I'm in love with tamales. Not quite as much as I love chihuahuas. Not quite as much as I love Chad. But enough to try to make them from scratch, despite the time requirements...
I started by slow-cooking the meat. Pork in one crockpot, and chicken in the other.
I seasoned the pork with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, tumeric, and adobo. I seared every side of it to a golden brown in a pan with a bit of olive oil. In the slow-cooker, I added water, a bit of additional seasoning, and some poblano peppers (seeds left in - they weren't very spicy at all).
I let it cook for 6 hours on high, drained the broth (KEEP IT!!!) into a bowl, and shredded the pork. More of all of the same seasonings, and into the fridge.
I seasoned the chicken with adobo, salt, pepper, and chili powder, and seared it in a pan with olive oil as well. The sauce is a mixture of onions (2 whole), tomatillos (10), poblano peppers (2 with seeds), olive oil, and salt - cooked down in a pan until soft. I then put it all in a food processor, with 2 teaspoons of sugar, and 1/4 cup of water - and added it all, chicken & sauce, to the crockpot.
As with the pork, cooked it on high 6 hours, but shredded it in the sauce to soak up a bit more. I then drained the excess (KEEP IT) into a bowl. I seasoned the chicken with garlic powder, more salt, a bit of adobo (also salty) and some ground red pepper, and put it in the fridge as well.
And then I got lazy. The rest of the process of making tamales sounded like a lot of work, and it had already been a long week. So, I made "fake" tamales. Er, "inside-out" tamales. Here we go...
Masa (corn-based stuff used to make tortillas and tamales) - 2 cups, mixed with 2 cups of warm milk and 3 Tbsp melted butter. Add some salt, sugar (2 tsp), a handful-worth of queso fresco, and as much chili powder and ground red pepper as you can handle. Mix it up:
Make it into about 8 cakes, and saute them for about 3.5 minutes on each side - until browned. The cakes should be firm and solid, and no longer "raw" inside.
THEN came the fun part! I was just making things up at this point - based on what was in the fridge. We needed some sauce, so I mixed up sour cream, an avocado, lime zest, and lime juice. Voila! Avocado lime sour cream sauce (duh).
While this was all happening, the girls were begging in the kitchen. I thought to myself "I'll fix THEM!" and gave them a lime to play with. Um, they loved it. And fought over it. And squeezed and chewed it to death. At least it got them out of the kitchen....
I slapped some of the chicken meat on top of a corn cake, topped with some chopped tomatoes, and the green sauce (a lot of it - don't worry, it was fat-free sour cream), and dinner was served. Yum!
Aaaaaand, Chad shared some of the chicken with the puppies. Pablo is the toughest to please, and he seemed to approve. I think it's a keeper! Today I made some real tamales - they turned out great, too.
I hope you all don't mind the digression from puppy-dom, I might throw in a random blog post here or there. And in all seriousness, they're always involved somehow. Wait until I get the motivation to post about Suvi and Pablo "helping" with the remodel....