Randel Cooks

Midwest Home Chef



Fresh Ground Tamales

  • 4 – 2 cups grits or fresh “Masecas (aka Masa harina)”
  • 6 – 3 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth or water
  • 2 – 1 cups additional broth or water as needed
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 – 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 – 1/3 cup coconut oil or lard
  • corn husk and string or aluminum 6 x 8 inch wrapper (don’t worry corn flavor provided by fresh ground corn grits or either wrapper is fine)
  • make 36 or 18 tamales

These light and airy tamales have a rich corn flavor.

Filling – Chicken or Beef

Chicken filling using 2 or 1 chicken breasts

Instant Pot chicken breasts with salt and pepper added for 15 high pressure with natural release.

Add chicken breast and reserve remaining breast for chicken tacos.  Add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce in equal quantities.  Add garlic onion paprika chili and cumin powder to taste.  Simmer until reduced.

Beef filling using 16 or 8 oz. of 90/10 hamburger

Brown 90/10 hamburger and add enchilada sauce and tomato sauce in equal quantities.  Add garlic onion paprika chili and cumin powder to taste.  Simmer until reduced.


Prepare masa as directed on package skip the next step or if using grits …

Ground grits with spice grinder till fine powder.  Prepare grits by adding fine fresh ground grits to boiling broth seasoned with salt and cumin.  Whisk till smooth

Using kitchen aid, whisk coconut oil till smooth with baking powder.  Add cooled but warm grits and whisk till smooth making a workable consistency.  Test with your hands test and add more broth if needed Whisk masa making a smooth paste or mashed potato consistency.

Spread 1/4 cup masa dough onto corn husks or 6×8 inch aluminum foil squares making a 4 x 4 inch square  and add 1-2 tablespoons of filling. Roll wrapper and fold bottom.  Note you will need to tie with string if using corn husk.  There is no right or wrong way here, just think Mexican sushi roll making sure dough covers the filling.  Great social step for family friends kids neighbors and loved ones.

Place all your rolls in an 6 qt instant pot then add 1 cup broth and cook 20 minutes on high pressure with natural release.


Big Earl’s “My Momma’s” Hot Tamales



Instant Pot

Thank to my sister, this Christmas I have an instant pot.  Another 8 quart instant pot his year.

“I hate that Instant Pot makes better rice” rice recipe

  1. Wash two cups of jasmine rice through a sieve to remove starches.
  2. Dump rice into pot, add two cups of water (or chicken broth).
  3. Add a pat of butter and a pinch of salt (and if you’re me, MSG powder).
  4. Set Instant Pot on manual high pressure for four minutes, with vent sealed.
  5. Let cook, allow for 10 minutes of natural release.
  6. Fluff rice with the scoop paddle that came with Instant Pot. Serve.

More from Randel Cooks

Fresh Ground Tamales

More Instant Pot Recipes


Easter Recipes


Recipe Index


Best Ever Homemade Flour Tortillas

Homemade Flour Tortillas, so easy, SO good!


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup warm water


  1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer. With the dough hook attached mix dry ingredients until well combined. Add oil (i used coconut oil) and water with mixer running at a medium speed. Mix for 1 minute, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the bowl. After about 1 minute, or when mixture comes together and begins to form a ball, decrease mixing speed to low. Continue to mix for 1 minute or until dough is smooth.
  2. Transfer from mixing bowl to a well-floured work surface. Divide dough in half, then in half again. Continue until you have 16 fairly equal portions. Form each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand as much as possible. If dough is sticky, use a bit more flour. Cover flattened balls of dough with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes before proceeding.
  3. After rest period, heat a large pan over medium-high heat 450-500. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle, about 6-7 inches in diameter, keep work surface and rolling pin lightly floured. Don’t stack uncooked tortillas on top of each other or they will get soggy.  (If you desire very thin tortillas. I used ziplot bag gallon sized cut along both sides to help roll the tortillas very thin)
  4. When pan is very hot 450-500 degrees, place one dough circle into pan and allow to cook about 1 minute or until bottom surface has a few pale brown spots. The uncooked surface will begin to show a few little bubbles. If tortilla is browning too fast, reduced heat a bit. If it’s taking longer than a minute to see a few pale golden brown spots on underside of tortillas, increase heat a bit. Flip to other side and cook for about 30 seconds. You want the tortilla to be soft but have a few small pale golden brown spots on surface. Remove from pan with tongs and stack in a covered container or zippered bag till all tortillas are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable.
  5. Wipe out the pan in between tortillas if flour is started to accumulate.
  6. Serve warm or allow to cool for later use. When ready to use, place a slightly damp paper towel in the bottom of a container (with a cover) that will hold the stacked tortillas. Microwave, uncovered for 15-25 seconds (start with 15) or until warm, then cover to hold heat while serving.
  7. The tortillas will keep well stored in an airtight container or zippered bag at at room temperature for 24 hours or can be frozen indefinitely. To freeze, separate tortillas with parchment paper or waxed paper and place in a zippered bag before placing in freezer.


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