A Tamale Disaster
I love Mexican food. Okay, let’s be honest here I love food – period. I love cooking food, eating food and writing about food. So I decided to try my hand at making tamales. I mean how hard could it be? A little masa harina mixed with lard, a spicy, savory filling, corn husk wrappers and some steaming.
Little did I know that the recipe I was following had a huge mistake. It wasn’t on one of those websites either. It was in one of my 43 cookbooks. To be kind I won’t mention the title.
Unfortunately, the test kitchen overlooked the fact that there was four times as much lard in the recipe as there should have been. In case you don’t know you beat the lard until it nearly triples in volume. You know you’ve beat in enough air when a spoonful of the lard floats in water.
Okay, that’s what I did. Then you gently fold in the masa harina which is corn that has been treated, dried and ground. It tastes quite a bit different than plain corn meal. Add a splash of chicken broth and you’ve got the dough that wraps around the filling. You tuck the tamale inside a corn husk and steam for an hour.
As you can imagine — and if you can’t I’m here to tell you — those were the worst, greasiest tamales I have ever eaten. The lard melted out of the dough into the steaming water, it was so bad. Had to throw away the whole batch.
Oh well… A glass of wine made me feel much better.