I love tamales and I enjoy making them even though it’s time consuming. I definitely haven’t mastered a technique, but it’s fun trying. I’ve only done this a handful of times and learn something new each time. Eventually, I’ll get it just right.

My father-in-law is a vegetarian so I’m making both pork tamales and green chili with cheese tamales. It’s my first try at the vegetarian tamales. 

What you need for tamales: corn husks, masa tamale dough, and meat or vegetarian filling.

Ingredients Pork tamales: 
Slow cooked pulled pork
1 chopped roasted green chili
Half a finely chopped onion
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp or more cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of water
1 lime
Cumin powder
Chili powder
Extra Olive Virgin Oil

Ingredients Green chili and cheese tamales:
12 roasted green chilies 
1 package shredded cheese

Make 2 batches of tamale dough. I use Maseca Masa for Tamales. Follow the instructions on the bag to make the dough. I also add a few dashes of cumin and cayenne pepper to the dough. 

Ingredients for 1 batch of tamale dough:
2 cups Maseca Masa
1tsp baking powder
2 cups water
2/3 cup shortening

Soak corn husks:
Corn husks soaked in water to make husks easier to work. The lesson I learned this time is that the husks can get too soaked. I left the husks soaking during the entire process. By the time I got to the last dozen or so tamales the husks were truly soaked through. This made it easier to make the tamales, but these ones didn’t steam right. The tamale dough stayed sticky.

Prepare the pork:
  1. Drizzle EVOO on bottom of the skillet and warm
  2. Mash garlic on bottom of skillet and add chopped green chili and onion
  3. Once onion is soft add water and slow cooked pulled pork 
  4. Cut lime in half and squeeze lime juice from both halves onto pork
  5. Season with cumin and chili powder
  6. Simmer until water is soaked into the meat or cooked off
  7. Remove from heat  
Make the tamales:
  1. Flatten soaked husk on a plate  
  2. Spread tamale dough evenly on husk 
  3. Add spoonful of meat OR shredded cheese and 1 green chili 
  4. Wrap the tamale - fold both sides over then fold bottom of husk up
  5. Use strips of husks to tie bottom up OR place in steamer so bottom side is held into place by side of the pot
  6. Repeat - try to save some of the pork for the green chili!
  7. When all tamales are made cover steamer with damp kitchen town and steam for a minimum of 1hour  

Enjoy your tamales smothered in green chili or freeze in vacuum sealed bags for another day!