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#11982115 - 12/13/16 12:19 PM Tamales.
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Tamales aren't just one thing. They're multiple recipes combined together to make something glorious. I'm going to give a very simple red chili pork filling here.

First you start off with a pork roast. Make a nice pork butt or shoulder roast for pulled pork earlier in the week and save the pan drippings. You're going to dilute them down for your broth. Go ahead and have one meal off of it, but save the rest. Whenever I call for broth in this recipe, just assume I'm calling for you to use some of this drippings that we've let cool in the fridge, skimmed the fat off the top, then diluted down to make a broth.

The red chili sauce.
De-seed and clean the ribs out and stem out of 10 ancho chilies and 4 guajillo chilies. Boil just enough water to cover (about 2 cups-ish), put them in the pot with the lid on, then take it off the heat and leave it alone for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile saute 4 medium yellow onions, and 8 cloves of garlic (plus more depending on how much garlic you like. We like lots so I'm tending more towards 10 or 12)
The color you're going for is this...


When the onions are done, set them to the side to cool for a bit. Meanwhile, you're going to take your now softened chilies out of the soaking liquid (DO NOT THROW IT AWAY) and when everything is cool enough to handle, pulse it through the food processor until smooth-ish.

Now add a little oil to a clean pot, and saute 3 teaspoons cumin just until it starts to put off scent. Pour in the blended chilies and onions and garlic. Add a 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 tablespoons salt (I tend to use the powdered beef boullion here instead of salt for extra flavor), and 1 cup of stock and 1 cup of your reserved chili soaking liquid. Simmer while stirring for about 10 minutes. You want a sauce / thin gravy-ish consistency. Add more broth if needed.

Put this in the fridge and let the flavors "shake hands and say howdy" overnight. It's much better and easier to work with the next day.

The day of the tamale making...

Start your husks soaking. I put them in the turkey roaster, fill with water, just plug it in on the coolest setting. Weigh them down so they don't float.

Heat up and shred your pork. I don't like large chunks of pork in my tamales so I will even pulse it through the food processor just to shred it really well. Mix with "enough" sauce to your own taste. I have absolutely no idea how much sauce I poured in the pork and mixed well, but the blue bowl on the table is the doctored batch.



MASA
Good masa makes good tamales. You start with the fresh masa and lard and 2 tablespoons of salt. Go to the local hispanic market and get a five pound bag of fresh masa. Yellow or white is your own preference. Not the dry stuff on the flour aisle.

Take two cups room temperature lard and beat with a tablespoon of salt until it's fluffy. Then start mixing in your fresh masa and 2 cups of good broth... doesn't really matter what flavor as long as it's tasty.
Now once it's all mixed in, beat it until it's fluffy and about the consistency of spackle. When you toss a pinch in a glass of cool water, it should float. If it doesn't, keep beating.

Spreading the masa on the husks is an art. I can't tell you how much, but you want a thin layer and you don't want to cover the whole husk.

Perfect example.... sorta. I leave one corner uncovered with masa and the back tail. Then I add about a tablespoon of sauced meat, fold it over, pull back slightly, then fold your tail up, then roll it over.


Line the inside of your pot with a cheesecloth and steam them until they're done. I always steam extra long because I like them extra firm, so I'm steaming for over two hours just because I have these giant pots that I tend to over fill. Pay attention to water levels and refill as needed. If you're only cooking a few, just steam until the masa firms up, because all the other ingredients are already cooked.

They keep absolutely marvelously in the freezer. It is a lot of work, but freeze them in quart size baggies and you will have tamales for months. Just go grab a package whenever you like... and you can have homemade tamales for breakfast months afterwards... it's like a present to yourself!


Edited by Kattelyn (12/13/16 12:36 PM)

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#11982251 - 12/13/16 01:17 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
kdub#1 Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 02/09/07
Posts: 1448
Loc: Dfdub
I'm gonna make some of these!

