How to Make Mexican Tamales with Mole, Part 1

Epicurious's Around the World in 80 Dishes takes you to Oaxaca, Mexico, with a demonstration of an authentic recipe for Turkey Tamales with Mole Negro, prepared by Chef Iliana de la Vega of The Culinary Institute of America.

Released on 5/28/2009

Credits

Starring: Iliana de la Vega and Tanya Steel

Transcript

00:06
(classical music)
00:11
Hi, I'm Tanya Steel from epicurious.com
00:14
and you're watching Around the World in 80 Dishes.
00:16
Today, we're doing the cuisines of Mexico,
00:18
and I'm here with my friend,
00:19
Chef Iliana de la Vega,
00:22
and she's gonna show me how to make Turkey Tamales
00:24
with Mole Negro,
00:26
Negro, Negro.
00:27
and this is a specialty of Oaxaca, is that correct?
00:29
Yeah, that's right.
00:30
And Oaxaca's cuisine is really famous for moles,
00:33
is that right? Hm-Mm.
00:34
And tamales, obviously, is just indigenous
00:36
throughout Mexico.
00:37
That's right.
00:38
Is it really complicated?
00:39
No, it is not.
00:40
It's not. You will see it is not.
00:41
Okay, great, all right. All right.
00:42
Okay, we'll start, you know, with lard,
00:44
so we have a little bit of lard.
00:46
Okay-- That's important.
00:47
Sorry, but that's important.
00:48
Just regular lard,
00:49
like the Crisco, Regular lard,
00:50
that you can use? That's shortening.
00:51
That's vegetable shortening.
00:53
We're using pork lard, in this case,
00:55
but you can also use the shortening,
00:57
if you like. Okay.
00:58
You know, many people think that they can do
01:01
a good tamale with,
01:04
for example, with butter or oil,
01:08
well, you can get close to a good tamale,
01:10
but this is really essential.
01:11
It's crucial, okay.
01:12
Yeah.
01:13
So we will just whip up the lard a little bit,
01:16
to make it fluffier, okay?
01:22
There we go, okay.
01:22
So meanwhile,
01:23
Yep.
01:24
we do that, let's work here.
01:26
We have masa.
01:26
Yeah.
01:27
This is rehydrate masa.
01:28
If you have a tortillaria near your home,
01:30
you can go and buy masa all ready to put,
01:32
and you skip this step, okay?
01:34
So we need to reconstitute the masa,
01:36
so add water,
01:38
can you help me?
01:39
Add a little bit of water. Yes, okay.
01:40
Adding water better and I will get my hands dirty.
01:43
We need to make like a play-doh.
01:45
Okay, a little bit more. Okay.
01:46
I will add a little bit of salt into this.
01:48
Once you're steaming it, most of the salt,
01:51
and even the lard, will go into the water.
01:53
Really?
01:54
Okay, so you don't really ...
01:56
You know, you really need to over-salt them a little bit,
01:58
so don't feel afraid
02:00
of salting here, Oh, okay.
02:00
otherwise, your tamales will be tasteless.
02:03
So add salt.
02:04
Add plenty. A little water?
02:05
Yes.
02:07
Thank you.
02:09
Little by little, you know, add the water.
02:12
You need to feel the masa.
02:14
And I'm also mixing in a little bit of baking powder
02:17
Okay.
02:18
to fluff them up.
02:20
A little bit more water,
02:20
you know. Wow, that's so interesting.
02:23
There we go.
02:24
Thank you.
02:24
Okay, so we're getting very close to that.
02:27
Probably a little bit more water
02:28
will be fine Okay.
02:29
but just a little, you know.
02:30
Is it always good to put it in the bottom?
02:32
Yep. Okay.
02:33
Thank you.
02:34
There you go.
02:39
All right.
02:40
We're getting here close to what we need,
02:42
so the lard is getting ...
02:45
It has to be shiny so I will speed up
02:47
just a little bit.
02:50
Okay, it's shiny now.
02:52
Can you tell?
02:53
Oh, yes.
02:54
It is shiny.
02:55
It looks exactly like a meringue.
02:56
And if you didn't have a stand mixer,
02:58
could you do it with a hand-held mixer?
02:59
Yes.
03:00
Okay.
03:01
It just is easier (laughs).
03:02
Yes, yeah, yeah.
03:03
Okay, now we'll start breaking the masa,
03:06
and incorporating into this, okay?
03:14
Little by little.
03:17
All right.
03:18
So we're getting through this.
03:20
Let me just turn it off now,,
03:23
and bring it out.
03:26
Now work with this, okay?
03:27
Oh, wow, okay.
03:28
So bring it from here.
03:31
So it's a wet dough,
03:32
right now? Exactly, uh-huh.
03:34
We will need to incorporate a little bit of a broth,
03:36
but I will do it here in front so it will be easier
03:40
to do it.
03:41
Chicken stock?
03:42
We cooked turkey for this one.
03:44
Oh, turkey.
03:45
It doesn't really matter. And it's also just easy
03:47
to buy chicken broth at the store.
03:48
Exactly.
03:49
Ready made. But we cook the turkey,
03:50
or we cook the chicken, and that's the broth we use,
03:54
so you don't need to buy extra.
03:56
So let me just scrape this.
03:59
Mixing it well.
04:00
All right?
04:02
So it looks kind of
04:03
a little bit smooth, Yeah.
04:04
and everything,
04:05
but let's have just, probably,
04:06
just a little bit.
04:07
For this dough, for this masa, these kind of tamales,
04:11
we need a not too thick masa,
04:16
more like spreadable, a little bit more liquid-y.
04:18
Okay.
04:19
Just a little and we're done.
04:25
There we go.
04:26
I think we're fine with this.
04:26
Okay.
04:28
Well, this looks really good.
04:31
Now, ready?
04:33
Okay, yeah.
04:34
Kind of smooth.
04:35
Yeah, very smooth.
04:36
Oh, very wet.
04:37
Very wet.
04:38
Okay.
04:39
That's what we want.
04:40
Okay, so this is ready.
04:41
Let's put it on the side,
04:43
and let's mix in here.
04:45
We have mole paste.
04:46
You can make your own mole.
04:47
Hm-Mm.
04:48
You know, and taking all the work of making it,
04:50
Hm-Mm.
04:51
or you can buy store-bought and just reconstitute it
04:54
with a little bit of broth,
04:55
Or-- the same broth
04:56
that you use for, you know,
04:58
cooking your meat.
04:59
Okay, so we have the turkey that we cooked.
05:01
And how did we cook the turkey?
05:02
Okay, in boiling water with onion, garlic,
05:05
and salt.
05:08
Add the turkey piece whatever,
05:09
you know, you have a breast,
05:10
or whatever, Yeah.
05:11
you just put it there.
05:12
Once it's boiling, the water,
05:13
you turn it down to very minimum
05:15
so you keep simmering until it's done.
05:17
Okay, until it's kind of really soft?
05:19
Really soft and you can pull it apart.
05:21
We don't want to shred it for this dish, okay?
05:25
It's that, you see, it's kind of chunky.
05:26
Hm-Mm.
05:27
All right?
05:28
So that's what we want.
05:29
All right.
05:29
So we are mixing this,
05:32
the turkey chunks, pieces, into the mole.
05:36
It will be well-coated.