Honduran Style Tamales

Ingredients for the tamales:

  • 2 packages Banana leaves from or from local asian or latino market
  • 5 lbs prepared masa for tamales "mixed fine texture" "central american style"
  • Aluminum foil
  • Large pot for steaming tamales

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bell pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp achiote (gives tamale the orange filling color)
  • pinch of sugar to taste

Directions for preparing the tamales:

  1. Prepare masa: In a mixing bowl, add 1 ½ cups of water to the prepared masa (4 lbs of masa)(you buy prepared masa at "ethnic markets") and beat until it has consistency of creamy mashed potatoes.
  1. Reserve about a cup of prepared masa for the "recado" sauce.
  1. Prepare banana leaves: cut large leaves into 12"-inch sections, cut off the tough outer perimeter fiber, wash each leaf, and boil for 5 minutes to soften them for folding.
  1. Prepare the sauce by blending all of the sauce ingredients in a blender
  1. Cook chicken with recado sauce: 4 lbs of skinless boneless chicken, white or dark meat. Cut chicken into 2-3 oz cubes, then place chicken cubes in sauce pan and add recado sauce and enough water to cover. Cover and let boil until cooked.
  1. Thicken the recado sauce with chicken broth: Remove all the liquid from cooked chicken and place in a bowl. add a few tablespoons of the masa mix until the recado filling sauce thickens and is just a bit runnier than the prepared masa. return this thickened sauce to your cooked chicken and mix in.

Directions for assembling the tamales:

  1. Layer aluminum foil with a banana leaf
  1. Add about 1/2 cup of masa to leaf
  1. Add piece of chicken with sauce
  1. Add filling ingredients, 1 tsp of each: cooked rice, diced potato, peas, garbanzos, bottled red pepper, and olive
  1. Wrap tamale like a burrito
  1. Steam in large pot for about 30-40 minutes until potato is cooked

Shirley Bovshow’s Honduran Tamales

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