Tamales-How to Assemble & Cook your Tamales

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 67,777
    Merrilee Jacobs, Founder and CEO of 3 Hot Tamales, demonstrates how to make tamales including how to assemble and cook the tamales.

    Merrilee Jacobs: Hi! I am Merrilee Jacobs with the 3 Hot Tamales, and we have been showing you how to make Tamales today. Now we have gone through all the segments, preparation of the masa and the fillings. Now the fun part comes where we actually get to start rolling.

    So we are going to take the cornhusks that we soaked a little earlier. See how pliable they are now, and I have drained them so that they are not dripping wet. Take the masa that we prepared a quarter of a cup and put it on our cornhusks, just like that. I need a flat spatula of some kind to kind of spread it out.

    Now the trick is that you want to spread this out kind of like a 4x4 square to one side of the cornhusk. That takes a little time. By the way, this whole process is a little labor intensive, which is why if you find a good tamale you wont let it go, have somebody else make them and just buy them, but anyway. So 4x4 square, take about two tablespoon scoop or of measuring spoon. Anyway two tablespoons worth of filling, place it kind of here in the center. This is a tablespoon per scoop here. Place it in the center there. I am going to want to take the edge that has the masa on it and fold it over to meet the other edge. Scoop it towards you a little bit, so you get that nice rounded look. Flip the tail in and there you are, all rolled and ready.

    Have some potato and green chilly; we will do one more for the burger style and we will find a nice wide one that makes it looks so much easier. Again, a quarter of cup of a masa, spread that masa out nice so it totally encompasses the filling.

    Now you know why traditionally people wait of a holiday time to make these, because its one time when they can rope all of their family members into it, because it requires so much time. Kind of shake that off a little bit. Again, we will do the scoop of the burger right here, right there in the center. Fold this over. Roll it towards you, flip in the tail and there you go, alright. Now you know how to assemble these.

    Now a fun part is this. Before you put them in the tamale pot -- and so I will bring it over here to sho you. The tamale pot or a stockpot with the steamer basket has a mechanism in the bottom by which it keeps them out of the water. This is especially made for tamale, so thats what that looks like, but if you have one those little metal steamer baskets, thats really helpful too just to start pot works.

    I use a tamale class because while its cooking it maintains the steam; it doesn't let all the steam to escape. So they stay nice and moist. A little trick is dont heat your water on the stove in your tamale pot until after you have loaded it with your tamales, because if you do, you are likely to get burned by the steam. Its a little trick I learned after some bad experiences.

    So now you load your tamales in the pot standing straight up and fill the pot, and then you are ready to steam. You want to steam at a good, medium steam, not boiling rapidly, but a good medium steam for about one hour. And then after one hour you can take them out, let them cool just a little, and either eat them immediately or you let them cool a little more, maybe about 20 minutes or so. You can pop them in some freezer bags and throw them in your freezer. So the next time you get a craving, you are all ready to go.

    So now that we have showed how to assemble and how to cook your tamales, we are going to take you into the very best part and that is how to garnish and serving suggestions for when you ready to sit down and enjoy eating them.