How I spent my recent vacation……cooking, of course!!

Mexican Hot tamales (2)Mexican Hot Tamales

Just got back from a “spur of the moment” trip to Georgia visiting my dear friend Sister Linder and her gracious family! I love hanging out with this wonderful family because they are always happy to see me. As soon as I greet them with a hug and a few moments of “How are you doing?”, I am immediately asked, “What are you gonna cook for us, tamales?” Sister has three wonderful sons, Chris, Davis and Jordon; a beautiful daughter-in-law Pam; and a precious grandson, Luke. And not to forget, a super husband, Bill. I must say, they love my Mexican Hot Tamales! Making these for the boys has become a tradition…one I hope will go on for years to come.

Sister, of course, wanted to know what I wanted to do for entertainment…..all I wanted to do was rest in her lovely home, visit with her Mother, Miss Lavonia and her Aunt Jean, and cook for the family! Tamales was not the only thing I cooked…..I did make them my Brown Sugar Pound Cake with the Praline Glaze and My Chicken Carmello..that recipe will follow in another post.

For my Aunt Julie’s Guatemalan Tamales…which are really my favorites, check page 20 in the cookbook!

We made these to eat while watching the Saints Football game…..their second game of the season….the Saints did not do so well; they lost by two points…but the hot tamales were real winners!

MEXICAN HOT TAMALES
Chiqui Collier

THESE ARE EASY, THEY MAKE A LOT BUT THEY ARE A LITTLE TIME CONSUMING BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO BE ROLLED INDIVIDUALLY. IT’S BEST IF YOU CAN GET AN ASSEMBLY LINE GOING AND ARE A LOT OF FUN TO MAKE WITH FRIENDS OR FAMILY!!

6 LBS. GROUND BEEF OR VENISON
2 LBS. GROUND PORK
MIX TOGETHER BOTH MEATS AND SPREAD OUT IN A LARGE ROASTING PAN.

1-1 OZ. CAN JAR CUMIN POWDER
2 OZ. JAR MEXENNE CHILI POWDER
2 OZ. SALT
3 1/2 CUPS YELLOW CORNMEAL (I USED AUNT JEMIMA YELLOW CORNMEAL)
4-5 TABSP. CAYENNE PEPPER OR TO TASTE (I DON’T USE TOO MUCH MYSELF…I SERVE THEM TO CHILDREN, TOO)

EVENLY SPRINKLE EACH SPICE OVER MEAT MIXTURE

2 LARGE GREEN BELL PEPPERS
2 LARGE YELLOW ONIONS
6 LARGE FRESH CLOVES GARLIC
1 TABSP. LEMON-PEPPER SEASONING
1-8 OZ. CAN DEL MONTE TOMATO SAUCE
4-5 (8OZ. CANS) OF WATER
PLACE ALL INGREDIENTS IN A BLENDER AND PUREE. POUR OVER MEAT MIXTURE AND SPICES. MIX WELL UNTIL ALL SEASONINGS ARE EVENLY DISTRIBUTED. COVER TIGHTLY AND REFRIGERATE FOR AT LEAST 2 HOURS OR PREFERABLY OVERNIGHT.

3 BAGS OF DRIED CORN HUSKS, PLACED IN A LARGE POT OF BOILING WATER THEN SIMMERED UNTIL THEY BECOME SOFT

4 CUPS YELLOW CORNMEAL

SPREAD CORNMEAL OUT ONTO A SHEET OF WAXED PAPER ON YOUR TABLE. ROLL ONE (1) TABLESPOON MEAT MIXTURE INTO THE SHAPE OF YOUR LITTLE FINGER, ROLL IN CORNMEAL. (I FIND THAT USING A PASTRY BAG WITH A PLAIN ROUND TIP MAKES THIS PROCESS GO FASTER) WET TAMALE PAPERS OR SOFTENED CORN HUSKS (AVAILABLE IN MOST SUPERMARKETS). ROLL MEAT MIXTURE STARTING AT THE CORNER OF ONE END OF THE PAPER. FOLD OVER THE OTHER END AND PLACE IN A LARGE DEEP, ROASTING PAN ON A RACK. POUR TWO LADLES OF THE SAUCE OVER THE FIRST LAYER. REPEAT UNTIL ALL MEAT IS USED UP, REVERSING THE DIRECTION THE TAMALES ARE PLACED IN THE PAN FOR EACH LAYER. COVER WITH REMAINING SAUCE (RECIPE FOLLOWS). COVER TIGHTLY AND BAKE IN A 300* OVEN FOR ABOUT 2-2 1/2 HOURS. if YOU HAVE A CONVECTION OVEN, IT GOES EVEN FASTER. TO TEST FOR DONENESS, REMOVE A TAMALE FROM HALWAY DOWN IN THE PAN, OPEN AND CHECK TO SEE IF THEY ARE FIRM AND THE MEAT IS FULLY BROWNED.

TAMALE SAUCE

1 LARGE (24 OZ.) JAR PACE PICANTE SAUCE-MEDIUM OR HOT
4-8 OZ. CANS DELMONTE TOMATO SAUCE
1-10 OZ. CAN ROTEL TOMATOES-MILD OR HOT
3 OZ. JAR MEXENE CHILI POWDER
10 CUPS WATER
2 TEASPOONS FRESH CHOPPED GARLIC (OR MORE)
2 TABLESPOONS GROUND CUMIN
COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS IN A LARGE POT. BRING TO A BOIL. POUR OVER ROLLED TAMALES.

THIS RECIPE YIELDS ABOUT 20 DOZEN
THEY FREEZE WELL AFTER BEING COOKED AND COOLED….USE FREEZER ZIPLOC BAGS

ENJOY! Until next time, Bon Appetit!

Chiqui

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