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New Years Tamales
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:12 pm    Post subject: New Years Tamales Reply with quote

Since Brian and I miss the tamale stands of the southwest this time of year, we decided to make our own for the new year.

Happy 2008 to everyone!


Jen's New Years Day Tamale Meat

2 pounds white tail venison roast, chunked in quarters
2 small onions, roughly sliced in 8ths
4 cloves of garlic pasted
1 ancho chile, crumbled
2 canned chipotles, mashed
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon hot New Mexico Chile powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon ground oregano
1-2 cups water
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Heat oil in ovenproof dutch oven over medium high heat . Sautee onions and ancho pieces until onions just start to brown. Add dry spices briefly until they barely start to smoke. Add water to pot and blend spices. Smash chipotles into pot and let cook a minute or two. Remove onions and chiles to a bowl. Lay venison meat pieces in one layer on bottom of pot, covering them with the onion and chile mixture. Seal lid tightly with foil and bake at 350 for an hour, then turn oven down to 300 for a couple of hours or until pull-apart tender. Do not skimp on the olive oil as venison is incredibly lean and needs a bit of lube for later on. Let cool in broth and chill in liquid overnight to completely mingle flavors. Prepare tamales the next day and steam two hours.
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jen, aren't you just taking a voracious bite from a Halla bread?

No more war. more hallas and tamales ( I've never eaten one, Mexican food is not very popular around here, but Hallas certainly is!)
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gingerpale



Joined: 23 Jan 2006
Posts: 1324

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shalom, Simona!

I didn't understand what the venison tamale mixture had to do with Halla (Challa) bread--but then I realized you were commenting on Knifethrower's avatar! It looks like a kiss to me, not a voracious bite, just foreplay. But only Jen knows for certain..

My Rich hunts, (yes, I believe a well-placed bullet from a rifle is preferable to starving to death in the snow and have nothing against responsible hunting)and we've had both deer and elk. Elk is mild, close to beef, but deer definitely has a strong "gamey" flavor--an acquired taste, no doubt about it... works great in flavorful mixtures like Jen's.

After the tamale filling (which is equal to or better than anything you've ever tasted!), comes a soft moist cornmeal (polenta) casing, and this is all steamed, and the result is succulent, thank you Knifethrower.
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ladies of Challah Appreciation Land,

Yes, Simona, its a challah, my first- a honey vanilla bean one. It lasted exactly 6.9 seconds after that photo was taken. I stopped making it soon after my jeans busted from one too many loaves. I have promised Brian a loaf- he is a huuuuuge fan, but it must be followed with a 20 mile hike.

Gingerpale, a loving kiss on a challah is akin to what a baby's bottom must be like, only it smells better.

Tamale is usually made from boiled pork or chicken, some mild or hot chile peppers gently snuggled inside a cornmeal (masa) paste, wrapped in a dried corn husk and then steamed for a few hours or until you go nuts from the aroma of sweet corn filling the air.

We are using a white tailed deer, delivered by my future father in law. White tail is more mild than mule deer from the western US, or elk. If its butchered correctly and treated well in the field, it does not get as gamey as Gingerpale mentioned. This deer was not handled with expert precision (it was hunted by a friend of my father in law, not the man himself, and some meat was shared), so it actually is a bit harsh. A whole lotta chiles and spice cures this.

Speaking of which, I gotta get the corn husks soaking for wrapping and stuffing ore we're never gonna get dinner.

Happy 2008 to you both!
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shalom, Shalom ( peace , peace)

I think we're both right GP: It was indeed a (goodbye) kiss before it was devoured in 6.9 seconds. That's the fate of all fresh Hallas.
Actually I do remember eating once a tamale at friends of mexican origin, but probably didn't like it very much if I forgot about them. I'll try Jen's or yours sometime in the future. At least I hope so.
Jen, a propos future father in law, the Mazal Tov is anywhere in the near future ( Jewish mother genes speaking..)??

Happy and healthy 2008 to everyone,

No more war, only more SHALOM!!!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simcha Simona,

We like to keep the world guessing and post about it later around here. Our marriage date is even a secret to us! Smile

Tamales were tasty in the middle but used Insty-Masa. Never again. Not corny enough for this corny gal.

A peaceful and tasty one to you, chavera shelli (my friend)!

-Jen
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your recipe sounds great! My husband and I were the lucky recipients of two huge ziploc bags full of homemede tamales on New Years Eve. My lovely friend from Mexico has a tamale bonanza every year at this time and I am oh so grateful.

Viva la Tamale!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erin,

After last evening's tamale stuffing, I now know why people gather to do them in groups- far more fun and it probably goes faster.

They tasted much better today, amazingly.

Happy eating, happy 2008 Erin!
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sweetbabyjames



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 357

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds wonderful - and a great tradition too. I think I'll try to make a veggie adaptation of your recipe. Thanks!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SBJ,

I've thought about doing that with a smoked tofu crumble, chipotle sauce and some green chiles.


Please, do, let me know what you come up with!
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brighidsdaughter



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 233
Location: Canton, TX USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done 2 different veggie tamale fillings in the past -- one was roasted poblano chiles & roasted red pepper sauteed with zucchini & onion, all chopped finely & combined with grated monterey jack cheese.

This year I totally winged it with a black bean & portobello filling. I mashed the beans roughly, added sauteed portobellos & cooked til the mixture was pretty dry. The black beans & portobellos had an affinity that I really didn't expect. The only improvement would have been some epazote to flavor the beans, but it's not a fresh herb available here unless you grow your own.
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just curious- has anyone made tamales with parchment paper instead of corn husks?

It sounds disrespectful, but sometimes I just dont wanna soak a husk and wrassle it, fold it, tie it, swear at it... you get the idea.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

knifethrower, part of what makes soaked corn husks work so well is that they are flexible and soft, characteristics that wouldn't be quite the same with parchment paper. However. parchment might work if you are careful.

If you want an alternative that does not use cornhusks, consider this wonderful recipe from a local restaurant for Adobe Pie, their name for their signature tamale pie:

http://www.bluemesagrill.com/recipes/archived-recipes/adobe-pieR/

The resulting 'pies' are beautiful mounds of cooked masa that wrap around the tamale filling. It really is a beautiful dish, but the best part of it is its homey warm goodness. I haven't made these myself, but by some small miracle I have nearly all the ingredients. Must make soon!
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Knifethrower



Joined: 29 Oct 2006
Posts: 218
Location: Heaven, actually.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, msue, I am now pacing the kitchen, looking for an excuse to make this so soon after a tamale feed last week... What a brilliant solution!

I agree with the flexiblility of the corn husk- I hate to stray from the lovely tradition at all- its just wrong. Besides, that corn smell is to die for...

Will archive your link and get to it soon. Many, many thanks for reminding me of Blue Mesa.
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msue



Joined: 18 Dec 2005
Posts: 368

PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

knifethrower, I thought of something else. Since you are going to cook the tamales by steaming them (if you make them in the traditional way), it might be possible to use plastic wrap to form the tamales, like a casing around the mass & filling. You would twist each end tightly closed and secure it somehow. Then you would steam the tamales on the stove top, careful to avoid letting the plastic-wrapped tamale touch the hot surface of the pan.

I think they would cook OK this way, but it would probably be my last choice of methods. As you said, that lovely corn smell is quite lovely, and the husks impart an important flavor to the tamales.

But from a purely "Is it possible?" point of view, I think it would work.
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