Ever use deer instead of pork?
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#11982266 - 12/13/16 01:25 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Yep, and chicken and beef. This is just the one I'm making the most of this year but I have others too. I'll type them up later as the thread progresses.

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#11982298 - 12/13/16 01:49 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
So you know, use that red chili sauce for beef or venison tamales. It works perfectly. Just cook your meat, save whatever pan drippings you have, and go to town. It also is a good cover for gamey tasting meats, so your wild hogs.

Chicken tamales I use a different sauce.

Saute 2 onions, teaspoon cumin, teaspoon oregano, teaspoon salt (or the granulated bouillon), teaspoon pepper, and 1 16 oz can crushed tomatoes. Blend and let set overnight.

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#11982498 - 12/13/16 03:59 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Magged Out Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/23/11
Posts: 14307
Loc: SANGELO
Yum,Tamales!





Edited by Magged Out (12/13/16 04:37 PM)

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#11991218 - 12/18/16 01:09 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Okie Poke Online   happy
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Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 19147
Loc: Flower Mound, TX
Nice, Kattelyn....
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#11992686 - 12/19/16 12:13 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
2 Bee'z Online   happy
honey boo boo

Registered: 07/23/15
Posts: 16632
Loc: Lake Texoma, TX
Nice Katt, very nice cheers

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#11992994 - 12/19/16 09:25 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
This weekend was the main tamale party and I had over 25 people in and out of my house helping make and eat a bunch of different flavors. All were excellent.

However, one was according to no official recipe, but was the best of the lot, and I need to remember how to do it again in the future.



I found strawberry masa. So I took the normal fresh masa dough base and modified it.

2 cups of lard
2 tablespoons salt
Beat until fluffy.

I had four of the frozen sliced strawberries in syrup in the freezer that I thawed, used the liquid out of them with some water in place of the normal 2 cups of broth.

Process as normal. Add the 5 pounds of masa dough with the 2 - 3 cups of liquid, beating constantly until you get it all incorporated, smooth, and a dab floats in a cup of cold water.

Now here's where I modified.
Add and beat in well:
2 1/2 cups sugar.
5 teaspooons vanilla

When you're done beating, fold the drained sliced strawberries from the cartons into the dough.

Chop into small pieces about 2 pounds of good chocolate. I used my stash of lindt milk chocolate.

With this kind of tamales, you don't spread the dough in the husk. You add a glob about the size of an ice cream scoop. Then add a few pieces of milk chocolate. Then you tie both ends.



Here's what they look like steaming in the pot.

DO NOT FORGET to poke a few steam holes in the husk with a knife. Just a few all over.

And here's your bite of heaven. These things are seriously, SERIOUSLY good. I must make more.


Oh, here's a picture of what I mean by cartons of sliced strawberries...












Edited by Kattelyn (12/19/16 09:42 AM)
Edit Reason: Need steam holes.

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#11993033 - 12/19/16 09:50 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
For the basic sweet tamales:

Take 8 cups of your basic masa dough and mix in:

Add 3 cups sugar
1+ cup raisin (that + is in there because I like raisins and I dumped in the whole box)
2+ tablespoons cinnamon (guess what I did with the cinnamon too)
2 tablespoons vanilla.

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#11993069 - 12/19/16 10:05 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Another huge hit and I should have made more as fast as they went:

Spinach mushroom.

6 cups fresh masa.


2 pounds frozen chopped spinach - thawed and very well drained.
2 pounds mushrooms - any kind you want. We used shiitake, oyster, baby bella, and button.
2 cloves garlic
1 green onion
2 teaspoons salt
1+ teaspoon pepper
Chop everything well and saute until done.

In a separate bowl, blend together:
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter

Add this to the pan to thicken up the sauce a bit and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool completely.

When rolling, add 1/2 pound shredded jack cheese. Roll as normal tamales.

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#11993258 - 12/19/16 11:42 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Oh, and a mental note. Running the raw masa dough through the food processor saves a LOT of beating time and makes an extra smooth dough.

