Panamanian Tamales

  This is a recipe is from a Panamanian Cookbook called Cocina Panameña, available in bookstores and libraries in Panama, distributed by Distribuidora Lewis. Email distributor at : ******************************************************* My mother does not make tamales so frecuently, because it takes time, but it worth while; they are really delicious- Vicente Guzmán.     Ingredients: -2 lb. cracked corn  -2 lb. lean pork in small cubes -1 chicken in small pieces -2/3 cup oil -3 tbs annatto seeds -2 cups chopped onion -6 garlic cloves -1 cup of chopped green pepper -1 cup white wine -1 tbs. salt -4 chopped cilantro leaves

-2 cups hot water
-1 cup of raisins
-½ cup of stuffed olives
-1 cut red pimento
-Banana leaves
-Bijao leave
-Cooking thread



Leave the corn in water the previous night. Pass through a sieve, to grind it and reserve. Heat the oil in a pot and brown the pork and chicken. Remove. Put the annatto seeds in the oil and let it release all of the color. Pass through a sieve to another pot and through away the annatto seeds. Fry the onion, garlic and pepper. Add the wine, cilantro and hot water. When it boils add the meats and let it cook until tender. Take the sauce from the cooked meets in and pour some of it over the corn so that it takes in the flavor. Do not put too much sauce just enough to knead. Boil water and clean the banana leaves and bijao leaves until they are soft. Cut 8” pieces of the banana leaves and 12” pieces of the bijao leaves. Place the bijao leaves on top of the banana leaves. Then place one large cooking spoon of corn. On top of this place a piece of chicken, pork, one or two olives, one prune and some strips of red pimento. Finish with more batter and close it as a tamale, tie with string. Fill a big pot with water. Once it boils, add all the tamales and let them cook for an hour.
Note: if you like it hot put some hot pepper (ají chombo) to the mixture of the meat.