Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home Made Tamales for the Holidays! (lots of PICS!)

My fathers mother was Sicilian and his father is Mexican. So he had a lot of good food growing up. One thing he always talks about that his mom used to make is her tamales. She did them different than most Mexicans do it though. She used vegetables along with the meat. We haven't made these tamales in years but I begged my parents to do it this year and I got my way! Yay! I, of course, helped because making home made tamales is not an easy task! It takes a lot of time! And the more people to help out the better. My brother insisted he "hates" tamales so he didn't want anything to do with the process but my mom, dad and I made a little assembly line and made 40 tamales in probably about an hour! If you are interested in our recipe here are the ingredients you will need:

(I do not know exact amounts, but that is not very important with this recipe.

For the Masa (the outside part of tamales):
-about a plastic grocery bag filled with masa
-1 can La victoria Enchilada Sauce

For Chicken filling:
- 2 whole chickens
- 1 can La Victoria Enchilada Sauce
-1 red onion
-1 tomato
-1 yellow & 1 green pepper (not bell peppers, the hot ones)
- chicken broth

For INSIDE tamales:
-fresh, frozen or canned green beans
-1 can garbanzo beans
-the shredded chicken filling

You will also need as many corn husks as tamales you plan on making. We made 40 so that's how many corn husks we needed. You use the corn husk to wrap the uncooked tamale so it stays together & forms while it is steaming

So as you can see here my dad is just mushing the enchilada sauce in with the masa with his hands. Mix well.

And you should have it all ready in an assembly line to make it easier. From the left we had (large container of shredded chicken) zuccini, tomatos, garbanzo beans, green beans, jalapenos, olives & potatos!

corn husks:)

Placement is not very important. If you like more of one thing, load it up. After we made them we all agreed we could have used more jalapenos. We put one of each item in each tamale. We also agreed that we could have put more chicken filling! If you don't like chicken you can use pork or anything else you want!

There are a few different ways of wrapping a tamale. We just randomly decided to wrap ours like this. Just make sure there is masa all around the fillings and it is wrapped nice and tight!

We made 40, because when it takes THIS much effort to cook something we like to have left overs :)

After they are all done you can start steaming them. I think we steamed ours for about two hours. Of course, not all of them will fit in one pot so it took all day to do 40 tamales. Two hours per batch. You can take one out and test it. But it will be better once it cools.
We didn't have a big steamer pot so what my mom did was she took her regular big pot and one of those reusable pie tin things and poked about 10 holes in it. she set it on the bottom on top of this other stand she had to it was a little higher off the bottom of the pan and filled the pan with water until the bottom of the pie tin. She set as many tamales she could in the pot. It is VERY VERY important to make sure the pot never runs out of water. It will evaporate so every 20 or 30 min you need to pour a little water in the pot from the side, make sure not to get the tamales wet or they will be soggy.

How to make the shredded chicken:

Boil two whole chicken in water with some chicken broth and garlic as well. After they are cooked, let them cool. In the meantime, Sautee a red onion, and the two peppers, & tomato until soft. Then go back to the chicken and take it off the bones and shred it! Add that to the sauteed stuff and then add one can of the La Victoria. Also add about a cup chicken broth. Let that cook for hours. We did ours the day before.

SO, Yes this is very time consuming and complicated but after it's all done it's totally worth it! If you try my recipe, I hope you enjoy! XO :)

Isn't he adorbs????!!!

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