When you are getting ready to make your tamales, open up the raw masa dough and just pulse a little bit of it through the food processor at a time until it's all this lovely light fluffy consistency. It completely eliminates lumps that you're later standing there trying to kill the blender to get rid of every one.

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#11995642 - 12/20/16 06:41 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
DJTripleR Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 3978
Loc: Fate, Texas USA
IMHO you are going thru way too much trouble using the chilles. My mom and aunt make the best tamales I have ever had and have sold thousands of dozens over the yrs. Get you the Gebhardt chili powder and you will be pleased
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#11996292 - 12/21/16 07:57 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
smooth move Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 1350
Loc: bayou vista,tx
Dang. now i've got to go out and get me some tamales.
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#12079687 - 02/06/17 09:00 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
RickS. Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 31957
Loc: Soon to be back in The Republi...
Kat, my girlfriend is currently writing down your recipe. We got several Texans up here in yankeeland craving some good tamales. Guess who gets their tamale recipe used? That's right it's you my friend. I'm trusting you. I know you won't let me down.

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#12079789 - 02/06/17 09:49 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
smooth move Offline
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Registered: 10/14/12
Posts: 1350
Loc: bayou vista,tx
i love tamales. i've never made em, but my wife and 3 of her friends did at our house a few years ago. looked like a bomb went off in the kitchen.
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#12079798 - 02/06/17 09:58 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: smooth move]
RickS. Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 31957
Loc: Soon to be back in The Republi...
Originally Posted By: smooth move
i love tamales. i've never made em, but my wife and 3 of her friends did at our house a few years ago. looked like a bomb went off in the kitchen.


I have tried warning the girlfriend that this isn't no tiny undertaking. She's determined, so I'm going to let her try. roflmao

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#12079810 - 02/06/17 10:02 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: RickS.]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: RickS.
Kat, my girlfriend is currently writing down your recipe. We got several Texans up here in yankeeland craving some good tamales. Guess who gets their tamale recipe used? That's right it's you my friend. I'm trusting you. I know you won't let me down.


I'd send you some if I could. The dessert ones are freaking amazing. Only note I really want to stress is when you're rolling, don't cover the entire corn husk. Leave your skinny tail and one side uncovered. Don't put on too much masa.

For rolling, put your filling in the middle, fold over, pull the filling and masa towards you just a little, fold up your tail, then roll the rest of the way.

Fold over,
pull slightly
fold in your tail
finish the roll.

You want an assembly line going. We're normally doing it with plates and going in a circle. You have one person spreading the masa, another person with meat, another person folding and stacking in the pot.

When steaming, keep an ear on your pot and don't let it scorch. If you hear it sizzling, add water.

Oh, another thing that I do to make life easy. The very first thing you do the day of rolling is get your corn husks soaking. I'll get down my big turkey roaster and fill it with water, turn it just barely on where it's warm but not too hot. You have got to soak your husks. And it helps with dealing with any bugs or any dirt that might be in them. Gives them a good washing and soaking. And also, when you pull any out, put in the next batch immediately and break apart the bundles extremely well.


Edited by Kattelyn (02/06/17 10:06 AM)
Edit Reason: husks info

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#12080446 - 02/06/17 04:20 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Justmike Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/04/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Heath,tx
Or you could go to Costco and pick up there's not as good but easy

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#12081445 - 02/07/17 08:05 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
fishslime Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 2519
Loc: mckinney
I use the Son of the South recipe on the internet. It makes a very good chicken/pork tamale. The masa is seasoned as well as the meat, which makes them particularly good. Has great instructions with pictures.

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#12083408 - 02/08/17 08:05 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
RickS. Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 31957
Loc: Soon to be back in The Republi...
Kat, we had them yesterday per your recipe. They turned out amazing. That chili sauce was the bomb also.

