Great news! My friend Charlotte just posted about my weight loss story on her blog! Check it out: Inspiration from Across the Miles
Sunday afternoon, Jorge and I were hanging out at his Aunt Marbella’s house. We sipped on some Coca Cola while she made tamales, and I asked her if I could take some pictures. She was more than happy to let me document the process for you guys, and she explained the steps to me as she went.
These tamales are called tamales torteados, with chicken and salsa on the inside. Most parts of Mexico wrap their tamales in corn husks, but in the Yucatan they use banana leaves.
To begin, you need masa (dough), salsa roja (red sauce, as spicy as you like it), hojas de plátano (banana leaves), shredded chicken and your tortilladora (tortilla press). Mexico experts like myself will know that you also need a nice, cold glass of Coca Cola to wash it all down.
Sadly we missed the masa and salsa preparation (just look it up online, I guess… sorry), but that’s ok because the fun part is putting the ingredients together and wrapping it all up. Here goes!
Step 1: Place a ball of masa onto the tortilladora, with a sheet of saran wrap on top and bottom
Step 2: Pull up the lever on the tortilladora to flatten the masa into a tortilla shape
(The tortilladora in all its glory)
Step 3: Place the flattened masa onto a piece of saran wrap, then add some shredded chicken to the center of your tamal
Aunt Marbella masterfully making some tamales
Step 4: Spoon some salsa roja over the chicken
Step 5: Fold the sides of the tamal using the saran wrap
More saran-wrap folding action
Step 6: Set the tamal onto a piece of banana leaf. Experts like Marbella will then take the saran wrap to put on top of a new ball of masa to put into the tortilladora, perfect for minimal saran wrap waste when making multiple tamales.
Step 7: Fold the banana leaf around the tamal
Calmly wrapping the banana leaf
Marbella's impressive mountain of folded tamales, ready to cook
Step 8: Place your tamales into the steam pot (with some water in the bottom)
Marbella tells me there's a special way to place the tamales. They need to be staggered in a circle (like bricks) to leave room for the steam to get to every side of every tamal.
Stacked like so
Step 9: Throw some leftover banana leaves onto the top of the post, and "listo"! Now all you have to do is let the pot cook for about 90 minutes
Step 10: Unwrap the banana leaf, spoon on some extra red salsa and enjoy. (Here, Jorge has expertly combined the spicy salsa and the mild salsa. A true Mexican.)
Have you ever had tamales before?