Monday, May 24, 2004

Oh jeez...so I've been requested to blog about my tamales.
After stuffing my face in San Diego on some seriously good tamales, I returned to Cleveland with a mission: fresh homemade tamales!

Unfortunately, the cookbooks I had were somewhat sparse in their recipes/instructions, so I grabbed a new one for the occasion:
Cocina de la Familiaby Marilyn Tausend,
(honestly, I'd been wanting to pick this up for awhile and was just looking for an excuse...)

The book devotes a whole section to the preparation and production of tamales, detailing everything from your standard pork fare to a spiced pumpkin recipe suitable for dessert. In the end, I used the book just for it's masa prep. instructions rather than filling. For that, I opted for a roasted corn, poblano & cheese mixture. Of course, this whole thing involved a trip to the Mi Pueblo Mercado, which wasn't exactly causing me to cry any tears ;) At first, my tamales attempts were bumbled, but, like anything like this, I started getting the rhythm of it and pretty soon I had a bundle of little packages just waiting for the steamer. (The ones I produced later in the evening, for dinner tonight, turned out way better, as I'd gotten the handle on it). The only problem was that our collapsible steamer basket is not near big enough to accommodate all those tamales, resulting in some creative arrangements on my part. (Once again, another reason to get a bamboo steamer basket). Nonetheless, after about an hour of steaming, out popp'ed my first batch of homemade tamales. Though a bit creamier than I would have liked, they were quite good. Oh, I also prepared a little quick roasted tomato salsa to go with it.

Another batch awaits us tonight to munch down on before I head down to help Mike with what will, most likely, be a pretty low-key Wine Tasting with Tony Coturri. After all the hype from Mike, I'm looking forward to giving Tony's organically produced wines a try.

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