Sunday, December 26, 2010


Tamales are a traditional holiday treat in Mexico
and since we are off to Mexico for New Years I
thought I would make some traditional steamed
tamales to celebrate Mexican style.

Growing up in Wisconsin we had a family whose
youngest three kids matched up with our oldest
three in age and gender and we were the best
of friends.  Their parents were from Mexico and she
made authentic tamales for a church dinner one day.
My mother loved them and asked Rosa to teach her
how to make tamales.  We have been making them
every since.  I love them on a cold winter night as the
tamales steam up the kitchen windows.

Traditionally they are wrapped in prepared corn husks
which are soaked in water to soften and then tied
off with strips of corn husks. You can find the prepared
corn husks in the Mexican food section of most grocery

The corn husks were not readily available in Wisconsin
growing up so my mother wrapped them in tin foil to
steam them.  That works very well too and is less time-
consuming, if not as attractive.

I fill my large canner using the canning rack to hold
them up out of the water and steam them 50-60 minutes

Tamale Recipe

2 C. cooked and ground or shredded beef, chicken or pork
1/2 T. onion powder
1/2 C. tomatoes with green chilis (like Rotel)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. powdered cumin

4 C. masa harina (corn flour found in the Mexican section)
2/3 C. shortening
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 C. beef or chicken broth
1/2 tsp powdered cumin

Dried corn husks (found in the Mexican section)

Soak the corn husks in hot water for 20-30 minutes or cut
pieces of foil in about 8 inch long pieces.

Mix the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Mix the dough in a bowl and set aside.

Drain one or 2 pieces of corn husk on towel.  Place
about 1/3 to 1/2 C. dough - a small baseball sized
piece on the front edge of the husks or foil.  Place about
1-2 T. meat filling down the center of the dough.  Begin
with the front edge and roll the tamale up, keeping the
front edge out of the wrapper out of the dough.  Use
small strips of corn husk to tie the ends off or twist the ends
of the foil. 

Place 2-3 inches of water in a large canner
or steamer.  Place the tamales in the steamer
 using foil or a rack to keep the tamales
out of the water.  Steam for about one hour.  Test to make
sure the dough is cooked through and not soggy. 

Serve with plenty of sauce.  I generally open, blend 
and heat a couple of cans of Rotel or some
bottled salsa.  I like a lot
of sauce on top of mine.  Mother used to use her home
bottled tomatoes that she blended and added chilis to and
then heated. 

I will be posting with


Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. Oh Jacqueline Sweetie...
    Living here in Phoenix, I know a lot of people that sell them, but I have never had a recipe, and maybe I will just have to give it a whirl, as the family so loves tamales. Wish we lived closer and I could learn first hand from you. They sound wonderful.

    Thank you for the beautiful share. I love to come and see what you are up to In Purple Chocolat at Home. It is always something fun. I have so enjoyed 2010 blogging with you, and can't wait for 2011.

    Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

  2. These look delicious. Awesome.

  3. Num nummy num. I remember when mom would make these and I loved them the next day too. As Country Wings has said. I have also enjoyed visiting your blog and seeing what you are up to. There is always something fab going on it your house. It was fun to see your house in person this year too. So glad you started to blog -- you are an inspiration to us all. Joni

  4. Yum Thank you Jaqueline!!

    Happiest of Holidays & All the Best in the New Year!

    Art by Karena

  5. Love tamales. Love eating them and I love making them. Great tutorial.

  6. They look soooo good. were one of the Kissing Crystal winners. Email me at with your snail mail address and I will get it in the mail to you!

  7. Wow! These look amazing. What a great idea to use your canner to steam them. I want to make my own now! New Years spent in Mexico sounds like a fun trip. Have a great time.

    (and thanks for posting this yummy recipe!)


  8. Hello there!

    My oh my, I'm so delighted to have discovered your fabulous blog.., What a treat!.., Yum!

    I am your newest follower; perhaps you'll also kindly consider following me..,

    I would love to have your stop by for a visit and 'a cup of tea'!

    I can hardly wait to return for a visit!

    Cheers and Happy New Year to you and yours from Wanda Lee
    @ and also

  9. Hello Jacqueline!

    Did you have a good Christmas? I hope you had a wonderful time!

    This is so interesting! I never saw anything like it!

    Have a blessed week!


    Luciane at

  10. Wow, you even make tamales! You are one amazing lady. ~ Sarah

  11. I live in the south, but also make tamales every Christmas Eve - as well as several times a year. I just can never get enough of them, & neither can my family. I have never thought of the Rotel trick before though, so I am going to have to try that the next time that I prepare them. We usually just sop hot sauce up with ours, but the Rotel sauce sounds wonderful!

  12. Were making them tomorrow night. I will be enjoying them New Year's Day with a hot cup of coffee :) Your recipe is super close to mine.

  13. I can't believe you made these when I was considering them myself. You have made them look so easy and delicious that I'm going to try your recipe this weekend.

  14. I would love to try your recipe. I always though making tamales was such a long process. They sound delicious - thank you!

  15. These tamales look so good! Is there anything you can't do?!? :) Maybe you and Joni are the Martha Stewarts of the west!


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