Laci M. Gerhart Barley

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Neucastle Tamalegeddon 2016

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Making masa

To celebrate the end of the semester, and Emilie’s successful Master’s defense, the Wright and Thomson Labs (collectively called the Neucastle Lab) got together for the first annual 2016 Tamalegeddon*! I’m assuming this is going to become an annual event because it was delicious and tons of fun.

There are a lot of steps to the tamale-making progress:

1) Find all the ingredients. This is harder than you think in Hawai’i. After some searching, we did find masa at one of the grocery chains, and corn husks at Mercado de la Raza.

2) Make the filling. Bob braised some pork shoulder for carnitas on his own, so this was a super easy step for the rest of us.

3) Make the tamale dough. I thought this was going to be harder than it was. Bob and I made two batches – one with lard and carnitas broth, and the other with shortening and veggie broth. We have a variety of dietary restrictions in the Neucastle Lab, so we covered all the bases.

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Bob provides a tutorial on tamale assemblage

4) Assemble tamales! It helps if you have a small army of minions for this part, which we did. Our tamales were comprised of carnitas, soyrizo, queso fresco, and roasted serrano and jalapeño peppers.

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5) Cook the tamales. With separate steaming pans for the veggie and meat tamales, we managed to get our whole batch cooking at once! While waiting, enjoy a mango margarita or three.

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6) Eat the tamales! Obviously the best part. I always enjoy a big group of friends gathered around a table eating and drinking and being merry 🙂

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* Note: Bob gets full credit for the cool name.

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