Thanksgiving for me often meant traveling with my family to North Carolina to spend the holiday with my mother's extended family. One of the memories from that was a game that I played with my brother and sister, trying to be the first one to spot the next South of the Border sign.
Anyone who has traveled I-95 through the Carolinas has seen these signs every 20 miles or so. They count down the miles to a kitschy tourist trap and have punny slogans like......
Which brings me to this non-recipe post. Until three years ago, I was a tamale virgin. I'd never had a real tamale. I know, criminal right?
Last week I finally made my first tamales from scratch and much to my surprise they turned out great.
I used Alton Brown's Hot Tamale recipe with an assist from Chilebrown at Mad Meat Genius with the following changes:
- I used Maseca corn flour since I didn't have enough cornmeal.
- I used bacon fat instead of lard.
- I used my leftover smoked Jamaican Jerk pork butt, chopped up with chipotle & adobo sauce for the meat filling.
- I used chicken stock for the "cooking liquid" since I didn't boil the pork.
- I steamed the tamales instead of the simmering method.
- I topped them with a quick cheating chili with beans
What is the last dish that you made where you surprised yourself and thought, "Wow...I can make this!"?