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Tamales

October 20, 2010

Having received some free stuff, I set about finding something interesting to use it for.  The part of the free stuff that was candy was certainly going to become ice cream.  That led me all the way to tamales.  Trust me, it makes sense.

Prickly pear cactus candy —> Arizona —> Mexican food —-> Tamales

Straight line.

Let’s get to it.

I took the opportunity to pull a book from the library that had been given to me at some point and has languished on a shelf, mostly unused.  It was a good source in this instance, though I admittedly sought second opinions from the Interzone for my first foray into tamale making.

 

The Book

 

 

 

Let's get it on!

 

 

 

The Recipe

 

Ingredients were gathered.  There was some fussing about, some mixing, some swearing.  Lots of dirty bowls and pans.

I started simply,

 

Chili peppers

 

Grinding stuff in a mortal and pestle is fun and good for you.  A perfect way to get going.  Eventually, this led to stewing pork.  The most difficult task in the whole process.  Primarily because you have to leave it be, when you really just want to stuff your face with it, tamales be damned.

Eventually, you get around to mixing the masa and then forming and wrapping the tamales.

First, I should mention the whipping of lard.  This is the kind of behavior that results in self-loathing and inner turmoil.  Just look at the lard!  Look at it.  Look at it slowing transforming into a smooth, creamy looking bowl of awesomeness.  This is the kind of thing you do in the privacy of your own home and are embarrassed to discuss in proper company.  The lard does not love you, so why do you massage it and offer yourself up to it like that?

Moving on…

Let’s just roll that lard into the masa mix and disguise it as something less lardy looking.  Then we can grab some husks and make a damn tamale already.  Having zero practice and apparently even less skill at this task, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth during this procedure.  It was worth it and I think I might have even gotten better toward the last few tamales.  Or maybe I was just fooling myself.

Either way, I eventually got the damn things ready to steam (in my wok steamer, as I realized at this moment that I no longer owned the steamer basket I was planning on using).

 

Tamales, wrapped and ready

 

About an hour later, there was joy again in Mudville.

 

Right out of the steamer

 

 

Tamales and red chili sauce

 

 

more tamales and red chili sauce

 

And let’s not forget the reason we trod down this path in the first place, the ice cream.  Prickly pear cactus candy ice cream.  I made the custard base and infused it with some of the candy, reheated it while swirling in a touch of the prickly pear marmalade, let it sit in the fridge overnight, then put it through the ice cream maker and finally swirled in little chunks of candy.  It tasted like a cold, creamy, candy rapture.

 

Prickly Pear Cactus Candy Ice Cream

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2010 8:03 PM

    Freaking hell! I created a monster Pangs! I don’t feel one bit sorry for you, worrying that you’re a male who can’t cook. I’m coming to your house for supper next time and I’ll bring the cactus paddles for you to cook with–it’s always interesting removing the thorns. Good job buddy!

  2. Necromanticore permalink
    October 21, 2010 11:33 PM

    Nice. Send me some tamales please.

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