Sunday, March 4, 2007

Tamales for CJ - Part 4 - Filling and Steaming

Once the masa was ready, we filled each with sauce, pork, olives, capers, and peppers. This is where the preparation got really difficult.
There seem to be 2 keys to making the actual tamales.
1) Having the correct amount of masa along with the various filling ingredients.
2) Keeping the husks pliable enough that they are foldable without cracking.

We had a little trouble with #1 and a lot of trouble with #2. I'm going to have to research finding good husks and making them pliable. Perhaps I should find some banana or plantain leaves.

As for the filling problems - as I said the masa was great, but I would not use cubed pork again. Once you start folding things up, the pork didn't seem to roll with it, often causing a mess. We'll probably use shredded or thinly sliced meat next time.

Anyway - here's the tamale ready for rolling.

They were very difficult and time consuming to assemble, and I'm starting to have second thought about whether we can make them for a huge group. We'll see. About half of them rolled up nicely (albeit with some struggle). The other half rolled up well enough to go into the steamer. There's another problem we had. We used our bamboo steamer, not really the best shape for tamales. We'd be better off using a more vertical contraption, so they could be rolled with one open end standing up.

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