Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chicken and Cheese Tamales (Red Salsa and Green Salsa)

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!!

Hi Everyone! I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you all have a wonderful time!

Today's recipe is Mexican Tamales, this is one of the things/dishes we usually have for Christmas and/or New Year's Eve. So today I'm sharing my grandma's recipe with you all, I really hope you like it! My grandma was a very well known "tamalera" meaning, she made tamales to sell, and she had a lot of happy customers! So it's needles to say that in my family we have been making tamales for as long as I remember, we used to help my grandma to make tamales, and then we will also delivered them to her customers, I have a lot of good memories making tamales, and hopefully by sharing this recipe, I will also encourage you to make tamales with your family, and have a wonderful time, while making them.  They are very time consuming, but every minute is worth it, and if you have friends or family helping  you, I assure you, you will have a wonderful time and you will be making memories to last you a lifetime!  So call your friends, sister, mother, or daughter, and invite them over to make some tamales! Have fun making them and then enjoy!

Makes 30-40 tamales
Ingredients:
  • 1½ kilos Fresh Corn Masa (3.306 lbs.) (or Maseca Instant corn masa)
  • 750 grams Lard (Fresh Lard) (you need ½ kilo of lard for every 1 kilo of Masa)
  • Corn Husks
  • Salt to taste
  • Chicken Broth (if needed)

Red Salsa:

  • 20 Guajillo Chili or Mirasol Chili
  • 1 lb. Tomatillos (green tomatoes)
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ½ Tablespoon Lard
Green Salsa:
  • 1 lb. Tomatillos (green tomatoes)
  • 6+ Jalapeño Peppers (more or less to taste)
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • Salt to Taste
  • Whole Black Pepper to taste
  • ½ Tablespoon Lard

Chicken Filling: 
  • 1 Whole chicken
  • Whole pepper to taste
  • 1 Garlic
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • ½ small Onion
  • Salt to taste

Cheese Filling: (optional)
  • Havarti Cheese cut into strips about ½ inch thick (1 strip per tamal)
  • 1 Can Pickled Jalapenos (3-4 pieces per tamal)

Soak the corn husks in warm water for at least 1 hour.  Remove them from the water just before you start using them.

Cook the chicken in boiling water with the onion, bay leaves, garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 1 hour or until well cooked. Let it cool, then shred it. Set it aside until you are ready to use it.

To make the Red Salsa:  Peel off the tomatillos and remove the stems from the red chili, place them in a sauce pan, cover with enough water and cook them on medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes or until soft.  Drain them, place them in the blender, with ½ cup water, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of cumin, salt and black pepper to taste. Blend on high for about 3-5 minute or until you get a smooth sauce.  (If you think the Sauce is too thick, add more water but do NOT make it to watery!)
Now in a sauce pan, add ½ tablespoon of lard, and strain in the salsa, cook on medium heat fora bout 10-15 minutes or until it comes to a boil. Once it's boiling, taste the flavor and add more salt if needed. Once the salsa is done, set it aside until you are ready to use it.

To make the  Green Salsa: Peel off the tomatillo, remove the stems from the jalapenos, place them in a sauce pan, rinse with warm water, then cover them with enough water, and cook on medium-high heat for about 10-15 minutes or until soft.  Once they are done, place them in a blender, add in the garlic, black pepper to taste and ½ cup of water, blend on high until the Sauce is smooth.  In a sauce pan add in ½ tablespoon of lard, and cook the green Sauce on medium heat until it comes to a boil, once it's boiling, taste the flavor and add more salt if needed. Then set it aside until you are ready to use it.

To prepare the Masa/Dough:  Warm up the lard in the microwave for 1 minute. Place the masa/dough in a large bowl, and add in half the lard, remember, from every "Kilo of masa" (2.204 lbs) you will need  "½ kilo of lard (1.102 lbs.)  Then season the masa/dough with plenty of salt, and mix together, you  have to mix (knead) everything with your hands, the masa/dough might have a lot of big lumps so it's easier to dissolve them if you are using your hands.  Add in the rest of the lard, mix well, then taste the flavor and add more salt if necessary. You want the dough to be soft and smooth, so it will be easier to spread it on the husks, if you already added all the lard, and your dough is still feeling too dry, feel free to add chicken broth to get the right texture. 

Once the dough has the right texture and flavor, you can start making the tamales.

Grab a corn husk, spread the masa over the husk on an even layer, about ¼-½ inch thick,  avoid spreading the masa/dough over the end (tale) of the husk, the place some shredded chicken right in the center. Spoon some of the Red or Green Sauce over the chicken.  Then bring in the sides of the husk to cover the filling,  Then Fold in the end of the husk towards the center, and just keep on repeating theses steps until you are done.  (Follow the same steps for both the green tamales and the red tamales.)

To make the cheese tamales: Spread the dough over the corn husk on an even layer, (avoid the end of the husk) place a cheese strip right in the center, top the cheese with pickled jalapenos, bring the sides of the husk in to cover the filling, fold in the end of the husk towards the center, and keep on repeating this steps until you are done.

Add plenty of water to your steamer, and place the tamales inside the steamer, separate each layer, red, green and cheese, with a bunch of shredded corn husks in between each layer. Cook for 90 minutes or until cooked.

To serve, spoon some of the left over salsa over the tamales and enjoy!

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