A little while back, Rocio invited me over to her house to make tamales. Rocio is the best cook in my church. I've never tasted something she made that I didn't like. I would never turn down the opportunity to make tamales with this lady! It is always a learning experience and worth every effort.
First, I went with Rocio's daughter, Sara, to buy chicken. (Sara is one of our school girls and also my piano student.)
|Rocio and Sara|
There was a dog outside the chicken shop and when I greeted him, he took that as permission to come into the store. He was pretty interested in what was going on behind the counter.
I started goo-goo-gaga-ing him and he gave me his hand to hold.
I think he was scared the spell would be broken and he'd be kicked out of the shop if he looked into my eyes.
When I let go of his paw, he set it on my leg.
"Nope, not looking at you."
I tried to get down on his level to force him to look at me, but he just stared past my shoulder.
When we got back to Rocio's house we started on the dough. Tortilla dough, salt, and lots of oil...
Soaking the epastote...
(Just looked up how to say epasote in English and it is "wormseed". Yuck!
These particular tamales are made not in corn husks, but in banana leaves!
Banana leaves are "yuge" so they had to be cut into smaller squares.
Place a dollop of corn dough (masa) in the center of the banana leave, a spoonful of chicken and red sauce on top of that, then a couple sprigs of epasote herbs on top.
Fold it up into a square like this...
...then layer them in what we call a pot "al vapor".
They cooked for a couple of hours. By the time they were done, we all smelled like smoke!
|I always get my farm birds mixed up. If this isn't actually a rooster, please pardon me.|
Rocio called Pastor and his family to invite them to eat with us.
When they arrived, we removed the piping hot tamales from the fire...
By that time, Rocio's husband, Marcos, had arrived home from work. We all sat around a table outside and chowed down on this incredibly tasty pile of tamales.
Mmmmmm!! Nothing like 'em!