1 can Bush’s Pinto Beans (If you’re in the U.K., Australia or virtually any British former protectorate, you can still make this recipe: just double the amount to two cans, and look for gluten-free Heinz Beans.)
1 can Bush’s Hominy (No, they’re not paying me. They’re just cheap, and easy to get in the U.S. =0)
1 3/4 cup Maseca Masa
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used generic safflower/soy oil.)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt (You can add spices. Garlic salt is an easy add-on. Check that it’s gluten-free.)
Enough water to fill the cooking vessel of your rice cooker.
Rice Cooker (7 cups or larger) with a steamer bowl. (Preferably one you don’t mind voiding the warranty on–this isn’t dangerous, but it’s not quite what they had in mind.)
Deep mixing bowl
Wooden paddle for mixing
teaspoon for spreading masa
2 quart prep bowl (I used a small cake pan with steep sides–this is just for rinsing the beans and hominy.)
Roll of tinfoil
Open the cans of hominy and pinto beans. Pour them into your 2 quart prep bowl. Rinse the hominy and beans, at least five times. This is to get rid of the extra salt and beany indigestible carbohydrates. Drain well and set aside.
Heat the 1 1/2 cups water in the microwave on medium power for about a minute and thirty seconds. (If you have a “reheat” button, that also works well.) The water should be just barely steaming. With your wooden paddle, mix the flour, salt and water. Add the vegetable oil and beat the dough with your hand mixer on low until it’s well mixed, and easy to work with. (About 3 to 5 minutes. More air is better dough.)
Tear off an eight by twenty piece of tin foil. (If you’re a purist, you’re rolling your eyes–corn husks are better–not necessarily. Corn husks may be hard to find, and they stick. Tin foil is much more forgiving for beginner tamale makers; it doesn’t stick to the dough.) Make a four by eight rectangle of dough, thinly spread, in the center of the tinfoil. Put six or seven teaspoons of beans and hominy in the center of the rectangle. Roll one side of the dough over the filling, and peel the tinfoil away. Repeat with the other side of the dough, so that you have a seamless tube of dough, resting on your tinfoil. (Feel free to add a little more dough here and there if the filling is peeking through–this is a skill that can take years to learn to do.) Finally, fold the tinfoil over your roll of masa dough, and pinch one end closed.
Fill a rice cooker reservoir with water to the brim. Turn the cooker on. (This is so you don’t have to wait twenty minutes for the water to boil.)
Repeat your tamale-rolling eight to twelve times. It’s a good exercise in letting go of perfectionism.
Put the tamale-tinfoil tubes into the top of the rice cooker basket. Stack them in two layers. Once you’re done making the tamales, put a dish towel over the tamales and put the lid of the rice cooker on top of the dishtowel to make a seal.
By now, you should be able to hear the water boiling in your rice cooker. Let the tamales steam for forty to fifty minutes from the time the water boils.
Carefully remove the steamer and lid. Let cool for ten minutes. Garnish with hot sauce or sriracha, for a spicier taste.