Here you see them all rolled up (my first four tamales ever!)
Tamales ready to eat-- including the littlest tamale ever
When I was younger, my mother was married to a man who owned a tamale factory. Before my mom married into the tamale family, I had never had a tamale, and I was not prepared for such culinary delight. Further, these weren't just any tamales. These tamales were amazing. I didn't even know that you are supposed to steam tamales before eating; I could happily microwave these things and then enjoy bliss, pure bliss. I only wonder how good they might have been had I known about steaming. So many lost opportunities....
One of the interesting parts of this tamale-factory-owning family is that my sister and I ended up hocking tamales at Rice University football games. My stepfather seemed to quite enjoy mortifying us by yelling a voce forte "Hot tamales! Get your HOT tamales!" Sis and I groaned, rolled our eyes, and handed over tamales to lucky purchasers.
I myself would eventually get a break--and my own share of piping hot tamales. There was nothing quite like watching football with soft masa goodness in the brisk fall air. Ahhhhhh.
I did a little happy dance when I found out that even now, eschewing high carbs as I am, I can have tamales. I made these in well under an hour (since the meat was made in the crockpot, which doesn't count), and Tom and I feasted happily. One note: the "masa" is a little sweet due to the coconut. Using a great savory filling like sharp cheddar would be AWESOME. Pork was good, but I think I need to pump it up a little next time, and I foresee roasted poblanos and sharp cheddar. I also was too hungry to make the sauce, so tomorrow I will make the chile sauce and report back.
I often rephrase the recipes I cook into the simplest possible language, but the original recipe actually puts things very plainly in an easy-to-follow fashion, so I simply give you the link. I'll also give you the ingredients. Trust me, easy peasy. Also, instead of non-hydrogenated lard, I simply used some bacon drippings. That worked perfectly well.
One note on assembly: you place the masa along the long edge of the husks and then roll in such a way that you are not fighting the grain of the leaf. When you are finished rolling, the lines/veins/ridges should run the length of the tamale, not be really short and across the tamale. It should fold easily-- folding it the "wrong way" is hard to do and feels awkward because you're fighting the husk. I hope that makes sense!
2 cans baby corn
1/2 c coconut flour, sifted
1 oz lard/bacon grease
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ancho chile powder
1/2 tsp salt