In his slyly humorous commentary Ask a Mexican, journalist Gustavo Arrellano says that tamales, what he calls “the humble masa meal,” are the most valued weapon come Navidad. So whether you are making or buying tamales during the holidays, come to a special program at the Monrovia Public Library to learn more about tasty tamale treats.
The History of Tamales will be presented on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 from 4-5pm. Caterer Sandra “Mama” Romero will be sharing culinary history, offering cooking tips and providing free tamale samples to tempt your taste buds.
Combine Ms. Romero’s tips with tamale recipes in the Library’s cookbooks and you can create your own masa meals. Rancho Cooking Mexican and California Recipes presents foods first cooked in rancho kitchens. Author Jacqueline McMahan is a descendent of Spanish settlers and combines recipes with family memories. Look for recipes for tamale pie, holiday tamales and dessert tamales.
Cuisines of Hidden Mexico: A Culinary Journey to Guerrero and Michoacán highlights particular parts of Mexico and is a travelogue and cookbook. This book by Bruce Kraig is for the more adventuresome home chef and includes recipes for tamales, as well as for other regional foods, that contain unusual ingredients. Regional cookery highlights Thomas Schnetz’s Dona Tomas: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking, but it contains more accessible recipes, all taken from the Oakland restaurant of the same name. Look for a recipe for favorite sweet corn tamales.
PBS favorite cook Rick Bayless has traveled through Mexico studying its cuisine and writing cookbooks. Fiesta at Rick’s is a great stay-at-home and have a good time cookbook with vibrant recipes and suggestions how to serve them. His tamale recipes were inspired by those sold by Mexican street vendors.