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Here in Mexico, a little ball of masa is quite often used as a thickening agent. For example, when hot milk is used to make traditional atole, a ball of masa is blended with some of the milk before adding it to the rest of the liquid.

 

Helena, that mac-n-cheese looks marvelous.

 

 

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I got 2 pounds of masa last Saturday. I've heard over and over that masa goes bad in a day or two but other than drying out a little, this masa seems fine. I know it was made fresh and has zero additi

i used this bechamel in tex-mex kind of mac and cheese. Poblano, crushed tortillas and manchego - the masa smell was truly intoxicating and the dish was wonderful (the original recipe came from Robert Del Grande)

 

3770961898_6874e986a1.jpg

that looks delicious! And what a great idea for those celiacs and gluten intolerant folks.

I think masa-as-thickener would be a much better solution that say corn starch or rice flour.

Or at least another solution to the alternatives. And like you say, the smell of masa is intoxicating.

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I recently added masa to a stock added a bunch of garlic, cilantro and cooked a browned chicken in the stock. Threw cilantro in at the end also.. Finished with lime. It was a really nice dish.. The masa was a wonderful additional.

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I recently added masa to a stock added a bunch of garlic, cilantro and cooked a browned chicken in the stock. Threw cilantro in at the end also.. Finished with lime. It was a really nice dish.. The masa was a wonderful additional.

 

this will be a dinner tonight.

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  • 6 months later...

Well, the home project for this Valentine's Day weekend is tamales. It seemed so simple. I'd just go into one of the local Mexican markets (in the Mission) and buy fresh masa quebrado for tamales...but after reading this thread (and googling) I'm worried I'll just get Maseca mixed with water. I can do that at home. How can I tell if I am getting real fresh masa as opposed to reconstituted Maseca? Or should I just go with Maseca? And I don't want to accidently buy the stuff that is already mixed with lard or whatever.

 

Life was so much easier before google. :blink:

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Well, the home project for this Valentine's Day weekend is tamales. It seemed so simple. I'd just go into one of the local Mexican markets (in the Mission) and buy fresh masa quebrado for tamales...but after reading this thread (and googling) I'm worried I'll just get Maseca mixed with water. I can do that at home. How can I tell if I am getting real fresh masa as opposed to reconstituted Maseca? Or should I just go with Maseca? And I don't want to accidently buy the stuff that is already mixed with lard or whatever.

 

Life was so much easier before google. :blink:

Merlin, what is masa quebrada? That's not a term I know. What you want is masa para tamales, and the best place to get it is at a tortillería, if there is one in the Mission.

 

You'll need to beat (and beat, and beat, and beat) the lard into the masa yourself, it won't come prepared. And the lard you want you can no doubt get from a butcher in the Mission; just don't try to use the horrid white hydrogenated supermarket lard. It won't work.

 

What are you using for a filling? And do you already have your dried corn husks? Good luck, and please take pictures of the process and post back!

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Well, the home project for this Valentine's Day weekend is tamales. It seemed so simple. I'd just go into one of the local Mexican markets (in the Mission) and buy fresh masa quebrado for tamales...but after reading this thread (and googling) I'm worried I'll just get Maseca mixed with water. I can do that at home. How can I tell if I am getting real fresh masa as opposed to reconstituted Maseca? Or should I just go with Maseca? And I don't want to accidently buy the stuff that is already mixed with lard or whatever.

 

Life was so much easier before google. :blink:

Merlin, what is masa quebrada? That's not a term I know. What you want is masa para tamales, and the best place to get it is at a tortillería, if there is one in the Mission.

 

You'll need to beat (and beat, and beat, and beat) the lard into the masa yourself, it won't come prepared. And the lard you want you can no doubt get from a butcher in the Mission; just don't try to use the horrid white hydrogenated supermarket lard. It won't work.

 

What are you using for a filling? And do you already have your dried corn husks? Good luck, and please take pictures of the process and post back!

