Marcelina’s Tamales Oaxacaños
I love huitlacoche. It’s a fungus that grows on corn, and it looks pretty gross but it is super tasty and cheap here. You can make these same tacos with other veggies or meat if you can not find huitlacoche though. Super quick and easy Mexican cooking from my house to yours!
- Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 or 2 jalapaño chilies, diced
- 2-3 cups of huitlacoche or other meat or veggie, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups of corn off the cob
- Healthy handful of salt
- Healthy handful of oregano
- 1/2 head of red cabbage, shredded into coleslaw sized pieces
- Healthy handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
- Healthy pinch of salt
- Juice of 1 lime
- Corn tortillas
- Shredded fresh cheese to top
- Sliced avocado to top
Pre-heat frying pan, add oil. Once the oil is warm, add onions and stir until they are translucent in color. Add garlic and chilies, stir until the garlic is fragrant. Add huitlacoche and corn. Cook for 3 minutes or more. Add salt and oregano to taste.
For the salsa, add all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Simple as that!
To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas over a hot burner. Once warm, add taco filling and top with salsa, an avocado slice, and a sprinkle of cheese.
12 green tomatoes (tomatillos) with papery skins removed
2 cloves of garlic, whole
1 serrano chili, seeded
1 onion, chopped
3 teaspoons of water
oil for the pan
tortilla chips, or tortillas cut into triangles and baked or fried until crunchy
1/2 cup of queso fresco, or jack cheese if you can’t find queso fresco
sour cream to taste (1/2 cup maximum)
Lightly cook tomatoes, garlic, and chili in a frying pan. Remove from heat and blend in a blender or food processor.
Return blended sauce/salsa to frying pan and add water and salt to taste. Simmer for a few minutes.
While making the salsa, scramble or fry the egg.
Place chips on a plate. Cover with sauce, egg, cheese, sour cream, and lettuce.
Marcelina’s Tamales Oaxacaños
This recipe is labor-intensive but very easy. Expect it to take up about four hours of your time, so do it with a friend and make an afternoon of it! This recipe will make about 20-30 tamales.
To re-heat leftovers, keep leaf or husk on and roast in a frying pan.
- 1 can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. Probably found in the Mexican food section of the store. I have always been able to find it!
- 250 grams of tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
- 2 dried Huajillo chilies, with seeds removed. Probably found in the Mexican food section of the store.
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 1/2 of a large white onion, sliced finely. You will use the other half for the meat.
Put dried chilies in a sauce pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let sit for 20-30 minutes. Drain once they are soft and a bright red color. While you are waiting, jump ahead and prep your vegetables for the filling and for the salsa.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat; add a few tablespoons of oil. Add onions once the oil is warm. Cook while occasionally stirring until onions start turning translucent but are not browning. Add tomatoes and soaked chilies to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Let simmer, stirring occasionally for another 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes will be fairly broken down. Let cool, then add the mix to a blender along with 1-to-3 of the chipotle chilies in adobo sauce from the can, depending on your taste. Blend well!
- 1 pound of chicken or pork cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 or 4 very heavy pinches of salt
- 1 small potato, diced into pea-sized pieces
- 1 carrot, diced into pea-sized pieces
- 100 grams of peas, shelled
- Other half of the white onion, cut into quarters
Boil the meat until fully cooked along with the salt and onions. Remove meat from broth and save the broth. Let meat cool, then pull it apart with a fork and mix into the salsa. Add the vegetables and simmer in a large pot over medium-low heat while you mix the dough.
- 1 kilogram of masa. You can find this near the flour in the grocery store. It is flour made from corn.
- 200 grams of vegetable shortening
- 2/3 liters of broth. You made this when cooking the meat, so no need to buy it.
- Large pinch of salt
- Large pinch of baking powder
- 1 roll of Banana leaves – about 10-20 leaves. Use dried corn husks from the Mexican food section of the store if you can’t find them. If you use corn husks, they are no longer tamales Oaxacaños though!
Mix all dry ingredients together. Add broth until you have the desired consistency; dough should feel like thick pancake batter. Heat shortening in a frying pan until it melts into a liquid. Add this liquid to dough and incorporate well. At this point, turn off heat to the pot with salsa, meat and vegetables.
Preparing the wrapper and constructing your tamales:
With a damp cloth, clean both sides of each banana leaf. Once they are dry, bring them to the stove top and pass them over the flame long enough for the green color to lessen, but not enough that they burn. Do this on both sides of each leaf. This prevents them from cracking when folded. Using scissors, cut leaves into pieces about 6-8 inches square or rectangle. It isn’t a science, so don’t stress it! If you are using the corn husks, soak them in water to clean them, and when they are still slightly damp, they are ready to work with. Nice and simple.
On a large, clean counter space, assemble banana leaves or husks, dough, and filling. Using your hands, grab a handful of the dough and roll into a ball about 2 inches in diameter. Place ball on a piece of banana leaf and flatten with your fingers until it is an oval or rectangle about 5 inches in diameter and is fairly thinly spread on the leaf. Add 1.5 to two spoonfuls of the filling mixture to the center of the dough. Delicately lift one side of the banana leaf to cover half of the mixture with a layer of dough and peel the banana leaf back, leaving just the dough partially covering the mixture. Do the same with the opposite side of the banana leaf, covering the mixture completely, but no need to peel the banana leaf back. Leave it there, folded over your tamal. Refold the other side of the banana leaf over the tamal to cover it completely. With the two long and unfolded parts of the leaf on the top and bottom, fold them under the tamal. Repeat until your dough is spent.
If using a cornhusk, paint only about half of it with about 2 tablespoons full of the dough. Then, take a spoonful of the filling and place it in the middle of the cornhusk on top of the dough. Fold the cornhusk over so that the filling is fully covered by the dough. Wrap tamale and set aside. Repeat.
Place a vegetable steamer in a large pot and fill with water only to reach the top of the steamer, about 1 inch or so. For corn husk tamales, layer tamales inside the steamer. They should be lined up and tightly touching each other. Cover with a wet rag followed by a plastic bag. Cover with lid. Let boil for one hour. Take one out to check if the dough is fully cooked. If the top tamales are done, the rest will be ready.
For banana leaf tamales, before you put tamales in the steamer, cover the bottom with banana leaf scraps about three leaves deep. Layer tamales over this until you have no more. Cover all tamales with more banana leaf scraps, also about three leaves deep. Cover pot and simmer for about one hour. Remove a tamal to check the doneness. Let sit in pot about 15 minutes covered before eating.