Sous Chef got an honor to take a part to cooking session for Cinco de Mayo in our elementary school in Berkeley. The Parents Association organized the whole thing together with the active members from Latin American parent community. The dish to prepare was tamales with three fillings.
The funniest thing in the session was that it was like a social meeting of twenty grown up Sous Chefs and couple of kids. The fillings were made in advance. The bunch of parents and kids were organized to assembly line where one sous chef did one task and give the tamale to the next one. It was fun but not as easy as it looked like. For a Finnish daughter and father the stickier than sticky stuff called masa was not too easy to handle. But we survived!
If you have good tamale filling recipes, please share them with us and our readers. Write your recipe to the comment field of this post. We would love to try and test them together, and to “souschefcook” them to family version and share them back in the Recipes section of our blog. Por favor!
To be honest, the first try to spreading masa on the corn leaf was a disaster. For a clumsy Finnish daddy and sticky dough was hard to work on. Little by little it became easier.
When the masa was spread the leaf was given to the next chef in the assembly line who filled and wrapped the tamale. In our school the menu consisted of three different fillings. Fresh cheese and vegetables was one of them, in the picture above. Another one was boiled chicken with green salsa.
The wrapping started from left side which was folded over the filling. Then the bottom was folded on the top. The right side was the last and sealed the whole thing.
Another end was left open on purpose. Before that we had seen and eaten tamales with both ends closed, but these were different.
The tamales were piled on the table. There were numerous, I didn’t count but must be several hundreds stacked all over the tables in the teachers office.
Third filling was made of pork, tomato and spices.
Pork filling was by my opinion the most delicious. Me or my daughter were not sure about all of the ingredients, so we have to stalk the deputy chef for more detailed information.
Pork stuff was not only the tastiest but also extremely messy stuff. It colored everything, and it was everywhere.
When the tamales were ready they were packed in to the large pots for steaming in vertical position, open end up.