Christmas (New Year’s) Tamales

by Steve, January 1st, 2012

Cooking with gasWe didn’t have a stove this Christmas, but Mr. E. got the new one installed just before New Year’s Day. I wasn’t exactly hoping for the old range to die, but it was a nice excuse to convert to gas in the new house. Life with a stove ist definitely better than life without. And cooking with gas beats the heck out of electric.

I feel like I’ve spent most of the last three days in the kitchen, and today I finally got to make tamales in the new house (we skipped them last year because we left for LA the day after Christmas).

Here’s how I made them this year:

Tamales

Ingredients

    Corn husks
    Filling (use your imagination!)
    6 cups masa harina
    5 cups warm broth
    2 cups shortening
    2 T cumin
    2 T chili powder
    salt to taste

Method

Soak corn husks in boiling water (I like to soak them for an hour). Mix masa and broth; let sit. Whip shortening in a mixer until it’s fluffy. Mix in masa/broth mixture and spices; salt to taste.

I mashed a sweet potato and a russet with a little milk and butter for filling, along with some refried beans. smear masa into the corn husks, put in a dollop of filling, roll ‘em up and steam ‘em standing up and covered with a layer of corn husks in a double boiler until they’re not doughy; about 2 hours. Serve with your choice of toppings/sides/garnishes. I usually do a green sauce and a mole; this year I’m keeping it simple with a little guacamole.

And since it’s New Year’s Day, not Christmas, we’re starting things off with a pot of hoppin’ john.

Hoppin’ John

Ingredients

    Black eyed peas
    Onion
    Garlic
    Hot sauce
    Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Soak and cook black eyed peas. Saute onion and garlic, and add into cooked peas. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.

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