Monday, June 22, 2015

Just Say No To The Tamales

I am going to be making Tamara's Red Pork Chile Tamales - yes, I finally got brave enough to try something different from the Family Chicken Tamales.  I am still stubbornly wedded to the masa harina masa recipe, although I have considered at least a dozen different masas from three different cookbooks.  One of those, Fresh and Dried Corn Tamales Masa Dough from my other tamale cookbook, is poking me in the ribs. We shall see.

Breaking down the work means preparing each component separately:

The pork (reserving the stock for use in the sauce and the masa)
The sauce
The corn husks
The masa
Constructing the tamales
Steaming the tamales

Today I am a complete mess, and better suited to preparing a much simpler recipe.  I've got full-blown brain fog, and couldn't have chosen a worse day to tackle tamales.  This morning, I had so many screw-ups, I'm surprised I didn't just chuck the whole mess.  But as I sit here now, the pork is simmering and the soaked chiles are sitting next to the boiled onions, and my kitchen counters are in something approaching good order.  I think I'm back on track, never mind that it took 5 hours to get there.

... and later ...

FORGET THE FRAKKING TAMALES!  The sauce recipe was a disaster.  I fixed it up, but I can't give you a cohesive recipe because I was frantically pulling ingredients out of everywhere to make it palatable.  I don't know whether to use it (Rob assures me it's pretty good), freeze it, or pour it down the drain.  What good is a recipe if I can't recreate it?  

My most profuse apologies.  This recipe has stressed the crap out of me for the last three days, and I am over it.  Another time, another recipe.  I must tell you, I was ready to order the author's second tamale book through Amazon, but I definitely will not be doing so.

I can't wait for this day to be over.

... and still later ...

I've calmed down.  My mood was disordered, but I'm okay now.  Almost.

After sitting for a while, the sauce was good, really good.  I poured most of it over the cooked pork cubes and put it back in the refrigerator to sit overnight, and put the remaining sauce in the freezer.  I made notes as to what changes and additions were made, and also a couple of different twists I'm going to try next time.

I ordered the book through Amazon.

Now I just have to figure out how to use the filling, seeing as standing on my feet for several hours to make the individual tamales is likely to make me cranky.

And I've got it: Cazuela de Tamal. Or maybe Tontos.  Because, as one cook noted, making tamales is a pain in the culo.

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