Sunday, December 12, 2010

TAMALES, savory pork, rajas con queso and dulces!

Wow! Well, this was no easy feat. There was so much going on in the kitchen.

I arrived at mom's and she had already started everything. In fact, she was already assemling the tamales. This is definitely time consuming, but if you prep ahead of time, it doesn't have to be.

I'll start with the delicious pork filling first.


3 lbs. pork riblets, with or without bone
2 garlic cloves
8-10 dry chile guajillos, like the ones in the picture above. Soaked in warm water for 1 to 2 hours tomato
a handful of fresh oregano

Place pork in a pan, and fill the pan 1/2 way up with water. Cook in the water, add salt and garlic. Simmer until pork is cooked through.

Blend the soaked chiles, fresh oregano, garlic cloves with some of the juice from the chiles, and tomato.

Once the pork is cooked, drain some of the juices out, and add the salsa (drained). Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Salt to taste.

Cooked pork.


(Makes about 6 dozen tamales)
10 lbs. of masa (you get this at a mexican food shop)
1 cup white rice
6 dozen corn husks, soak in very hot water for 1 hour prior to assembling tamales (you get this at mexican food shop). Refer to picture above.
Tortilla maker, it'll make things easier :)

Tamale masa

Soaking corn husks

Cook the white rice with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20 minutes, until water is evaporated. Mix the rice in with the prepared tamale masa in a deep bowl.

Assemble tamales:
Place a corn husk on the tortilla maker. Place a ball of masa in the center of the corn husk. Squeeze the tortilla maker down gently, ever so slightly. You may have to place a piece of plastic on the top portion of the tortilla maker so the masa doens't stick to it. Keep the plastic just a little moist with water.

Take the corn husk off the tortilla maker and onto a flat surface. Put the filling on it.

Then fold the right side toward the center and lay the masa over the filling. Open the leaf back toward the right. Fold the left side over toward the center, and leave it there. Fold the bottom portion of the corn husk toward the top. Then fold the right side over the left side, snugly.

Folding the bottom of husk toward the top

Folding snugly

Place the tamales in a steamer, standing. Fill the steamer with tamales. Make sure the bottom portion of the steamer has plenty of water.

Place a towl over the tamales and tuck into the sides of the steamer. Put the lid on the steamer and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, or until masa is completely cooked.


We also made tamales de rajas con chile (chile and cheese tamales) and tamales de dulce (sweet tamales)
Tamales de Rajas con Chile filling:
Monterrey Jack cheese cut into sticks
Chile pasilla, roasted and cut into strips

To roast the chile place it right ove the stove fire and leave until every surface turns black. Once done place the chile in a plastic bag so it sweats and the peel comes off easily. After about 10 minutes, remove the chile from the bag and peel all the black off by sliding it off with your fingers. Then cut into strips, and remove seeds and stem. Cut enough strips to use one for each tamale.

Assemble the same as the pork tamales, but instead of adding pork filling to the corn husk, add a strip of cheese and a strip of chile. Fold the corn husk closed in the same manner and cooke for an hour, or until masa is completely cooked.

And now for the sweet tamales!!
Sweet tamale filling:
2 lbs. of prepared tamale masa
1/3 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of chopped fresh pineapple, or out of a can ;)
1/4 cup of raisins
Mix all of the above ingredients together.
To assemble the tamales, place a large dollop of sweet masa in the center of a corn husk. Then fold the right side to the center, followed by the left side of the husk toward the center, covering the masa. Then, take the bottom edge of the husk and fold up in half toward the top edge. Tie together with a strip of corn husk to keep it from opening. Place all tamales in a steamer and cook for an hour.

These are so delicious, I couldn't stop eating them today! Can't wait to make them again for Christmas!!
BUEN PROVECHO...enjoy. Let me know if you're brave enough to try them and how it all turns out.


  1. Help! I've OD'd on tamales! I can't stop eating these. Spin class in the am for sure!

  2. Great job documenting the recipe and making it easy to follow!! Can't wait to try it...I'll keep you posted on how it turns out


  3. I took some to work and my friends loved them!!

  4. Im so excited...Ive been waiting for you to post tamale recipes :)