Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tamales & Mexican Rice

I recently made some delicious tamales, which took all day to prepare. Were they worth it, you ask? YES!
I made several meals during one big batch recipe, and was able to freeze about 20 tamales for later use. Best of all - they are delicious.

I prepared Kalua Pork, we enjoyed a meal - eating it along with some steamed sweet potatoes and veggies, and placed the remainder in the fridge. Kalua Pork is SIMPLE & delicious. I made mine in the slow cooker. There is a great recipe for it here on lafujimama's site.  I'm including some pictures from her site as well, as I neglected to take photos -oops!

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig

Makes 12-14 servings
5-6 pound pork butt roast (shoulder cut also works)
1 1/2 tablespoons Hawaiian sea salt (I used kosher salt)
1 1/2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
1. Pierce the pork roast all over with the tip of a sharp knife.  Place the roast in a large slow cooker and rub the salt all over the meat.  Drizzle the liquid smoke over the meat.
2. Cover the slow cooker and cook on Low Heat for 16 to 20 hours, turning the roast over once half-way through the cooking time.  Depending on how hot your low setting is on your slow cooker, you may or may not need the full 20 hours.  When the meat easily shreds with a fork it is ready.
On Step #2, I put the pork on high heat for about 8 hours, watching it constantly. I made sure it was cooked sufficiently, then reduced the temperature to low. My pork came out PERFECTLY.
3. Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with two forks, adding drippings from the slow cooker as needed to moisten the meat.
*Note: For this size of roast, you will need a 6-qt. slow cooker.  If you have a smaller slow cooker, use a smaller roast and reduce the amount of the other ingredients accordingly.

Slow Cooker Kalua Pig with Kurigohan
Dinner #2 - Tamales & Mexican Rice

For the tamales, I began my using 1 can of Mild Red Enchilada Sauce, and combining it with my Kalua Pork in a large pot on the stove. I covered it and simmered it until the meat had soaked up the majority of the sauce.

Then, I followed this recipe by KarenfromColorado on

    Traditional Tamales (Pork). Photo by Sue Lau

Pork Tamales: 


  1. 1
    In a 5 qt Dutch oven, bring pork, water, onion, garlic and 1 1/2 salt to boil.
  2. 2
    Simmer covered, about 2 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender.
  3. 3
    Remove meat from broth and allow both meat and broth to cool. (Chilling the broth will allow you to easily remove the fat if you desire to do so).
  4. 4
    Shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding fat.
  5. 5
    Strain the broth and reserve 6 cups.
    (I used chicken broth) 
  6. 6
    In a large sauce pan, heat the red chili sauce and add meat; simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
    (I used Red Mild Enchilada Sauce instead of the red chili sauce)
    -------------------------------------------Below this line is where I started using this recipe ----------------------.
  7. 7
    To make masa beat shortening on medium speed in a large bowl for 1 minute.
  8. 8
    In a separate bowl, stir together masa harina, baking powder and 2 teaspoons salt.
  9. 9
    Alternately add masa harina mixture and broth to shortening, beating well after each addition. (Add just enough broth to make a thick, creamy paste).
  10. 10
    In the mean time, soak corn husks in warm water for at least 20 minutes; rinse to remove any corn silk and drain well.
  11. 11
    To assemble each tamale, spread 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture on the center of the corn husk (each husk should be 8 inches long and 6 inches wide at the top. If husks are small, overlap 2 small ones to form one. If it is large, tear a strip from the side).
  12. 12
    Place about 1 tablespoon meat and sauce mixture in the middle of the masa.
  13. 13
    Fold in sides of husk and fold up the bottom.
  14. 14
    Place a mound of extra husks or a foil ball in the center of a steamer basket placed in a Dutch oven or Steamer.
  15. 15
    Lean the tamales in the basket, open side up.
  16. 16
    Add water to the Steamer or Dutch Oven
  17. 17
    Bring water to boil and reduce heat.
  18. 18
    Cover and steam 40 minutes, adding water when necessary.
  19. 19
    To freeze these for future meals, leave them in the husks and place them in freezer bags. To reheat, thaw and wrap in a wet paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes for one or two or re-steam them just until hot.

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Need a tamale rolling tutorial? I did! Here are links to a couple of You Tube Videos that were very helpful!  (Very helpful)  (This one is cute ;))

Helpful hint: Put your hand in a plastic baggy to spread out the masa. This saved me a LOT of time!

Mexican Rice:
I used this recipe for Mexican Rice by Pot Scrubber from It was the highest reviewed recipe, and it turned out light and fluffy as promised, with a surprisingly light flavor. (The picture below is from the site.
Mexican Rice. Photo by French Tart 

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  1. 1 Process tomato and onion in processor or blender until pureed and thoroughly smooth. Transfer mixture to measuring cup and reserve exactly 2 cups. Discard excess.
        ( I used canned "crushed tomatoes)
  2. 3 Remove ribs and seeds from 2 jalapenos and discard. Mince flesh and set aside. Mince remaining jalapeno. Set aside.
    (Don't forget to wear gloves!)
  3. 4.  Place rice in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until water runs clear- about 1 1/2 minutes.Shake rice vigorously to remove excess water.This step removes the starch from the rice so it will not stick. IF YOU OMIT THIS STEP YOUR RICE WILL NOT BE DRY AND FLUFFY.

  4. 5.  Heat oil in heavy bottomed ovensafe 12 inch straight sided sautee pan or Dutch oven with tight fitting lid over low-medium heat about 2 minutes. (The recipe is very specific about this but I used a large pot with a tight fitting lid and it worked out fine.) Drop a few rice grains in and if they sizzle then it is ready. Add rice and fry stirring until rice is light golden and translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Be careful that the oil doesn't get too hot too fast or the oil will splatter.

  5. 6  Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and 2 minced jalapenos and cook , stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes.

  6. 7  Stir in broth, pureed mixture,tomato paste, corn, onion and salt. Increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil.

  7. 8  Cover pan and transfer pan to oven to bake until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, 30-35 minutes.Stir well after 15 minutes. 
    (For this step - I turned the heat to Medium/Low and left the pot covered the entire time for 35 minutes- no opening or stirring. This was based on user comments & it worked perfectly!)
  8. 9  Stir in cilantro, minced jalapeno to taste, and pass lime wedges separately.

  9. 10  Edited to add 6-15-05: If you can't get good fresh tomatoes you are better off using canned tomatoes. Don't use those awful hard and underipe tomatoes that are at most supermarket chains. Just be sure that the processed tomatoes and the one onion equals 2 cups. One the other hand- if you find that after processing your tomatoes and onions that you have less than 2 cups- simply add enough bottled salsa to make up the difference.

  10. 11  Edited 8-21-06: Do not skip any of the steps. It may seem stupid- but rinsing the rice to remove the starch is very important if you want fluffy rice. It will only take two minutes of your time but it makes the difference.

  11. 12  Edited 8-15-08: Leftovers are just as delicious the next day so this is a perfect dish to make ahead time for potlucks. This rice also freezes well. For Freezing Ahead: Cool, portion and freeze in a ziploc bag. To reheat from frozen: Place in a pyrex dish and warm in the microwave, stirring every 2-3 minutes until heated through.

  12. 13  You'll love this rice! Money back guarantee.

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