Shortly after Armando and I first got married we started hosting what has now become our infamous Tamalada Party. The idea was simple, we wanted tamales, but didn’t want to do all the work ourselves, so why not gather friends for an afternoon of chisme and good food, and when it’s over everyone gets a dozen or so tamales to take home!
This being our first Christmas back in California we wanted to keep the tradition going so invited our partners in merry-making crime, Meg and the whole Beard + Bonnet crew and Aida and her Salt + Wind gang over for a tamalada party that, unlike year’s past, could actually happen in our backyard!
Here was the plan:
- I make the masa, soak the corn husks, and make a chicken and mole filling.
- Aida makes a sweet tamale, a cocktail, and a snack.
- Meg makes a vegetarian tamale, and her signature dunk and slather board.
- We assemble and steam all the tamales at my house.
- Everyone gets to take some home when we’re done!
To pull off your own tamalada party here’s what you’ll need:
- About 100 soaked corn husks. This will depend on how many tamales you want to make. Each of our recipes makes about 2 dozen tamales. The husks need to soak a few hours in hot water.
- About 12 cups of masa. This will make about 4 dozen tamales. You can make it using Maseca (special ground cornflour used for making tamales and tortillas) using this recipe, or buy pre-made masa made from fresh ground corn at a Mexican grocery store.
- At least one type of filling.
- A large surface for assembling. We pushed our picnic table and a folding table together and covered them both with a long piece of Mexican oil cloth.
- A tamale steamer or large lidded pot fitted with a strainer or rack (like a big pasta pot with a strainer liner). This is also a good tamale-making starter kit.
- Lots of drinks and snacks; tamale-making is hard work! Along with Aida’s delicious cocktail I made my Cranberry Agua Fresca for the kiddos to drink too.
Tamalada Party Menu
Follow the links for all the instructions on how to make and assemble each tamale.