Saturday, December 25, 2010

80--- Tamales

Tamales are a traditional Mexican holiday treat! I decided to give these a try this year for Christmas dinner. They turned out really good AND pretty healthy too.

The wrapping/tying of the tamales is the hardest part. But, I found a very helpful description by Googling "How to Wrap a Tamale" and I have included it below (don't you LOVE Google?).


Serves 6-7

18 dried corn husks


2 cups masa harina

2 cups corn kernels

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup lukewarm water

3 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil


1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat

1 red pepper, seeded and diced

1/2 medium white onion, diced

1 Tbsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup chicken broth

1. Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with remaining filling ingredients. Cook on low for 4 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Remove pork and shred, then return to slow cooker while dough is prepared.

2. Soak corn husks in water for 10 minutes. Remove and pat dry.

3. Place corn kernels in a food processor and puree. Add puree to a large mixing bowl and add remaining dough ingredients. Stir to combine, then knead with hands until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

4. Lay a husk on a flat surface. Place 3 tablespoons of dough onto the husk. When spreading the dough, leave a space of about 4 inches from the narrow end of the husk and about 2 inches from the other end. Spread the dough to the edge of one of the long sides and 2 inches away from the other long side. Try to keep the dough approximately 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick.

5. Spread about a tablespoon of filling (drained of juice) down the center of the dough. Locate the long side of husk with a 2 inch space with no dough. Fold that over, slightly overlapping the other side so the edges of the dough meet. Wrap the extra husk around the back. Then fold the broad end over the top and then the longer narrow end over the broad end.

6. Create strips of husk by cutting or tearing 1/4 inch lengths off of some of the smaller or unusable husks. Use these to tie across the middle of the tamale to hold the flaps down (I used twine).

7. Place tamales on a steam rack in a large pot. Steam over boiling water (medium heat) for one hour, checking and filling water level occasionally.

8. Serve with salsa!

Nutrition Info per 3 tamales: 303 calories, 4.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 25 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber


  1. What kind of corn kernels? Dry like popcorn or something like frozen corn? Thanks!