CILANTRO PORK TAMALES
Cilantro Pork Tamales
I have found a new favorite ingredient - masa harina! Masa harina is a common flour made out of corn and is used to make quite a few Mexican specialities such as tortillas, tamales, arepas, etc. I've been playing around in the kitchen with masa harina for more gluten free dishes and it's been such a delicious adventure. Stay tuned for more recipes calling for masa harina in the near future! The most recent dish I made using masa harina includes these Cilantro Pork Tamales. Slow braised pork is cooked with a cilantro and tomato salsa before using as a flavorful tamale filling... I've made tamales a number of times and it never fails. Each time I make them, I fall in love with tamales all over again - even moreso now being gluten free. For these tamales, be prepared to give it some time. For one, I slow braised the pork shoulder in a crockpot for 4-6 hours. The cilantro flavor is slowly absorbed as the pork cooks in a puree of cilantro, tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, onion, lime juice and seasonings. While the pork cooks, you can prepare the masa dough. The dough itself requires some patience to get the right consistency. If you want that fluffy masa, plan to chill the dough for an hour before assembling. The dried corn husks in which the tamales are wrapped will also need to be soaked in warm water so they become pliable and easy to fill. Lastly, the most fun part of making tamales is assembling them. If you have some extra friends that want to help assembling, use them! A lot of great conversations can be had while assembling tamales. As you assemble them, have the pot of water boiling and then steam the tamales all at once. After they're done, cool them slightly before enjoying or cool them completely before packing them for the freezer. To serve, garnish them with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of cheese and a little touch of chopped fresh cilantro and tomatoes.