It had been many years since I had last spent Christmas in the US, and it had been equally as many years since last feasting upon tamales.
You’ve probably already heard me say a few times that Mexican food is about the only food I miss living in Thailand, so this year I made up for it.
A tamale is a special food eaten in parts of Mexico and Latin America especially during festivals and holidays.
Christmas is a quite a popular time to make and eat tamales, and I headed over to my friend’s house to cook and indulge in some.
There are basically three main parts to any tamale: corn husk, masa, and filling.
You begin with a corn husk, used as the wrapper, masa, which is a combination of cornmeal and lard, and some kind of spiced meat or filling.
To make a tamale you first grab a cornhusk, spread a thin and even layer of masa (it’s sort of the consistency of cookie dough) over the bottom half of the husk, pile on some meat, and wrap it up like a package.
My friend had the idea to make Thai green curry tamales, so along with the more traditional red chile, we also made a few dozen fusion Mexican Thai tamales.
After wrapping about 10 dozen fresh tamales, we steamed them for about 30 minutes.
The tamales came out beautiful, and as soon as they exited the steamer, we were ready to dig in.
In order to eat a tamale, as you probably already know, you fist unwrap it like a gift, and toss out the corn husk.
The cornmeal masa should be moist yet firm, and the meat should be almost slightly melted into the middle, a result of the steam cooking.
The green curry tamales were pretty good, a tad sweet from the coconut milk and refreshened by basil and other herbs.
The traditional beef and pork chile, were amazing. The masa was like a smooth cornbread, and the meat was enhanced with red chile, olives, and jalapenos.
Over the course of Christmas eve day and Christmas day, I took my fill of tamales, and they were fantastic.
Here’s the video of the Christmas tamales!
(If you can’t see the video, you can watch it on YouTube here)
I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I want to wish you a very Happy New Year!
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