Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chili today, Hot Tamale!

It's Cinco de Mayo mis amigos! Time to get your Tamale on!

I got my new issue of the Food Network Magazine and Ingrid Hoffman demonstrated how to make Tamales. Now understand something here, never in the back of my head or in my future cooking plans was I EVER thinking of making tamales. I love to eat them but I always assumed that they were just to difficult or time consuming to make. Stupid assumption, I know. Ignorance is bliss sometimes. After I saw the recipe and a few pictures AND the substitution for corn husk wrappers I WAS THERE BABY!

First the process, then the recipe follows:

Boil your chicken in seasoned water. Salt and pepper with chicken bouillon. Or just get one of those roasted chickens in your deli dept. and shred it. Here I took two forks and shredded 2 boneless breasts and thighs.

Put your 1 cup of cheese, 2 cups of salsa, 1/2 cup peas, 2 chopped green onions and cilantro in your bowl. Add your shredded chicken and 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix

After I mixed it, I took my fork and divided it into two sections. The recipe said that it was going to make 12 tamales so I figured each side was divided into 6.

I bought at my dollar store some foil wrappers. I put out six of them and put a pile of the chicken mix on them. I even took out my scale and weighed each one to ensure I put ABOUT the same amount. Each came to 4.25 ounces thereabouts.

Form each chicken 'mass' into an oblong shape. Push it to the edge and fold foil in half.

Fold edges into the sides of the chicken mixture.

Wrap around it, leaving it open on the end.

My pile of 12 tamales ready to STEAM.

Bring your Pasta pot with 1 inch of water on the bottom to a boil. With the tamales on their folded ended - Cook for 30 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, seasoned chopped tomatoes and garnish with a cilantro leaf.

Chicken Tamales
from Food Network Magazine June 2009, page 102

14 corn husks (available in Latin stores or Internation aisle in your grocery, they suggested foil if you didn't have husks- worked great for me)
2-3 lb rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded about 6 cups (I poached 2 boneless breasts and thighs)
1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I used only about 1 Tbsp- I am still getting used to the taste of cilantro s0 I didn't want the overpowering taste of it)
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup drained and halved olives (I omitted this for K-man doesn't like olives)
2 cups salsa (they suggested salsa verde/green. I used the chunky type I had on hand)
2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal mix (if you only have regular cornmeal you can add 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt)

1. Soak the husks in warm water. Soak for 30 minutes or until they are soft and pliable.
2. Mix the filling, while the husks soak. Stir together the chicken, cheese, cilantro, peas, olives and salsa in a bowl. Add the cornmeal mix and stir until combined. (Taste your mixture seeing if it is seasoned enough for you. I tasted mine for I wanted a lil ZING and added red pepper flakes)
3. Make the ties. Remove 2 corn husks from the water. Tear into 12 thin strips for tying up the tamales. Set aside. (Me- open box of foil. Remove 12 sheets)
4. Unfold the soaked husks wide end up, on a work surface. Starting at the top edge spoon 2/3 cup filling down the center and mold into a 4 by 2 inch rectangle, leaving room at the bottom for folding.
5. Roll up the tamale jelly-roll style to enclose the filling. Fold up the bottom end of the husk and tie with one of the strips of husk. Repeat with the remaing husks, filling and ties.
6. Add one inch of water to a deep pot with a tight fitting lid, place a steamer basket in the pot. Arrange the tamales upright (closed end down) in the basket. Bring the water to boil over medium-high heat; cover and steam the tamales for 25 minutes, adding more water if needed.
7. Carefully remove the tamales from the steamer and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, untie and open the husks, then garnish.

I couldn't get over myself how really easy these were. The foil was the clincher for me. And these were so filling, I could barely eat two of them. But K-man ate 3. He was asking during dinner if he could take some to work to wave under his hispanic co-workers noses....LOL


Ginger said...

I am so happy that have all the photos!! It actually makes me feel like I could do this! That photo has to get published!!

Donna-FFW said...

LOVE all these step by steps.. you make it sound so easy!! Gorgeous photos, also!

recipes2share said...

You make this look so easy...

But the foil - it made me smile, because the first time I saw these wrappers was when my mum brought me some from England as a gift!!...they were really useful too.