Tamales are a fun dish to make, especially when they are prepared with family. Although it takes a bit of labor to make them, the end result will be worth it if the proper ingredients are used; it is a factor that makes all the difference between a great tamale and a dull one. Just remember that the right ingredients equal great tamales.
It is very important that you have or can get all of the essential ingredients to make the tamales. First, you must choose the right kind of dough, because it is the most important ingredient that makes or breaks the tamale. The dough should always be soft and moist, because if it is undercooked it will usually be crumbly and will affect the overall flavor of the tamale. That’s why it’s essential to have the proper guidance when preparing this dish and the best way to do so is through recipes. The Tamales Cookbook by Mark Miller, Stephan Pyles and John Sedlar is just what you need to get you started with the art of tamale making, this book will take you through the history of this Mexican dish, besides information on how to stuff, wrap and cook tamales. You will also find an extensive variety of tamale based recipes such as meat, chicken, seafood and vegetarian, as well as sweet dessert tamales. The tamales cookbook also includes wonderful photo illustrations of these authentic Mexican recipes.
Other important ingredients include the stuffing and the kitchen tools with which to prepare and cook the tamales with. For starters you have to choose the type of dough and stuffing, as well as determine what other ingredients you will need. One of the ideal brands to use that will give your tamales a great texture is Maseca’s Corn Flour Mix, you can also use Tres Estrella’s Rice Flour which also give a great consistency and flavor to the masa. After that is done, you must decide what type of stuffing to use so whether you’re looking to use chicken or meat, green or red salsas or stuff them with chiles and cheese, MexGrocer.com has a variety of products and brands that will suit your needs such as Herdez, Del Real Foods, Corona Real and El Mexicano just to name a few.
You will also need corn husks to prepare the tamales by spreading the dough on to them, placing your stuffing ingredients and wrapping them up. What brands or types of husks to use are up to you, some of the most common types used are corn and plantain husks which can be found available from brands such as Corona Real and El Guapo. Most importantly you will need a large steamer in which to cook and steam your prepared tamales, you can use either a special tamale steamer or a large pot with a steaming basket located at the bottom. MexGrocer.com has a great selection of high quality stainless steel tamale steamers that will steam and cook your tamales perfectly. Once you have all the necessary tools and ingredients you can begin creating your authentic home made tamales. Making tamales is not a difficult task but it is quite a laborious and time consuming process, although it is a fun meal to make alongside family and friends. That’s why this dish is known as more of a family recipe since it is usually prepared during the holidays and served either at Posadas or New Year’s holiday as well as the famous ‘recalentado” re-heated leftovers. As you can see tamale making requires you to experiment with ingredients and have fun, it’s the only way to discover how you prefer to prepare and serve them.
If you need a push or a nudge in the right direction to get you started with the process of making tamales or you want to introduce your loved ones to it then you’ll absolutely love our tamales making kit that comes with everything you need to create the perfect tamales. Also available at MexGrocer.com is our Posada Fiesta Gift Pack and Deluxe Posada Fiesta Gift Pack which feature tamale kits, beverage products for atole and hot chocolate as well as candy and pinatas so you can organize the perfect holiday parties at home, better known as posadas.