Last week I met up with three girlfriends for a fabulous early Christmas treat: a tamale-making class at Barrio Cafe.
Chef-owner Silvana Salcido Esparza led a full house through a step-by-step tutorial on creating these scrumptious, bite-sized versions of the traditional Mexican holiday food, and she was a real hoot -- confident, funny, and full of energy. (Did you know that joint-rolling skills come in handy when making tamales? Good to know!)
This particular event was a special fundraiser for the Calle 16 Mural Project, but I can honestly envision her turning cooking classes into a heck of a side business, because everyone was having a blast -- chatting with each other, getting pointers from Esparza, experimenting with different tamale-wrapping techniques, and swigging delicious margaritas.
Apparently, getting tipsy and gossiping is the most authentic way to make tamales.
|Trust me, you'll go through a plate of corn husks in no time.|
It took some of us a little time to get the hang of it, but before long, we were all wrapping tamales like pros. Everyone contributed a few handmade creations to a communal pot of tamales that were steamed while we continued working. Our reward was eating them at the end of the class.
My goodness, were they heavenly -- not only because the fillings were delectable, but because a healthy dose of lard made that masa just melt on my tongue.
Hungry yet? I sure am.
Check back tomorrow for a recipe and tamale-making tips.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.