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#12083861 - 02/08/17 11:44 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Awesome! I always love hearing when folks love my recipes. That chili sauce is worth the effort every time. I have folks wanting to eat it with a spoon and as a topping for enchiladas.

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#12085476 - 02/09/17 10:13 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
RickS. Online   happy
TFF Guru

Registered: 11/18/04
Posts: 31957
Loc: Soon to be back in The Republi...
Originally Posted By: Kattelyn
Awesome! I always love hearing when folks love my recipes. That chili sauce is worth the effort every time. I have folks wanting to eat it with a spoon and as a topping for enchiladas.



I ain't even gonna lie. I scooped a couple of spoonfuls out while she was making them.

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#12357495 - 07/25/17 12:31 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
TrailHand Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/18/17
Posts: 125
I've been looking for an authentic mexican recipe for tamales forever. I live up north now so I don't have any more mexican friends to bug about them. Gotta make my own! laugh

Here's the shopping list for the first recipe (near as I could figure).

1 pork butt or shoulder roast (eat 1 meal from it)
10 ancho chilies
4 guajillo chilis
4 medium onions
10 garlic cloves
3 tsp. Cumin
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 c. pork shoulder stock
1 c. chili mix you made earlier
5 lb. bag fresh Masa (not dry masa mix)
2 Tbsp. salt
2 c. room temperature lard
2 c. additional broth (homemade or store bought)


Now if anyone has a killer Masa recipe..... dance2


Edited by TrailHand (07/25/17 12:33 PM)

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#12357645 - 07/25/17 01:47 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: TrailHand]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
That is the masa recipe. Here, let me explain.....

The 5 pound bag of fresh masa dough I'm describing in the recipe is something you buy straight at the store and use to make the tamales. It's a fresher (and not dried out) version of the dried flour and gives a much better end result. I've tried over and over again to use the dried stuff and had a lot of unsatisfactory results. Now I really insist it must be the fresh masa dough.

Take the 5 pound bag and pulse it through the food processor a little at a time to get all the lumps out.

Take 2 cups lard and 2 tablespoons salt and beat together until it's fluffy.
Start adding the fresh masa dough and broth slowly, beating the whole time until it's all incorporated. Have a glass of water nearby and beat the mixture. It's done when a pinch of it tossed in water floats.

The red chili gravy sauce stuff is what you add to your cooked meat to add flavor. Use as much or as little as you want. Typically we would have added 2 tablespoons of sauce per tamale but I'm lazy and just mixed the meat and the sauce together and be done with it.

Originally Posted By: TrailHand
I've been looking for an authentic mexican recipe for tamales forever. I live up north now so I don't have any more mexican friends to bug about them. Gotta make my own! laugh

Here's the shopping list for the first recipe (near as I could figure).

1 pork butt or shoulder roast (eat 1 meal from it)
10 ancho chilies
4 guajillo chilis
4 medium onions
10 garlic cloves
3 tsp. Cumin
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 c. pork shoulder stock

5 lb. bag fresh Masa (not dry masa mix)
2 Tbsp. salt
2 c. room temperature lard
2 c. broth (this is also where you use the pork shoulder stock)


Now if anyone has a killer Masa recipe..... dance2

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#12357666 - 07/25/17 02:00 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
TrailHand Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/18/17
Posts: 125
Sorry Katt, I typed faster than I was thinking. I meant a from-scratch Masa recipe in lieu of buying a 5lb bag. Like, "Take 4 cups of AP flour..." smile

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#12357680 - 07/25/17 02:10 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: TrailHand]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Originally Posted By: TrailHand
Sorry Katt, I typed faster than I was thinking. I meant a from-scratch Masa recipe in lieu of buying a 5lb bag. Like, "Take 4 cups of AP flour..." smile


You're asking for the wheat to grind your own 5 pound bag of flour. wink

Buy It Fresh

Most Mexican grocery stores also sell a fresh corn masa called "masa preparada," which is a dough made from freshly ground hominy, not masa harina flour. It can be purchased in two ways: a smooth consistency for making corn tortillas, or a coarse-textured masa with lard and seasonings for making tamales.

