The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

cooking: christmas tamales

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


for the first time in 38 years, there was something served in my house for christmas other than turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, squash, green beans, boiled onions, and cranberry sauce.

this year we went latin american, with hatch green chile tamales, two types of black beans, queso fresco, and white rice. beans and rice were pretty basic, but making the tamales was a bit of a challenge…

ingredients for MASA dough:

  • 3 C Maseca (masa harina)
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 C Crisco veg shortening (or lard)
  • 1/2 C cilantro (chopped) shopping list
  • 2 dried ancho chilis
  • 2 dried Chipolte chilis
  • 1-2 ears of fresh corn (stripped, save husks)
  • 14.5oz can chicken broth

To prepare the tamale dough:

  1. mix dry items well – the masa, salt and baking powder
  2. cut in the crisco using a fork. continue to mash until the consitancy of corn meal. if using lard, whip prior to adding.
  3. for the wet items, de-stem and de-seed the dried chipolte and ancho chilis
    place in a bowl with the chx broth

  4. microwave for approx 2 min until chilis are soft.
  5. combine in blender, chx broth, chilis, corn, cilantro and pulse until smoothish. small bits are ok.
  6. mix wet and dry ingredients. should be the consistency of smooth peanut butter. add a little water or Maseca as needed.

ingredients for tamale filling:

  • 1 lb ground pork (or roast, shredded)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 white onion (approx 1C diced)
  • 6-8 Hatch green chilis (MILD, roasted, skinned, de-seeded)
  • 1 T comino
  • 1 T red chili powder
  • + olive oil
  • 25 corn husks

to prepare dried corn husks:

  1. submerge in hot water 30 min prior to using.
  2. once soft, dry slightly before filling by shaking or a towel.
  3. place filling on the “smooth” side of the husk only.

to prepare the filling:

  1. saute the garlic and onion with the olive oil until tender.
  2. add the pork. cook until done if using ground.
  3. add comino and chili powder. saute another minute.
  4. add the green chilis. saute 2-3 minutes. done.


  1. using a butter knife, scoop 2-3T masa onto the husk.
  2. smooth into a rectangular shape 1/16-1/8in thick.
  3. place 1T filling in the middle of the masa.
  4. fold husk.


  1. use a large pot with a pasta insert to steam tamales.
  2. line the bottom with fresh corn husks.
  3. the tamales are arranged upright in the pasta strainer.
  4. steam for 90min and check. pull one of the tamales out and open it. the huska should peal away easily from the masa. if too wet steam for 30min more. dont forget to keep enough water in your steamer!
See Recipe from Group Recipes:
Hatch Green Pork Tamales