I recently made tamales with friends and decided to bring a jar of OMNIVORE SICILIA with me. When I arrived, the kitchen smelled wonderful, and a pot of tamale sauce was on the stove that had been simmering all day. We started to make the tamales and soon we ran out of the sauce, so I pulled out the jar of SICILIA from my bag and it was a revelation to us all. SICILIA, with its bold, earthy flavor, tastes like something that takes hours on your stove to make. It has a unique, complex flavor that comes from the sweetness of balsamic vinegar, the smokiness of the ancho peppers and the acidity of tomatoes. It is the perfect tamale sauce! Try it and you'll never make tamale sauce again!
Photo above: by Romulo Yanez
- 30 dried cornhusks
- 1 Cup (8 oz.) pork lard
- 3 Cups tamale flour
- 2 Cups barely hot water
- 1 Teaspoon Omnivore salt
- 2/3 Cup vegetable oil
- ½ jar of Sicilia
- 5 cups filling such as pork or shredded chicken or roasted poblano chilies
RECIPE -from Roberto Santibanez's Truly Mexican
Soak the cornhusks in cold water 30 minutes
Meanwhile, beat the lard on medium –high speed using a standard mixer until fluffy, 3-5 minutes (if using a hand mixer double the beating times).
Meanwhile, mix together the tamale flour, water, and salt with your hands in another large bowl until you have uniform dough.
Add half of the dough to the lard and beat to combine.
Add the oil and the remaining dough to the lard mixture and beat on medium- high speed for 10-15 minutes until it has the texture of a fluffy frosting.
Season the batter to taste with additional salt. The batter should taste salty, as some of the salt will leach out during steaming.
Drain the cornhusks. Put a heaping spoon of batter (about 1/3 cup) on the concave side of a husk. Spread the batter to flatten it slightly and evenly.
Put a few tablespoons of the filling in the middle of the batter and top with a teaspoon of OMNIVORE SICILIA. Enclose the filling in the batter as you fold over the husk, doubling the pointed end over the bottom half. The rounded end will remain open. Repeat with the remaining batter, filling the husks.
Fit the tamales into the deep steamer basket of a pasta pot with the open ends up.
Fill the pot with 1 inch of water, and insert the tamale filled steamer basket and cover the tamales with more cornhusks, then a damp cloth and the lid.
Bring the water to a boil and steam the tamales, adding more boiling water if you need to, for 45 – 50 minutes or until the tamale separates form the husk easily when you unwrap them.
Tamales keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer bags up to one month. If you freeze the tamales, defrost them overnight in the refrigerator before warming them. To reheat, re-steam in their husks for 30 mins.