Tamales 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.6.10 Chile Today?

Hot tamale. It's an old joke I never tire of. And indeed, though it's a chilly, grey morning, tomorrow is supposed to be unseasonably warm. 80 degrees in April—WTF?! Tamales, however, know no season. Yes, they are rather hearty and, yes, they were a Christmas Eve tradition in our house, but I'll eat them anytime, rain or shine. Tamales were part of any celebration banquet for the ancient Aztecs, who stuffed them with snails, game, boiled fruit, broad beans and fish with chile sauce. They are truly one of my favorite foods. I love untying the little packet and peeling the husk away to reveal the rich, pudding-like steamed masa, redolent of corn and concealing some savory nuggets. I like chicken tamales, cheese-&-chile tamales and, perhaps most of all, pork tamales. They are definitely not something you throw together in 15 minutes, but then neither is a good lasagna. Grab some friends and make it a party, that's the typical Mexican way. Once the weather warms up, we'll start eating loads of fresh fruits and salads and grilled things, so this may just be the perfect time for a little kitchen-intensive slow food. And once you make this red chile pork—earthy, lightly spicy and so flavorful—it will become a staple of your repertoire, equally delicious in tacos or on its own with a shaved cabbage and avocado salad.