Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cactus Monday and tamales!

This morning I was looking at They Cook and Draw, and saw the latest entry was for Humitas which look like tamales to me. My daughter loves tamales, and I had never even considered making them before, but somehow this drawing inspired me to watch YouTube videos on the subject, and I became VERY CONFIDANT that I could do it! I even ground up fresh corn to make them! Below is a pic of the big pot I used to steam them, and one site had suggested putting the corn cobs in the bottom of the pot (once they were stripped of the corn) to use to elevate the wrapped tamales so they would not be in the water, but just steam. I thought this was genius, so I had to do it. It worked out very well...allowed about an inch of water in bottom of pan, which was perfect. Of course, if you have a steaming pan that would be perfect. This photo doesn't even look like the were stipped yet, but they actually were!!! They are just corn cobs.

I put the corn from about 7 ears into my VitaMix and some oil (not much), and a little salt, and ground it to a puree. It was kinda wet, so we drained it in cheesecloth over a bowl for a few hours...but later we ended up adding some masa flour anyway to get it to the right consistency. I think if I did it all again, I would just make the mixture with masa meal (corn flour), and then you can just mix it to the right thickness right from the get go. Then we made a vegetable mixture and a meat mixture for the insides of the tamales. I cut and cleaned all my corn husks (taken off the cobs) and soaked them for 30 minutes so they would be easier to bend. Then formed the little pockets of masa with one of our mixtures inside, and rolled it up like a burrito in the corn husk. We had to use toothpicks to hold them closed since the husks were still not so pliable. The pic below was taken after the steaming was completed (about 30 minutes).

No one was more surprised that I was at the fact that they held together and were not mush in the end!!! It actually worked!!! Yeah! Below is the finished product. As you can see, the corn husks were just too narrow to get a good closure on the top (some did well, but others did not)...but all in all they were a hot with qll the family. My DIL, husband, daughter and Mom all liked them. That was a fun project, and I think now, after having done it once, I could definately streamline the process and do even better. I want to find an alternative wrapper to steam them in so I can make somewhat larger ones.

My hubby made a beans and rice to go with them. Oh, and the white stuff you see is a Mexican white cheese we laid inside the vegetable ones!

Also first thing this morning, I took a chair outside and sat in front of my front garden and sketched my prickly pear, for your visual delight on Cactus Monday. I am posting this early, so some of you may view it tonight (still Sunday)...but I wanted to get it out here on the blog so I can run and do some errands first thing in the morning.

Tomorrow we are keeping the grandkids for my son and his wifes 6th year anniversary! Time sure flies! They will spend the night, so the kids can go out and not have to worry about them and get a good nights sleep. Well needed, I'm sure!

Happy Cactus Monday everyone!!!


Betsy from Tennessee said...

Yum.... Looked like a fabulous dinner... There was a Hispanic man who made his tamales like you did--when I lived in Texas. He would always bring some to me... Talk about delicious..

Your prickly pear picture is great..... Thanks for sharing.


Pokeberry Mary said...

Love Mexican food!! MMMM.

You should use those cute little drawings for greeting cards! I do that too. :) I always love to see yours.

Judi said...

Oh Yum Julie
I've never made them....I actually don't know whether I have ever eaten them either...hmmmm...but I know of them and you have inspired me to give it a try too!

Thats nice to give your son and DIL a nice anniversary break. have fun with the kids and stay cool...well..not TOO hot!

Teri C said...

I aways look at that Blog also but only look and drool and now that you have done this, I am drooling even more. Looks fab.

LOVE your cactus. You are really improving Julie. Keep at t.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Those tamales look delicious. Happy Cactus Monday.

Aerelonian said...

You're making me really hungry!

marianne said...

Can I come over for dinner???

And love your new cactus sketch! The green is so fresh!


cjnay234 said...

Looks like you had fun! I've never tried those, eating or making.

Very nice sketch! Love looking at your drawings!
What did you draw it with?


Amber Von Felts said...

I have ever seen more delicious looking tamales! I wish I was a member of the fam! Yummy!

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

Hey sweetie! I love your sketch of that opuntia! I think I have one like it. Is it almost bare of spines?

Then the tamales. Whoop girl you are quite a cool. I bet they tasted like tamale heaven. I tried to lick my screen but all I got was a dusty tongue! Yucky! LOL HCM!

Mandy said...

Wow! Are you brave...doing that just from watching a You Tube video!! It's actually a lot of fun though. Me and my girls helped a good friend of mine and her husband make them several years ago. Needless to say, it was an all day adventure, but eating them made it all worth the effort!

Purnima@a creative project said...

Yumm..very tempting!!

Julie said...

Carla- Sorry I forgot to post that I used a black ultra fine Sharpie, and my watercolor markers called Mr. Sketch! Thanks for asking!

Everyone- Thanks for your kind comments!!! xoxo- ME

Serena said...

What a neat idea to use the corn cobs as the base to keep the tamales sitting above the water while they steamed. They look DELICIOUS!!

It's wonderful to see you sketching regularly, Julie.....lovely work on the prickly pear!

Arasu said...

The prickly pear looks wonderful! Great work. The recipe is interesting and new to me.