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Tamales 101: A Beginner's Guide to Making Traditional Tamales Paperback – November 12, 2002
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From the Publisher
Includes 60 food and spot photographs and 15 illustrations showing, step by step, how to spread masa and wrap and tie tamales.
At Tamaras Tamales, Alice and her daughter, Tamara, sell hundreds of tamales a dayand have since 1996.
About the Author
Every Saturday, when ALICE GUADALUPE TAPP was only seven years old, she'd help her grandmother make tamales to sell after Sunday mass. Now Alice is co-owner (with her daughter, Tamara) of Tamara's Tamales in Marina Del Rey, California.
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Top Customer Reviews
Google search tamaras tamales ~ The site labeled Welcome to Tamara's Tamales is where you want to click on.
They had (still have) a recipe that I've been using since. I hand wrote it in my composition book of FAVORITE (tried with success) recipes . The masa was/is wonderful, flavorful and light. I use their filling suggestion (chicken verde) as well as use my own fillings with much success and LOTS of compliments.
Well now I'm at that point where family, friends and co-workers think I'm the expert and seek my help and experience. So, I thought it was time for me to be more adventurous and expand my knowledge on this subject, as well as try completely new flavor combinations. I stumbled across this book here at Amazon. I actually found two books (the other will not even be mentioned, as it was terrible) and bought them both. They arrived quickly and I promptly read them both.
From the first page I was thrilled. Alice Guadalupe Tapp shares the history of the tamale as well as her own personal history with the tamale ~ Something I personally enjoy. Well, on page nine, Alice references Tamara's Tamales ~ Now where had I heard that name before? The recipe that I pretty much use as my own, is actually Alice Guadalupe Tapp's!!!
Alice provides a list of necessary equipment. She has diagrams of different folding techniques. She even explains which side of the corn husk to spread the masa on and why. She gives you a timetable of the best way to organize yourself, so making the tamales doesn't overburden you. She pretty much walks you through every phase and I promise, when your done, you are actually planning to make them again, that's how easy she makes it for you.
Now, the actual recipes included in this book:
Basic Fresh Masa ~ 30 cups of masa or 5 dozen tamales
Masa Habina Masa ~ 12-18 cups of masa or 2-3 dozen tamales
South American Cooked Masa ~ 4-7 cups of masa or 8-14 tamales or about 1 dozen tamales
Fat Free Masa ~ 9 cups of masa or 1 1/2 dozen tamales
Vegan Masa ~ 6 cups of masa or 1 dozen tamles
Just a NOTE ~ The Masa Habina Masa can be easily halved and quartered ~ Also, the amounts of tamales each recipe produces is higher (at least in my experience) than that listed. A quarter of the recipe makes a good dozen easily ~ Perfect for dinner. I also freeze small batches of filling ~ About 2 cups as well as 1 cup of broth and then whip up a fresh batch of masa and make for dinner. If you figure 1 cup of broth to 2 cups DRY masa harina & 2 sticks of melted butter (which is more than she suggests, but my preference), this makes about 3 cups of "prepared" masa ~ I use about 1/4 cup masa per tamale, so this is a perfect dozen. Also, making them this way is so easy ~ You'll actually make fresh tamales ALL THE TIME!!!
If someone has a great Gordita recipe ~ Please post it in the comments ~ I would love a great GORDITA recipe...
