I decided to try my hand at tamales yesterday. This was one time consuming project! I made my refried beans from scratch because all the canned refried beans at the store were full of LARD! Yuck.
So after the bean mixture cooled completely I mixed together the masa, spread it into the corn husk, topped it with the beans and folded them into adorable little packets. Next came the fun (I know you can't tell I'm being sarcastic but I totally am) part! I don't have a steamer so I decided to make do with my rice cooker. I rigged a wire rack platform for the tamales to rest on above the water. Halfway through the steaming time the entire shelf collapsed into the water! Ugh. I fished the tamales out and continued steaming. I had no idea how long this process was supposed to take. Everything I found online varied between 40 minutes to over 2 hours! So I periodically checked the tamales and after about two hours they were done! I've never had a tamale before so I really didn't know what to expect. My friend (aka guinea pig) said they tasted good although the masa was a bit thicker than usual. Now I know! I thought they were a bit on the bland side so I added a side of salsa to dip the tamales in. Yum! I have tons of refried beans left so I think I will spend the day making the rest of the tamales (my rice cooker only holds 3-4 at a time so this will definitely be an all day adventure). I read online that tamales freeze well so I'm going to freeze up a bunch for easier quick meals!