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Recipe: Holiday Tamales

azfamily.com

Posted on December 9, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 9 at 6:21 PM

PHOENIX -- Food City's 11th Annual Tamale Festival is in downtown Phoenix this Saturday and Sunday at the Cesar Chavez Plaza located at 200 W. Washington St.

For more information, visit www.myfoodcity.com.

Red Chili Tamales

Tamale Filling:
· 1 1/4 pounds pork loin (pork can be substituted with Chicken or Beef)
· 1 large onion, halved
· 1 clove garlic
· 4 dried California chile pods
· 2 cups water
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
·  
· Tamale Dough:
· 2 cups masa
· 1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 2/3 cup lard
· 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
· 1 cup sour cream (optional)

Place pork into a Dutch oven with onion and garlic, and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is cooked through, about 2 hours.

Use rubber gloves to remove stems and seeds from the chile pods. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. Transfer the chiles and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture, stir in salt, and set aside. Shred the cooked meat and mix in one cup of the chile sauce.

Soak the corn husks in a bowl of warm water. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy. Combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the lard mixture, adding more broth as necessary to form a spongy dough.

Spread the dough out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Place one tablespoon of the meat filling into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a steamer. Steam for 1 hour.

Remove tamales from husks and drizzle remaining chile sauce over. Top with sour cream. For a creamy sauce, mix sour cream into the chile sauce.

Green Chili Tamales

· 1 8-ounce package dried corn husks
· 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed
· 4 3-inch-long serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped
· 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
· 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 cups low-salt chicken broth
· 4 cups (packed) coarsely shredded cooked chicken (about 1 pound; from purchased rotisserie chicken)
· 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Masa 
· 1 1/3 cups lard or solid vegetable shortening
· 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (omit if masa mixture contains salt)
· 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (omit if masa mixture contains baking powder)
· 4 cups of masa dough for tamales mixed with 2 1/4 cups warm water
· 2 cups chicken broth

Place husks in large pot or large bowl; add water to cover. Place heavy plate on husks to keep submerged. Let stand until husks soften, turning occasionally, at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
Preheat broiler. Line heavy baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos on prepared sheet. Broil until tomatillos blacken in spots, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer tomatillos and any juices on sheet to processor and cool. Add chiles and garlic to processor and blend until smooth puree forms. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add tomatillo puree and boil 5 minutes, stirring often. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until sauce coats spoon thickly and is reduced to 1 cup, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Season with salt. Mix in chicken and cilantro. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For dough:
Using electric mixer, beat lard (with salt and baking powder, if using) in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in fresh masa. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in 1 1/2 cups broth, forming tender dough. If dough seems firm, beat in enough broth, 2 tablespoons at a time, to soften.

Fill bottom of pot with steamer insert with enough water (about 2 inches) to reach bottom of insert.

Line bottom of insert with some softened corn husks. Tear 3 large husks into 1/4-inch-wide strips to use as ties and set aside. Open 2 large husks on work surface. Spread 1/4 cup dough in 4-inch square in center of each, leaving 2- to 3-inch plain border at narrow end of husk. Spoon heaping tablespoon filling in strip down center of each dough square. Fold long sides of husk and dough over filling to cover. Fold up narrow end of husk. Tie folded portion with strip of husk to secure, leaving wide end of tamale open. Stand tamales in steamer basket. Repeat with more husks, dough, and filling until all filling has been used. If necessary to keep tamales upright in steamer, insert pieces of crumpled foil between them.

Bring water in pot to boil. Cover pot and steam tamales until dough is firm to touch and separates easily from husk, adding more water to pot as necessary, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Sweet Tamales

2 pounds prepared masa http://www.progressotamale.com/recipes/tamale/masa.html without salt
2 cups sugar or to taste
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1-2 cups raisins, plumped in water
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, walnuts or pine nuts (optional)
30-40 dried corn husks, cleaned of debris and soaked in warm water until pliable (about 20 minutes)

Mix sugar and cinnamon into masa by hand. It's messy but efficient. Taste dough for sweetness. Add more sugar if necessary. The masa will lose some sweetness during the cooking process. Be careful about adding more cinnamon, as cinnamon will turn the tamales dark during cooking.
Drain raisins. Mix raisins and nuts into masa dough.

Scoop about 2 tablespoons masa and place in center on the smooth side of 1 corn husk. Fold sides and bottom in. Tie with a strip of corn husk or string, if you like, or just leave folded. Repeat with remaining corn husks and filling.

Cook tamales in a tamale steamer or in a conventional steamer. Line tray or basket with corn husks; place tamales on top. The tamales should not come in contact with the water. To prevent steamer from drying out, put a coin in the bottom of the steamer. You will hear it clinking as long as there is boiling water in the steamer. Steam tamales about 1 hour. They are done when masa no longer sticks to the corn husks when tamales are unrolled.
 

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