 

Thanks, Christina! I think I got lucky today. I went to my usual Mexican market in the Mission, Casa Guadalupe, and they directed me to La Palma a few blocks away (at 24th and Florida). La Palma is a taqueria/tortilleria. They had fresh masa on the menu for purchase ($.87 per pound)! Fina (for tortillas) and Quebrada (a slightly rougher grind for tamales). It came prepared or unprepared (nothing but corn and cal) and it was still warm. I hope it's the real thing and not just rehydrated Maseca. I also bought the corn husks and dried chiles for the sauce. Right now I am simmering a huge pork shoulder with the plan to make red chile pork tamales as well as green chile pork tamales (I have a freeezer full of roasted hatch chiles I brought home from New Mexico last summer and froze). You will think I am horribly inauthentic but I plan to use butter instead of lard. :blush: I'm planning to use my KA mixer to mix it up. Most of the work will be done tomorrow and I will take pics! I am excited!

 

 

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Well, the home project for this Valentine's Day weekend is tamales. It seemed so simple. I'd just go into one of the local Mexican markets (in the Mission) and buy fresh masa quebrado for tamales...but after reading this thread (and googling) I'm worried I'll just get Maseca mixed with water. I can do that at home. How can I tell if I am getting real fresh masa as opposed to reconstituted Maseca? Or should I just go with Maseca? And I don't want to accidently buy the stuff that is already mixed with lard or whatever.

 

Life was so much easier before google. :blink:

Merlin, what is masa quebrada? That's not a term I know. What you want is masa para tamales, and the best place to get it is at a tortillería, if there is one in the Mission.

 

You'll need to beat (and beat, and beat, and beat) the lard into the masa yourself, it won't come prepared. And the lard you want you can no doubt get from a butcher in the Mission; just don't try to use the horrid white hydrogenated supermarket lard. It won't work.

 

What are you using for a filling? And do you already have your dried corn husks? Good luck, and please take pictures of the process and post back!

 

Thanks, Christina! I think I got lucky today. I went to my usual Mexican market in the Mission, Casa Guadalupe, and they directed me to La Palma a few blocks away (at 24th and Florida). La Palma is a taqueria/tortilleria. They had fresh masa on the menu for purchase ($.87 per pound)! Fina (for tortillas) and Quebrada (a slightly rougher grind for tamales). It came prepared or unprepared (nothing but corn and cal) and it was still warm. I hope it's the real thing and not just rehydrated Maseca. I also bought the corn husks and dried chiles for the sauce. Right now I am simmering a huge pork shoulder with the plan to make red chile pork tamales as well as green chile pork tamales (I have a freeezer full of roasted hatch chiles I brought home from New Mexico last summer and froze). You will think I am horribly inauthentic but I plan to use butter instead of lard. :blush: I'm planning to use my KA mixer to mix it up. Most of the work will be done tomorrow and I will take pics! I am excited!

Good for you, you DID get lucky! And I learned something new: masa quebrada, not a term that I've heard used here in Mexico, but one that's used where you are.

 

Using butter instead of lard isn't about a lack of authenticity, it's just about achieving a very different flavor. IMHO, you'd be way happier with lard, but cada quien a su gusto...to each his own.

 

Read here for more information about making tamales:

http://mexicocooks.typepad.com/mexico_cook...tmas-tamal.html

 

I can't wait to see the photos and hear the results!

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According to my receipt, the masa is "quebrado". Sorry for my typo.

 

I suspect I prefer tamales made with lard as well, however, I've been searching for real lard in the Bay Area for years and haven't found it...nothing but Manteca...shudder. So it's an experiment. Cross your fingers! Update tomorrow if I survive this!

 

Your website is so enjoyable. Thanks for sharing the link to the cabeza tamales. Yum.

 

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They have fabulous freshly rendered lard at Las Palmas, where you bought the masa!

 

Well, now I feel stupid! I didn't even look there. We already decided making tamales was so enjoyable we'll do it again in a few weeks. We'll use that lard next time.

 

We made one major mistake...we added too much liquid to the masa. It was sticky and soft sort of like icing. But the tamales were the best I ever tasted. Light and delicate almost ethereal in terms of the masa. The fillings were delicious. And we served the tamales with RG Vaquero Beans. I forgot to soak them but they were so fresh they cooked thru in an hour. Deliciosa y muy bonita.

 

Has anyone tried this masa spreader?

 

Another question I have is about folding tamales when you apply the masa over the entire bottom of the hoja as they do in that spreader demo. When you fold it doesn't it leave some of the masa outside the tamale? How will that work when it's unfolded? Yesterday we spread the masa over 2/3 of the hoja botom so when we folded it all the masa was contained inside. If that makes sense?

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