Tamales & Margaritas at Home

Because of of the 6-8 inches of snow overnight and snow flurries all morning, we decided to skip Maria’s yesterday. Mid-afternoon we each had two Red Chile - Chicken Tamales. These are generally the hottest of the tamales from Johnny’s Cash Store, so we had some crême frâiche with them. We also enjoyed a couple carafes of Cabo Wabo Kevins, finishing up the end of our last bottle of Cabo Wabo Reposado from Sammy Hagar’s ownership. Each carafe was a 1/3 cup of Cointreau, 1/3 cup of juice from two limes and one Meyer lemon, and 2/3 cup of Cabo Wabo Reposado poured over ice cubes. A very enjoyable wintry, snowy afternoon.

Then for dessert in the evening in our den, we had small scoops of the Ciao Bella gelatos - Tahitian Vanilla, Hazelnut, & Chocolate with Meyer’s Rum and warm caramel sauce. I also had a small snifter of 11-year old Rhum Barbancourt. Very enjoyable with the gelatos.

Very nice Dick! Keep it up!

You and Carollee should come over during the holidays when my family makes tamales, barbacoa and posole. Good stuff and lively crowd!

Which holidays?

Dick, you and Carollee have an open invite to come down, and we’ll start the festivities. Anytime!

Do they kick the men out of the kitchen and form an assembly line?

Bob, they USED to do that. Now, the men want to learn, so they help out. My brother and cousin made barbacoa last month for the first time. Turned out Great!

Dick, did I miss something? Did Sammy Hagar sell Cabo Wabo?

Veronica, post a tamale recipe please.

Yes, he sold it a couple years ago, and the tequilas aren’t as good.

He’s still acting as a figurehead for the brand though…


I think we heard it at Maria’s, so i can’t verify it. But the tequila did change shortly thereafter.


Channeling my inner Fleming, “tamales” is the plural while “tamal” is the singular. One tamal, two tamales, three tamales four . . .


Find some dried corn husks, some masa harina (Quaker Oats makes one) and some good lard. Soak the corn husks in water to make them pliable and whip the masa mix with a little water and a shitload of lard until it’s fluffy. Spread on corn husks, spoon your favorite filling (I recommend French’s - naturally - taco seasoning in the little envelope with ground beef - Taco Helper if you will rolleyes ) onto the masa and wrap into a little bundle. Steam until done.

Aw c’mon, Woodie. If you’re going to invoke my name, get it right for crying out loud.

In American English, as opposed to Mexican Spanish, tamale is the singular form of tamales - and has been so since 1854 according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, or since 1856 if you prefer the Online Etymology Dictionary.

It’s a Spanish word (it’s actual Nahuatl in origin), Reverend, and I’m as pedantic about it as you are about “barbecue”. It’s just like chile which, if you follow certain style manuals used by today’s “journalists” is supposedly a “chilie”, a" chili", a “chilli” or, worst . . . a “chili pepper” which carries the additional burden of being redundant.

We might as well start referring to spagetty and meatballs if we’re going to bastardize native terms.

'Das my estory and I’m asteeking to eet. Ju wonna do gons o ju wanna do cuchillos?

Watching baseball on television a few years back, I heard an announcer refer to the pitcher as a “left handed southpaw.” He then sought to correct himself: “That’s redundant. I said it twice.”

Jerry Coleman, right? [rofl.gif]

Sorry for the delay in response. Was at Family Winemakers on Sunday, Howell Mtn in LA on Monday and Burg tasting today. It’s a rough life.

OK, here is the recipe, from Mom herself!

Mom’s Tamales

Day 1

Buy your meat: 2 Boston Pork Butts, cut into smaller pieces, cook in water for 1.5-2 hours with 1 head of fresh garlic and salt to taste. Cook until meat is tender.

After the meat is cooked, chop it finely into small pieces

Buy 2 packages of dried corn husks. Wash out corn husks and place in a vat of warm water. Leave soaking overnight to soften.

Use a half a bag of Chile Pasilla (dry Chiles) and half a bag of Chile Guajillo. They will be whole and dried. Boil the chiles in water for 45 minutes until they are soft. Let chiles cool, remove stem, and run chiles over faucet to remove seeds.

Place chiles in a blender. Add 1.5 Cups of water (from the pot where you just boiled the chiles) into the blender. Blend chiles and place in a big pot which is on top of the stove, with medium heat on (Mom uses a big stainless steel pot) and add 1/2 a head of garlic (after using a mortar and pestle on). After Garlic, add 1 tsp of Ground Cumin, 1 tsp of Black pepper. Add in cooked meat and mix. Cover and remove from stove, and refrigerate for the next day.

Day 2

Buy Masa (10 lbs)from Mexican store (white masa) - if you make Tamales during the holidays, call ahead to reserve your masa.
Mom recommends using freshly made masa from a Mexican produce store as opposed to using the dry mix. She said the quality is better and is less work for you.

Make your tamales - Slather the husk with your masa, add meat and fold.

Cooking your tamales - Line bottom of Roaster Oven with leftover corn husks. Add a quart of water. Use a roaster oven with open side of tamales facing up. Cook for 1 hour (1.15min)

Makes 10 dozen tamales.

Ahem…[whistle.gif] I expect you to call me over when you’re done making them so I can taste test.


Mom’s no slacker, that’s for sure!

Where’s the lard? I don’t see no lard.

And Dick, I’m surprised about the change in Cabo Wabo. Hagar did a lot to build that brand and I’m reading that he still holds a 20% stake in the company.

All I know is that a few months after we were told Sammy had sold Cabo Wabo, there was a significant change. not for the better, in the three tequilas.

I suspect he was a lot more involved in the business initially, and drew back from that after he sold a chuck of the business.