Red Pork Chile Sauce
Oaxacan Mole Sauce
Fresh Red Salsa
Cilantro Pesto Sauce
Grilled Tomato Jalepeno Salsa
Chocolate Heaven Sauce
Family Chicken Tamales
Beef Tamales with Red Chile
Jalapeno Cheese Tamales
Chicken Tomatillo Tamales
Green Corn Tamales
Red Pork Chile Tamales
Chicken Verge Tamales
VEGETARIAN & VEGAN TAMALES
Green Chile Cheese Tamales
Spinach Mushroom Tamales
Veggie Special Tamales
Potato Mole Tamales
Grilled Veggie Tamales
Tofu Red Chile Tamales
Wild Mushroom Tamales
Veggie Curry Tamales
Black Bean Tamales
Potato Red Chile Tamales
Cilantro Pesto Chicken Tamales
Chile Relleno Tamales
King Crab Tamales
Tamara's Special (Red Chile & Cheese) Tamales
Pork, Green Chile & Potato Tamales
Turkey Picadillo Tamales
Chicken Mole Tamales
Chorizo Potato Tamales
Sundried Tomato Pesto & Chicken Tamales
Machaca Beef Tamales
Sage Dressing Tamales
Chiles en Nogada Tamales
Roasted Red Pepper Corundas
Trinidadian (Trini) Pastelles
Chicken Sinaloa Tamales
Grilled Jalapeno Corundas
Corn & Cheese Corundas
Puerto Rican Pastelles
El Salvadoran Tamales
Beef Hallacas of Venezuela
Cuban Tamales with Pork & Chorizo
Green Banana Bimenas
Quezaltenango Potato Paches
LOW FAT TAMALES
Low Fat Fresh Salmon Tamales
Low Fat Tomatillo Chicken Tamales
Low Fat Green Chile Tamales
Milk Chocolate Tamales
Traditional Sweet Tamales
Cinnamon Sugar Tamales
Sweet Apple Tamales
Bittersweet Chocolate Tamales
Raspberry Chocolate Pecan Tamales
This book has EVERYTHING you would want or need to make tamales. It's very well written, very easy to follow and pretty much fool proof. You will feel like an expert once you've made a few batches.
One of the BEST things about this book (in my opinion) is that she tells you how to make small batches. As the only person in my household who makes tamales, I can tell you, I have no desire to make 50-60 pounds of tamales at one time (unless I get help). As a general rule, I want to make just enough for dinner ~ 2 or 3 dozen and since the recipe is so easy, we enjoy fresh, hot tamales at least once a month at my house. Of course she tells you how to make vast quantities as well.
With all the recipe suggestions, I can't imagine ever needing another book ~ This book is now quite literally, my Tamale Bible.
Again, I highly recommend this book!!!!
Alice Guadalupe Tapp ~ Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!! It really is a GREAT book!!!
Fortunately, I had Tamales 101 in hand. Got a few tips from a guy at the local Tamale Festival, but mostly I just devoured this book, took a deep breath, and started. My masa floated, the corn husks peeled off my tamales easily, and they were firm and delicious! I spent over three days cooking and ended up with a cornucopia of Red Chile Pork, Chorizo-Potato, Jalapeno and Cheese, and two kinds of dessert tamales, plus all the salsa and other trimmings. (I'd made enough to take to three other events, it turned out.) And I *enjoyed* myself doing it.
Making tamales is both harder and easier than you might think. What's hard is the amount of time and effort, but what's easy is the routine you get into after making a few. The day of the luncheon, I taught an early guest how to fill and fold them (using the very easy foldover method illustrated in the book), and she taught everyone else who wanted to try a few. As they say, a good time was had by all.
My tips and observations for those who want to give this a try:
Get *very* organized in advance: ingredients list, timetable, list of accompaniments, etc. A large steamer is a must (I used an oriental two-level steel one, but a Mexican one that looks like a canning kettle works well, too, and both are fairly inexpensive). An electric mixer is also a must. I used a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would have been easier. You *must* maintain several inches of boiling water in the pan (I just about burned mine out at one point), and it is possible to burn both hands at once if you use potholders instead of oven mitts to pick up the upper pan to check the water level.
From the festival tamale maker, I learned that it's important to use all the lard called for (part can be butter or margarine) and also all the salt called for. I read somewhere else that much of the lard is absorbed by the husks, and I hope this is true. From the book, I learned to use fresh masa (easily available here in the southwest) rather than dry, and to whip the lard for at least 5 minutes and then the worked-in masa and broth for another 10 to 15 minutes, and also to use an ice cream scoop to measure the right amount of masa onto the husks/leaves.
I won't be waiting until next Christmas to make more tamales, now that I know how easy and good they are. Just thinking of all the varieties in Tamales 101 that I haven't tried yet has me drooling. Give it a try!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall a good basic guide with some unconventional options as well.Read more