tamales Archives


It’s tamale time! Made from masa filled with a variety of shredded meats, cheeses, vegetables and chiles, tamales are wrapped in corn husks and then steamed. The savory packets originated in Mesoamerica (central Mexico through northern Costa Rica) and have been made and eaten for thousands of years. Tamales are more abundant around Christmas because they’re part of the celebration of Las Posadas, the commemoration of Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter.      You can make your own, but the Valley is home to many...


If you’re thinking about serving tamales at your holiday gathering, there are plenty of places around town you can rustle up a dozen or two, including Barrio Queen. But if you’d like to try making them yourself, Barrio Queen’s executive chef Julio Mata says they aren’t that hard to make. “It’s just a little time consuming,” he says.

Mata shares Barrio Queen’s recipe with a couple of suggestions: 1. Make the sauce first so you can mix it with the chicken after it’s cooked. 2. Make sure the masa is smooth, using an electric mixer or mix by hand. 3. It’s better to have a couple of people to help assemble the tamales because it goes faster. 4. You can use Crisco if you’re lard averse and will get the same results.


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