Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tamales...My Trial and Error

Ok, so I thought, what could be so hard about making tamales? And why on earth does it take two days to make them (as in my mother in laws recipe)? I read the recipe and it sounded like maybe the two days allots for your roast to cool and prepare your chile and assemble on the next day. I still don't understand. What did I decide to do? I made my roast in the morning, it cooled I separated the stock and I thought what the heck? Why not just do it today? So, my impatient self said I can do this now.... right now. Why not, right?

My mother in law said you need to use the stock for the masa because if you don't have enough fat in the masa, the dough will stick to the corn husks. Well, in addition to the fatty stock, the recipe also calls for lard. And according to the pictures and tutorials I've seen, the masa should be a texture like a very thick cake batter or peanut butter. We could not get the masa to get to that texture, it was a little grainy and separating. I didn't want to add any more products to the dough and I was getting anxious so I said, "Let's just put them together now, k?" We did and I thought it was going ok, and they looked decent though I knew they'd be a little thick.

Now it's steaming time. First, we made them to large/long for the steamer I have so a lid was not covering them, and the process of steaming would be a bust. I found that my pressure cooker was a little deeper but the lid still would not close completely but I figured it was better than what I had them in before. I forgot about them for a while and the water had already evaporated so there I was adding more water. I think that is why they came out so dry and crumbly OR I didn't have enough fat in the dough to begin with. Either way, it was not a total waste of time, however a total waste of food as noone wanted to eat them. :(

I'll try again in a week or so but I'll need to make them smaller or get a deeper steemer! Enjoy the pics! They look better than they tasted. HAHA!!


  1. congrats for trying! I would love to learn how to make tamales!

  2. We have major cravings for Mexican food at our house. If you learn the trick, please post so I can learn it too!

  3. I have never had these never mind making them. But if something takes 2 days to make you can be pretty sure its not coming out of my kitchen, teehee.
    Good for you for trying them.