Tamale Night @ St. Cypyrian’s

This week my classmate Grace and I hosted a tamale-making night at St. Cyprian’s downstairs community kitchen.  We had about a crowd of 20 show up all ready and willing to learn how to make a classic Mexican dish.  Attendees included members of the USF, St. Cyprian and Western Addition communities.  We made everything from scratch including the masa, sauce and fillings.  Everyone assembled the tamales together making each one different from one another.  Each person went home with tamale-making knowledge, making it a successful night!



Unlike traditional Mexican pork tamales, the tamales we made on Tuesday night were vegetarian.  Instead of using lard we used butter and olive oil and instead of pork we used seasonal vegetable fillings including kale, collards, mushrooms, onions and carrots.  Depending on one’s lifestyle, one can use either butter, olive oil or lard.  One can make almost whatever they want as a tamale filling. Saute together your favorite seasonal vegetables and add to corn husk with sauce and cheese.

Below are the recipes for the masa and sauce.

Masa Recipe: (This makes about fifty tamales)

The recipe I’m using for this masa recipe uses only butter

6 cups Maseca Masa Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 cup Butter

1 tbs Salt

3 1/2 cup Water

Combine dry ingredients together and mix with fork.  In a separate bowl, cream butter than add to dry mixture.  Add water, and if needed, add an additional cup of water.  The masa should be the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Sauce Recipe:

15 large dried chilies (such as Anaheim, New Mexico, California, Pasilla, Arbol or Guajillo, one can get this ingredient from a latino specialty store)

5 garlic cloves

1 medium tomato

1 medium yellow onion

1 tbs of flour

1/2 tbs salt

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs olive oil

While using gloves, remove seeds and stems from peppers.  Lay peppers on baking sheet and roast for three minutes.  In a food processor blend peppers with garlic, salt, tomato cut into quarters and onion cut into quarters.  Blend for about 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of water and continue to blend for about 30 seconds. In a separate 2-quart saucepan add olive oil and tbs of flour and mix on medium heat until brown.  Add blended sauce mixture and additional cup of water simmer for about five minutes.  If sauce is too thin, add 1 more tbs of flour.

To assemble a tamale one needs corn husks, masa, sauce and cheese.

Here is a quick video that shows how to assemble a tamale

Hope this post helped!