Tamales à la Anita Kniberg

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Preparation info

  • 12

    • Difficulty


Appears in

New York Times Menu Cookbook

New York Times Menu Cookbook

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1966

  • About


  • pounds smoked slab bacon
  • 1 cup ground fresh onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, ground
  • ½ cup ground green pepper
  • pounds yellow cornmeal
  • 8 cups (four 1-pound cans) cream-style yellow corn
  • cups milk
  • cup tomato sauce
  • 5 teaspoons salt, or more
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cuminseed
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  1. Remove and discard rind from the bacon. Cut bacon into cubes (¾ inch). Place cubes in a skillet and fry until bacon is golden brown and most of the fat has been rendered. Transfer bacon cubes to a bowl large enough for mixing tamales.

  2. Discard all but one-third cup of the fat in the skillet. Cook onions and garlic in remaining fat for about five minutes. Add vegetables to the fried bacon. Stir in the green pepper, cornmeal, creamed corn, milk, tomato sauce, salt, black pepper and cuminseed.

  3. Cut heavy-duty foil into twenty-four squares ( inches). Spoon some of the cornmeal mixture along the center of each square. Leave room all around the mixture so that the square of foil may be securely sealed, envelope fashion, before boiling.

  4. Bring the edges of the foil together and fold them down, over and over, three times. Fold each end over and over, making certain that each little package is securely closed. The finished packet should allow room for the cornmeal to expand slightly as it cooks.

  5. Place the tamales in a large kettle and cover with boiling water containing the juice of one lemon to prevent discoloration of the foil. Boil for one hour.

  6. To serve, open the top and side seams of the foil envelopes and turn back the foil. The tamales are to be eaten with a fork from the foil.

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