I spent almost the entire day yesterday—well, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m—working in the kitchen, preparing for today’s long-awaited tamale fest. A couple of friends who have been after me to have a tamale party for more than twenty years (long before I moved to Hot Springs Village; she worked for me long ago) succeeded. They invited three of their friends and we invited three people to join us at our house this evening for a tamale fest.
Today was my day to prepare. I cooked two pounds of boneless pork shoulder in an onion and spice “bath” for several hours, then shredded the pork. While the pork was cooking, I soaked some dried ancho chiles, and blended the rehydrated chiles with diced tomato, spices, and various other odds and ends. The ancho paste, mixed with the shredded pork, constitutes my contribution to the tamale fillings. My friend prepared the beef version of the filling, which she’ll bring over today, along with the masa to spread on the corn husks, which I soaked in water overnight.
I also made a salsa verde, consisting of roasted tomatillos and poblano peppers, along with jalapeños and various spices and a fistful of cilantro. To top it off, I made a large pot of chile con queso.
The plan is for the eight of us to sit around the dining room table, where we will spread masa onto the corn husks, put a dollop of the meat filling on top, then fold the husks. When they’re all ready, we’ll put them in steamers and cook them for 45 minutes or so, then we’ll eat. During the tamale-making, we’ll drink margaritas that my friend will make; she’s bringing tequila and triple sec and limeade, as I understand it.
We’ve not met two of the people who are coming tonight (our friends’ friends), so it will be an opportunity to meet some new people.