because of the full moon & half eclipse which is grating my energy, i decided to make tamales. they are usually done for only special occasions in other cultures because they are tedious & time consuming, which really calms me. friday was the perfect day to make green chili cheese & red chili pork tamales.

red pork tamales

filling

2 large yellow onions
one head of garlic
4 dry red chili peppers
1/8 cup chipotle peppers ground
3 T. ground cumin
3.T. dried cilantro
1 large cinnamon stick
3 T. dried oregano
handfull of fresh oregano
15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2 lbs. pork loin or shoulder
vegetable oil for braising

thin slice & carmelize the onions in plenty of vegetable oil. set in pressure cooker. add the garlic after peeling. no need to cut it. slice thick (5 pieces) & brown the pork loin (you can substitute anything-like chicken or lamb) in cast iron skillet on high. throw the meat into the cooker with everything else. pressure cook for 2 hours, let sit with lid on another hour. remove lid & reduce to desired thickness. cool before constructing.

green chili cheese

2 cans chopped green chilis
fresh oregano
2 cups chihuahua cheese

mix the chili & oregano. either small cube or shread the cheese. when you stuff the husk, just line it with the chili & top with some cheese, fold it up.

the outside

2 cups masa harina
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
2/3 cup vegetable shortening or lard
2 cups any kind of stock or water
corn husks

first soak the husks in water while you prepare the masa. combine all dry ingredients, pour in the stock/water. seperatly whip up the shortening till fluffy. add the rest & whip it up till desired lightness.

lay out the husks, spread a large spoonful of masa. top with desired filling. fold pointed part in & close the sides together. tie shut with a torn piece of husk.

steam in a large pot standing up for 1 hour 15. a damp towel or cloth over them before covering keeps them very moist. let them stand 10 minutes so they can coagulate. if it’s possible not to devour them quickly. tamales straight out of the pot are like cookie dough. really delicious.

it’s a good idea to get a group of people to do this. it is extremely time consuming. i did this over a couple of days. you can make them ahead of time & just pull a few out, steam & eat. always fresh. the best thing is the possibilities are endless. you can even make them with fruit or chocolate. you can add stuff to the masa mix. you can stuff them with anything that fancies you. these are super fun for patient & creative people. if you have kids, even better.
the wonderful history of tamales

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