I have to write this blog article about our culinary adventure in FL with our dear friends who hosted us so warmly this summer! Jess and I planned to make tamales for quite some time while we still lived in FL but modern life is so busy and unpredictable that we never had a chance to get to it. Well, this time around we pulled the forces of 2 families and finally did it!
It turns out this process is quite complicated and requires some time, energy, desire, and 4 people to succeed! We had all those important ingredients, plus we were able to enslave our husbands :-) We blacked mailed them by saying “You want to have dinner today? Then you help us with tamales!” They really didn’t have a choice!
So I was mostly helping and watching the process and Jess was our master chef who was doing it by herself the first time as well. First, she roasted some magical Mexican peppers which were brought straight from Mexico. [I got some comments from Jess about these peppers - as it turned out I was not attentive and forgot that she soaked different peppers for this sauce but I didn't take photo of those. These we used in spicy salsa that was also delicious!!!]
Then, she grinded them and created this rich in color and strong in taste sauce which after tasting it Vadym was surprised to find it a bit bitter as it supposed to be.
Later, we put chicken and pork on the stove and boiled to make pulled chicken and pork. Vadym was actively participating in pulling process.
And while taking breaks he required some fuel so he demanded to give him last Cocada
in the house – also brought straight from Mexico. We tried this dessert long time ago thanks to Jess and Rick. Arguably some say it is Brazilian but we know it as Mexican and it is prepared for special holidays and sold on the streets there. And this is everything that was left and I was able to catch on my camera :-)
After this, Jess mixed some Masa dough using Masa flour and other ingredients we found in one of the authentic stores that sells lots of interesting things from Mexico in particular and South America overall.
Next, Jess soaked some corn husks to make them more flexible for us to wrap the dough and meat with sauce in them.
This step was exciting for Vadym because he was the first in our production line of tamales. Jess patiently showed Vadym how to put a thin layer of Masa dough on a corn husk and give it to me. First couple husks were not that successful but my husband is a very talented man and he picked the technique up right away!
Next in the conveyer chain was me – I had an honorable role of putting mixed pulled meat and sauce. Most important part was not to put too much which I usually do :-)
And the last and most import step was to give this almost-ready tamale to Rick who was masterfully wrapping this bad boy and putting it in into a pan.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a final product shot here because we were so hungry and full of anticipation that I couldn’t wait to try what we have created! So I completely forgot about taking a photo and later it was all gone. But I still think now you have a good idea what tamales are and how to make them and most importantly that we had tons of fun!