So here is what you need:
(P.S. if it wasn't easy, I wouldn't have made it, lol)
- I package of corn husks or plantain leaves (you need about 20 wraps)
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups masa (I found this in the Latin foods aisle, it specified "for tamales" on the bag)
- 1 cup shredded chicken (I recommend dark meat for the flavor)
- 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 can pinto beans with jalapenos (they really weren't too spicy, but you can just use plain pintos, too)
- 1 cup frozen or fresh corn (make sure it isn't sweet corn)
- 1 can tomatoes (drained) or 1 diced tomato
- 1 medium onion, diced
- minced or powdered garlic to taste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
So you start by bringing the water, salt, and olive oil to a boil, then turn off the heat and add in the masa slowly, while stirring (like you would cream of wheat, to keep it from clumping). It clumps anyway, who am I kidding? This stuff was wild, it made this crazy play-do like stuff in the pan.... Anywho....
Allow the masa to cool while you start the filling, and then form it into little 2 inch balls. Mind you, mine are more like clumps than balls, and I had to keep my hands wet in order to shape them, but it is fun either way!
Cook this mixture until the tomatoes are cooked into oblivion. I suppose you could save time by using the crushed tomatoes in a can, but I'm not that smart....
Look at that yumminess.
Once your tomatoes have become mush (or are heated through if you used the crushed variety), add in your beans, corn, and chicken, if you are using it. Mix in that awesome cilantro __________________________________>
and cook until completely heated through.
Behold, beany goodness:
Lay out a wrap and put one of your masa balls on it. Smoosh it down in the center with the back of a spoon, and then use the front of that spoon to put one scoop of the mixture in the cup. You can let it overflow a little, it's not going to hurt anyone. Fold the wraps like a burrito, just make sure that both ends are folded. My wrap bag had instructions for folding, so that should help. There is no need to tie anything around it or anything, just lay them on the folded side. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Place them on top of a steamer tray with water boiling beneath them and cook in steam for about 15-20 minutes, or until the husks look somewhat transparent and the contents are hot.
This recipe made 17 tamales, plus leftover filling, but not leftover masa. Eric was fine just eating the filling solo, so we had no leftovers. They were so good. I ate mine accompanied by a fresh avocado. I forgot to catch a cross section of them, so I snapped this half eaten one right before it went the way of digestion.
I highly recommend making these. They are super easy, tasty, and can be made vegan if you only drop the chicken. My kids loved them, too.
Here is a link to the printable version.