Holy deliciousness, Batman! These are the best tamales I have ever had, so I had to share the recipe! I made them with the chicken from my Chicken Taco
recipe in the slow cooker, and they were phenomenal. You can also use seasoned ground or shredded beef or pork. Either way, with this masa, your tamales will be amazing!
Makes about 10 tamales
For the Masa:
2 c masa harina
10 oz chicken or beef stock
1/2 c shortening or lard
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
For the filling:
1/2 packet taco seasoning
1 c salsa
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Place chicken, taco seasoning, and salsa to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When that's ready, soak corn husks in warm water for 10-20 minutes while preparing masa. In a large bowl, mix masa harina, stock, shortening, baking powder, and salt thoroughly, until a soft, crumbly dough forms. This is the masa. I like to use my stand mixer because I can, but you can mix it by hand, too.
When the masa is both soft and crumbly, it's ready to go. Take out a softened corn husk, and flatten a handful of masa out on it. Then, put a couple of tablespoons of chicken in the middle. Fold the sides of the corn husk in, and then fold in the top and bottom. You can tie it off with butcher's twine if you've got it, but I just peel off part of one of the corn husks and tie it around like you are wrapping a delicious little package.
Steam the tamales for an hour, and top with sour cream, salsa, cotija cheese, whatever you like; or just eat them plain because they are perfect, just the way they are.
As the list of ingredients in store bought tortillas grew, and filled with preservatives, I decided to make my own. It's very easy, fun, and they taste much better than if you had bought them at the store! I make them so often that I got a tortilla press, but you can definitely make them without one.
3 c flour
1 c water
1/3 c shortening, vegetable oil, butter, or lard
1/2 t salt
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. I like to use the dough hook on my Kitchenaid stand mixer, but you can do it by hand, too. When it turns into a smooth ball of dough, it's ready to be cut and flattened.
Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces if you want larger burrito sized tortillas, or 12 pieces if you want soft tacos.
If you have a tortilla press, this is the time to break it out. Otherwise, you can roll the pieces of dough flat. I have also used the bottom of a clear glass Pyrex pie pan to flatten the dough. This works well, and since it's clear, you can see how big the tortillas are getting. Put the dough between two cut out pieces of a freezer bag or wax paper, and flatten it. Flatten one, and while it's cooking, you can flatten the next one.
To cook the tortillas, heat a flat-bottom pan on the stove over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, put in the first tortilla. Cook for 20-30 seconds on each side. They will puff up with air bubbles, and brown slightly when ready.
You can use them for home made quesadillas, or fill them with Carne Asada
, or Fish
. And don't forget the Salsa!