Saturday, March 12, 2011


Do you love tamales?  I sure do!  I've had them from lots of places a little village south of Tijuana, various restaurants and out of someone's trunk.  (Sounds random, but they are delish!.... at least in CO, don't know about other places!)  :)  Anyway, when I was in Junior High, my Mom and I made a bunch of tamales at home.  They were wonderful.  In fact, maybe even better than ones you buy anywhere--because they were made with love and they were super, duper, duper fresh!  :)  

We've made them since, and I still love to do them at home, although I usually don't.  I've had a hankering for tamales lately though, and since I haven't had the courage to try any in NC I made my own!  :)  They are easy to do, just takes a little bit of time!  (Totally pays off though!)  Here's how you can make them too!  (You can use any meat for filling--just be sure it's already cooked when you fill them.  For this batch I did ground beef, even though that's strange for me.  But they still are just delish!)

Updated some pics and added quick video on 4/29/17! 

What you'll need: (For about 30 tamales, depending on size)
5 c.Masa Harina
5 c. Water
Corn Husks (36 or so)
~ 1lb. Cooked Meat for Filling (Shredded beef, shredded chicken, ground beef, etc.)
Seasonings (Like paprika, chile flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, green chiles or green chile!)
Steamer (Various options on the market, I used a pot with a steaming basket top to it, but there are also just steamer baskets you can buy to use in any pot.)
1.  Start out by soaking about 36 corn husks in warm water.  
This is what the Masa will come like. :)  You can find it at grocery stores or specialty stores.  But not at Trader Joes, just FYI.
2.  Put the 5 c. Masa in a large bowl.
3.  Incorporate the 5 c. water and add about 1 t. salt.
4.  Be sure your meat is cooked.  We love these with carne asada, pulled chicken, chicken & green chile, cheese & green chiles or with this meat below.  Here's pics of my meat cooking.  Add spices while you cook it.  You can feel free to season as you like it.  I seasoned mine with 1 T. of red pepper flakes, 1/2 t. Garlic Powder, Pinch Salt, 1/2 t. Pepper, and 2 T. Onion Flakes (with 1/4 water added).  See that utensil I'm using?  It's called a meat twirler and it's by Pampered Chef.  It's amazing.  And I got it as a wedding gift.  From my bff, who may or may not be reading this right now too.  :)  Love it R!  Thanks!  :)
5.  Assemble the said tamales.  Take a softened corn husk, smear some masa on it, then add some meat.  Finally fold it up and place in the steamer basket to wait for it's counterparts to be made!  Repeat until basket is full! :)
I prefer to filled one end (away from the point of the husk) and then fold over and use a piece of a husk to tie these days.  Pics below.

6.  Once your steamer basket is full place it over about 1.5" of boiling water and steam the tamales for about 15-20 minutes.  (Or until the masa is cooked and pulls away from husk easily.)  :)

Cool them on cookie sheets if not serving right away.  Must cool before storing, but don't let them sit out longer than an hour before putting in fridge or freezer.  I usually put a dozen in a freezer ziplock and take out as much air as possible.  Then it's easy to reheat 6 or 12 at a time later!  Reheat by steaming for 20-30 minutes depending on whether they were cold or frozen.   

You may be tempted to eat one or two or three right now.  And that would be fine.  :) 
Enjoy!  I got get anywhere from 28-36 with this recipe of tamales and they are already going fast!  :)  Which is sad yet definitely a great sign right?!


  1. There is a tamal-ready mix flour by Maseca as well. My mom says it's better than the regular one.


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