinds...one with chicken, cheese and poblano peppers (the ones we roasted the week before) and the other with black beans and cheese. First we made the masa. I bought some kind of masa mix at the store, and we had to add fat and water. Instead of lard we used a 50/50 mix of vegetable shortening and butter. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the rest of that Crisco. We also added some chile powder and spices to the masa to give it some color and flavor. Meanwhile we were soaking the husks in some hot water to soften them up. My mom deboned a roasted chicken from the store and used that in half of the tamales. She cooked up the beans from scratch. After the masa was ready we mixed it with what would have been the filling. My mom formed a little log and rolled it up in the corn husk. I packed them into the pot which had water at the bottom and a rack to hold the tamales. We ended up cooking the tamales for about an hour and a half. After letting them cool a bit I took them out of the pot and packed them into containers for the refrigerator. The next day we actually packed them in baggies and put most of them in the freezer.
I preferred the bean and cheese and Ross preferred the chicken. He said he ate about a dozen while we were gone with the leftover black beans. I bet they would have been really good with some Spanish quinoa.
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