Next, we cleared off the bar in my sister-in-law's (Jackie's) kitchen, sterilized the surface, then cut up a large bag of corn tortillas into triangles to make our own chips. We used a cutting board and a pizza cutter for this process, then left them to dry before we deep fried them.
While they were drying, we made up the tamales. We began by soaking the corn husks in a sink full of water. You can buy bags of corn husks in any grocery store. Soaking them in water for a little bit helps them become pliable when you use them to make up the tamales.
As these corn husks soaked, we browned the hamburger for the filling. Then we added taco seasoning to make things tasty. We placed the seasoned hamburger, refried beans, and cans of chopped green chilies into the blender and made up a delicious hamburger paste.
Next, we mixed up the tamale dough. Using a mix we purchased at a local store, we added all of the other needed ingredients to form the dough. When it looked like this, we covered it with a towel to keep things moist.
Now the real fun began. We dried off the corn husks and began to spread a thin layer of the tamale dough over each husk. It's a bit like spreading peanut butter on bread. ;) Jackie and her two beautiful daughters, Cassi and Cori, helped me with the process. We formed an assembly line, with part of us spreading the dough, as others placed a strip of the hamburger paste in the center of the dough.
The final step was to fold each completed "husk" so it was ready to be steamed. I'm sure there are a variety of ways to do this. We fold each side of the tamale dough over top of the meat strip to form a nice looking tamale, making sure we sealed the ends:
The next step involved placing all of our tamales (we made around 32) inside a juicer that also works great to steam foods. Since these tamales have to steam for an hour to cook, we like using the juicer since it's an easy way to accomplish our goal. =)
We made up green salsa for the tamales. We had purchased tomatillos, Annaheim and jalapeno peppers, onions, cilantro, & garlic paste for this adventure. After carefully washing the tomatillos (we removed the husk from each one first) we placed them in boiling water for just shy of two minutes. You never want to overcook the tomatillos or they ruin the salsa by tasting bitter. I'm just saying . . . ;) Then when they're cooked, you throw everything into a food processor and mix it all together with a dash of salt. This makes extremely yummy stuff that looks like this:
We placed it in the fridge to cool so the flavors could "marry" and began frying up the chips which were now dry. I forgot to mention that we had flipped all of those chips over to dry on the other side before we fried them. It's crucial to let them dry out---it makes for crisper chips and less chance of the oil splashing when you add them to the Fry-daddy. =D
It doesn't take very long to cook up each batch, and you place them inside something layered with paper towels to absorb any oil that might have latched onto the finished product.
Yummy!!! =) We were now ready to feast, and we did. A good time was once again had by all. I heartily endorse gathering together with family members to celebrate special occasions. Even if we sometimes invent reasons to celebrate, it's still a lot of fun. =D