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Mexican Green and Red Tamales in Banana Leaves




Here you have another recipe to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, Green and Red Tamales in Banana Leaves, they are amazing!! I hope you like them.

Ingredients for the Tamales:
Makes 30 tamales ( depending on the size)
  • 2 lbs. Maseca Corn Flour for Tamales
  • 2 cups + ⅔ cup Chicken broth
  • 1 cup + ⅔  cups lard
  • 2 lbs Banana Leaves cut in 14 inch x 14in  squares
  • + 2 tsp salt
  • + 2 tsp baking powder
  •  

Green filling:
  • 1.5 lbs chicken
  • 1 lbs tomatillos (without husk)
  • 1 lbs Jalapeno peppers
  • ½ an Onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp lard or vegetable oil
  • + Salt (to taste)


Red Filling:
  • 1.5  lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 lbs tomatillos (without husk)
  • 250 grs Guajillo dry chillies
  • ½ an onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ tbsp lard or vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • + Salt (to taste)


Make the Green Filling:
Cooking the chicken in boiling water, add plenty of salt, half an onion, and one garlic clove, cook until the chicken is well cooked. (about 40 minutes) Then remove the chicken from the broth. (reserve the broth, you will need it for the dough) Let the chicken cool down, then shred it and set it aside.

Make the green Sauce:
Place the jalapenos (without stems) and the tomatillos (without husks) in a saucepan, add plenty of water and cook on high until they are tender (about 20 minutes).  Once they are done, place then in a blender, add in two garlic cloves, salt to taste and half a cup of water. Blend until well blended.
In a saucepan, heat up half a tablespoon of lard, and cook the green sauce on low heat until it boils.

Once the chicken is shredded add in 1 ½ cups of the green sauce and cook on medium heat until it boils, then place it aside to cool down.

Make the Red Filling:
Cook the pork in boiling water, add in plenty of salt, half an onion and one garlic clove. Cook until the meat is well cooked and tender (about 60-70 minutes). Remove the meat from the broth and let it cool down then shred it.

Make the Red Sauce:
In a saucepan, place the guajillo peppers (without stems and seeds) and the tomatillos (without husks), add plenty of water and cook on high until they are tender (about 20 minutes).  Then place in the blender, and season with 3 garlic cloves, salt to taste and half a teaspoon of ground cumin add in half a cup of water and blend on high until well blended.

In a saucepan, heat up half a tablespoon of lard, and strain in the red sauce (strain it ot make sure it is smooth and doesn't have any extra skin from the guajillo chilies) If the sauce is too thick, fill free to add more water to thin it out, taste the flavor add more salt or cumin if necessary. Cook on low heat until it boils.

Once the meat is shredded, add in 1 ½ cups of the red sauce, and cook until it boils, the set it aside to cool down.

To make the Masa:
Follow the instructions on the Maseca Package: Knead all ingredientes until you have a very smooth dough without any lumps.  (I added an extra ⅓ cup of lard, for everything else i did follow the instructions.)

Prepare the banana leaves:
Cut the banana leaves into 15  x 15 in squares.
Wash the banana leaves with plenty of warm water.

Heat up the banana leaves. Just hold the banana leave directly over the heat for a few seconds until the whole leave is heated through. Repeat this step until all the banana leaves are heated through.(it will only take a few seconds per banana square, 5 seconds or so.)

The  top edge of the banana leave is very stiff, so gram some scissors and cut it, you will only need to cut about ½ inch from the top.

To make the tamales:
Grab about 2 - 3 tablespoons of the dough and place it right on the center of the banana leaf square, flatten it up to a ¼ inch thickness,  like if you were making a tortilla, and right on the center of the dough add in some of the filling, add as much filling as you like.  To close the tamale, bring the sides of the banana leaf right towards the center, to close the tamal, and then fold the leaf right down, to keep the tamal in place, fold it until you can feel the tamal inside the leaf, then with your fingers shape the tamale into a rectangular shape, then bring the ends of the banana leaf towards the center, to wrap the tamale in a perfectly rectangular shape.  Keep the ends facing down to keep the tamale well closed. Keep on repeating these steps until you have made all the tamales (red and green filling).

To Cook the Tamales:
Add plenty of hot water into your steamer.
Place the tamales inside the steamer. Cook them on high heat for about 1 ½ hours or until well cooked.

You will know the tamales are done, when they are firm, and when you open them, they don't stick to the leaf anymore, they will slip right off the leaf.

Serve them with more of the green and red sauce,. Garnish with green onions and that’s it! 

Enjoy!

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