How To Make Traditional Tamales

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,877
    Tamale chef Merrilee Jacobs demonstrates how to make traditional tamales in your own home.

    Merrilee Jacobs: Hi! I'm Merrilee Jacobs Founder and CEO of 3 Hot Tamales, and today I'm showing you how to make Tamales. Right now, we're going to show you how to prepare corn husk and mix your masa. Your corn husk come dried, so you put them in a bowl, cover them with a little water, and let them soak for about 20 minutes. Let's get rolling and I'll show you how to start this process. Six cups of corn masa flour, 21/2 tablespoons of a vegetarian chicken seasoning, one-and-a-half teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of baking powder. Mix those up a little bit and then we add 61/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of salsa verde, and one cup of vegetable oil. As you are mixing this you'll notice that the corn masa flour seems to absorb a lot of moisture. So you may have to add a little bit more depending on the consistency of it, just mix real well before too long you are going to have a nice soft paste. And for the ultimate and comfort for you I'm going to show you how to make a potato green chili cheese filling. One of the things I started with was four cups of diced potatoes. You cook them until they're super soft. I also chopped up 1/2 a cup of onion, 1 tablespoon of garlic, 2 teaspoons of jalapenos, 3/4 cup of diced green chilies, and you get that mixed just a little bit. We're going to also add 21/4 teaspoon of either a vegetarian chicken style seasoning or a regular chicken seasoning if you would like. Little salt, a dash of cumin, 3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, let it all mixed up. Now the fun part comes when we actually get start rolling. So we're going to take the corn husk that we soaked a little bit earlier, take the masa that we prepared and put it on our corn husk, just like that. The trick is that you want to spread this out, kind of like a 4x4 square to one side of the corn husk. Take about two tablespoons of filling, place it in the center there, and then I want to take the edge that has a masa on it and fold it over to meet the other edge, kind of scoop it towards you a little bit so you get that nice rounded look. Flip the tail in and Tata here you are, all rolled and ready. Now the fun part is this. Before you put them in the Tamale pot use the Tamale cloth because while it's cooking it maintains the steam, doesn't let all steam is escape so that it stays nice and moist. The little trick is down heat your water on the stove in your Tamale pot until after you've loaded it with your Tamales, because if you do you're likely to get burnt by the steam. It's a little trick I learned after some bad experiences. So now you load your Tamales in the pot, standing straight up and then fill the pot and then you're ready to steam. You want the steam that a good down medium steam, not boiling rapidly but a good medium steam for about one hour. And then after one hour you're ready to enjoy a delicious meal.