OK, I'm Texan. We've established that I'm about half a generation & some cultural brain-washing from asshat stupidity, yes? So, taking that into account, I get regionally possessive about a few specific things, and our version of tamales, well, that's about as important as chili or why TexMex is an important regional cuisine. (Robb Walsh compares it to Creole & Cajun cooking, and you should buy his book if you care about this at all.)
Here in Texas, November ushers in something even more amazing than Pumpkin Spice Mocchaccino w/Peppermint Chaser Latte - we get tamales, bitches. Not just any tamales. Not just Pedro's Tamales (fuck they're good too, though, don't believe the haters), we get homemade tamales. Made by me, by your co-worker's great-aunt, by that kind of shifty looking guy in front of the convenience store. $7 a dozen buys you per-fucking-fection. Which is, by definition, a confection made of pure sex.
So here, our tamales don't have olives or raisins. We wrap them in corn husks that we soak in hot water (and sometimes pick random "uh, was that some sort of bug?" out of that hot water) and can't imagine "real" tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Or that include fruit. I'd make a significant moue of distaste and disapproval if you tie cute little bows around each tamale. All of those things are legit, they are still tamales, and I'm sure they're the fucking tits. (Or dicks. Because I've definitely proven I think of tubular meat products in an unwholesome way with that perfuckingfection reference above. So, yeah, I'm going with dicks. /cis female heteronormative food-slut-shaming.) But we're talking legit Texan tamales here.
Can I share a secret? I'm so white. Driven snow & all and I can make the HELL out of some legit motherfucking tamales, thanks to the recipe I'm going to share with you. But more than a recipe, it's a (minimum) two-day drunk technique. And if I know y'all, I know this has your interest. Here it is, minimal tinkering required: http://www.sonofthesouth.net/tamales/Tamale…
So buy some beer, track down dried corn husks (I swear the occasional black bug is normal, that's why you're going to soak them, ok?), get some pork and chicken and all the other stuff recommended, and get to fucking drinking and getting people drunk and seasoning to taste. Because the best way to con people into making tamales with you is by seasoning them to taste. Pro-tip!
It's fun! It's communal! (It's no fun to make a zillion tamales by your drunk self.) OH, quick Pinterest tip that might actually work - use your mixer (KA or otherwise) to shred/break down the pork and chicken instead of shredding it by hand.
Then hit the 7-11, bitches, because you're about to make tubular-meat-bank. Or, eat six dozen tamales. Because tamales.
This program has been brought to you by November, the Carillo family who sold my husband 3 dozen tamales today (even though mine are as good if not better, sorry S!!) and the fact that UncleKim brought home two dozen tamales tonight. He ate a dozen at lunchtime.
T W E L V E.