Smooth-ground masa should be kept well-covered at room temperature and used right away for best results. Coarse-ground masa can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months.


Edited by Kattelyn (07/25/17 02:14 PM)

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#12357879 - 07/25/17 04:18 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
TrailHand Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 05/18/17
Posts: 125
Originally Posted By: Kattelyn
Originally Posted By: TrailHand
Sorry Katt, I typed faster than I was thinking. I meant a from-scratch Masa recipe in lieu of buying a 5lb bag. Like, "Take 4 cups of AP flour..." smile


You're asking for the wheat to grind your own 5 pound bag of flour. wink

Buy It Fresh

Most Mexican grocery stores also sell a fresh corn masa called "masa preparada," which is a dough made from freshly ground hominy, not masa harina flour. It can be purchased in two ways: a smooth consistency for making corn tortillas, or a coarse-textured masa with lard and seasonings for making tamales.

Smooth-ground masa should be kept well-covered at room temperature and used right away for best results. Coarse-ground masa can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to three months.


Haha! no, just the recipe for that 5lb bag of dough. We used to live in Ft worth and were surrounded by mexicans on the north side. It was great for all the food we got to try growing up. One of the girls (that I had a huge crush on) tried to teach me one time, but she was 16 and I was 13 and I couldn't keep my head on straight enough to write anything down. I remember something starting with "5 handfuls of flour", there was lard in there somewhere from a big 5 gallon bucket they kept on hand, and that was about all I remember relating to the recipe.

But man them tortillas would make a puppy pull a locomotive!


Edited by TrailHand (07/25/17 04:19 PM)

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#12519176 - 11/28/17 02:34 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
Kattelyn Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 02/11/09
Posts: 34928
Loc: San Antonio
Tis the season. I'm making standard red chile pork, strawberry and chocolate (had to special order the strawberry masa this year), spinach mushroom, and two new weird things using banana leaves.

Nacatamales from Nicaragua and Honduras. They are similar to Mexican tamales, but nacatamales are larger, filled with meat and vegetables and steamed in banana leaves.
And then just cause I want to try it.... and I'm going to be messing with banana leaves... something called Banh Tet Chuoi. Vietnamese sweet sticky rice cakes with bananas. They're kinda tamale-ish, prepared much the same way and sweet. I had them many years ago and finally cornered the woman who made them and got her recipe. smile

4 dry cups sweet rice, washed & soaked for minimum of 4 hours, preferably overnight. Heat 400 ml coconut milk over medium heat, add pinch of salt and drained rice. Stir gently until the consistency is that of a oatmeal... add regular sugar to desired sweetness... I add only about a cup. Let mixture cool down... slice baby bananas in half... clean banana leaves (I use the ones that are already cut to circles)... wrap coconut rice mixture & banana. Since the rice is semi cooked it will only take about 30 minutes in a steamer to cook.

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#12526015 - 12/04/17 07:27 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
CHAMPION FISH Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 09/14/04
Posts: 7525
Loc: SACHSE, TEXAS
Love them on Christmas Day.
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#12532841 - 12/09/17 04:44 PM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
fishslime Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 2519
Loc: mckinney
I always buy MeSeCa(?)masa and use The Son of the South recipe on the web. I love them. They remind me of the tamales the Dallas Tortilla Factory used to sell. Last time I bought another brand of masa flour and won't do that again. Had to steam them a very long time to get the masa done - about 4 hours. Should have to steam them only a couple of hours or so.

The Son of the South recipe has seasoning in the masa as well as the meat, which gives them their distinctive flavor.

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#12576777 - 01/13/18 11:41 AM Re: Tamales. [Re: Kattelyn]
H2O Seeker Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 06/26/11
Posts: 712
Loc: Denison, Texas/Texoma
Katt - Thank you for sharing this. I love tamales and have always wanted to make my own using venison or wild hog.
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