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Food Culture

Tamaladas! A Mexican Tradition

August 8, 2017

Tamaladas! A Mexican tradition that brings the family

We are so busy in our lives that sitting down and making time for family dinner is almost impossible.  It occurred to me that maybe a wise Latina mom probably felt the same way one day and decided to bring her family together for a fun day of making tamales. She called it a TAMALADA! Tamales are traditionally eaten in the winter time. A Tamalada is a celebration, the start of the holidays and although tamales have been around since early 5000 B.C.

They line up like an assembly line. One person oversees soaking the tamale husk making the masa, another the meat filling, the other person oversees spreading the masa, another person will add the meat filling, then down the line auntie will oversees folding the tamales and At Rosie oversees steaming them.

Growing up Latina and having so many influences both Hispanic and American have shaped me. I am in love with this tradition. I believe Tamaladas are a wonderful way to teach children teamwork, family traditions and values.

Tamale Assembly

You will need 32 corn husks, opened and soaked for ½ hour in hot water. This will let the tamale husks become pliable for rolling your tamales. Once you are ready to roll, place your husk on flat surface. Add 2oz. of masa and spread into a flat square shape, leaving an inch of space on both ends. This will allow your masa to spread evenly when you roll without making a mess.

Queso con Rajas Tamale:
Add the cold filling of tomato & onion with 2oz. Queso Fresco, Oaxaca or Chihuahua cut into 2in. fingers (about 32 pieces) 1 for each tamale.

Chicken:
(2oz) of cooked, cold chicken and 2oz. of the green salsa

Pork:
2 oz. cooked pork

Place your filling in the middle of the masa. Roll each side to meet each other overlapping in the middle so that the masa covers all the meat or cheese filling. Fold the pointy end of the husk up so that the filling is secure inside the husk.

Fill your steam pot ¼ high with water and bring to boil. Add raw tamales and cook for 1 hour. Cheese will cook for 40 minutes. Make sure that tamales don’t touch the water directly or they will fall apart.

Tamale Recipes

Tamale Masa

By Chef Rosie
Yield 32 tamale

  • 4 pounds prepared masa for tamales or 7 cups packaged masa harina
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cup lard (one pound), softened, or substitute oil for vegetarian tamales
  • 6 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2.5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  1. If you are using prepared masa, break up the masa in a large bowl. If using masa harina, put it in a
    mixing bowl and add 1 ¼ cups of warm stock.
  2. Mix well and allow the dough to rest 15 minutes. Add the baking powder to either masa and knead well with your fingers.
  3. Add the fresh soft lard. If using the blocked-style lard, whip it until it is light, and then add it to the masa.
  4. Mix the lard or oil in well by hand or electric mixer.
  5. Add 3 teaspoons salt to 1 ¼ cups chicken or vegetable stock and add to the dough, stirring well.
  6. Taste and add more salt if necessary. You should be able to taste the salt at the back of your tongue, but lit should not be salty.
  7. Whip the masa until light, about 20 minutes.

Tamale Sauce

By Chef Rosie
Yield 32 tamale

  • 6 Garlic cloves
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • 2lbs Dry Guajillo
  • 2lbs Dry Chile Colorado
  • Tomato
  • Oregano
  1. For the sauce soak the Guajillo and Chile Colorado chile in a bowl with very hot water for 15-20 minutes (reserve water), put in the blender then strain.
  2. Once you have all the chile pulp then blend with the tomato, garlic and the 6-oz. water (where they soaked).
  3. Fry this sauce in the lard, add the meat, season with salt, cumin and oregano and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.
  4. Set aside and cool.

Tamale Queso

By Chef Rosie
Yield 32 tamale

  • s2lbs Queso Fresco, Chihuahua or Oaxaca
  • 1 small Onion slices
  • 2 small Tomatoes
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2lbs Chile Poblano peeled and cut into strips
  • Oregano
  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan, add onions and sauté until transparent.
  2. Add the tomato, garlic, and chile strips and cook through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the sea salt and oregano and fry for about 1 more minute. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cut cheese into 2oz strips.

Queso con Rajas Tamale Filling

  • 2 pounds of Queso Fresco, Chihuahua or Oaxaca
  • 1 small Onion sliced
  • 2 small Tomato
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 2 pounds Chile Poblano peeled and cut into strips
  • Oregano
  • Sea salt
  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan, add onions and sauté until transparent.
  2. Add the tomato, garlic, and chile strips and cook through, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the sea salt and oregano and fry for about 1 more minute. Set aside to cool.
  4. Cut cheese into 2oz strips.

Pork Tamale Filling

By Chef Rosie
Yield 32 tamales

  • 5lbs of pork butt or loin in large chunks
  • 1 whole onion
  • 6 Bay leaves
  • 6 oz Salt
  1. Place the pork loin in a big pot with the onion, bay leaves and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and turn down the flame, cover over a low heat and cook until tender about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  3. Skim off any foam that appears.
  4. Once tender and you can shred it with a fork, set aside for cooling. Shred the pieces.

Chicken Tamale Filling

By Chef Rosie
Yield 32 tamales

Ingredients

  • 5lbs chicken thigh
  • 4oz chicken base
  • 1oz of garlic salt
  • .5oz of black pepper
  • 2oz salt
  • ½ onion
  • ½ bell pepper
  • 2 tomato
  • 4oz celery
  • Sachet: bay leaf, garlic and oregano

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken in a pot with the onion, garlic salt, black pepper, salt, tomato, celery and the sachet with bay leaves, garlic and oregano.
  2. Bring to a boil and turn down the flame, cover over a low heat and cook until tender about 1 to 1.5 hours.

About Chef Rosie O’Connor

Rosie O’Connor is the chef owner of Provecho Grill in Menifee and Xicana (coming soon). She is a Food Writer for Menifee Buzz and Valley News. She is also the winner of Farmer’s Market Flip, Season One, Episode One.

Chef Rosie offers cooking classes, cocktail mixology lessons and private dinners that celebrate foods from every region of Mexico.

Follow Chef Rosie on Instagram @ChefRosie and on her Facebook Pages: Chef Rosie O’Connor or Provecho Grill.

Chef Rosie is the Chef Owner of Provecho Grill in Menifee, California and Xicana (coming soon). She is a two-time winner of the SoCal Chef Open and Farmer’s Market Flip, Season One, Episode One.  She can also be found writing about food for Menifee Buzz and Valley News.

Learn more about culinary events and food tours with Chef Rosie.  Subscribe to her newsletter to get alerts about upcoming events.

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