Make These Super-Easy Tamales, But Don't Forget the Fire-as-Hell Hot Sauce

Who the hell needs the next deep-fried, fast-food, faux-Mexican abomination when you've got fresh, amazing tamales, just like your madre made them?

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May 29 2016, 2:00pm

In America, sometimes we often play fast and loose with the concept of "Mexican food." There are the dope, relatively authentic tacos served on the streets of Los Angeles, but then something comes along called a "chicken-fried chalupa," made of iceberg lettuce and shredded American cheese wrapped in a flattened piece of fried chicken formed into a vague approximation of a taco shell. There are strong opinions flying around about the virtues and vices of burritos, and we should probably apologize for this deep-fried pickle enchilada from back in 2012.

So it's no surprise that Americans sometimes aren't sure if what they're biting into is a taste of Mexico at all. It might just be some ill-fated combination of meat, cheese, and tortillas that's meant to capitalize off our desire to live más.

Here are a few things we can tell you about these tamales: They come from LA street food master Wesley Avila of Guerrilla Tacos; they're casero-style, which means that they're gonna taste like Mexican home cooking; and they're super fucking delicious.

RECIPE: Squash and Cheese Tamales

Homemade tamales are a much less daunting task then one would think. (Hint: Wes's secret weapon is the microwave.) In fact, you'll only need four ingredients (just four!) for the tamales themselves. It's the insanely good accompanying hot sauce that requires a little more grunt-work, but is so worth it. With tomatoes, tomatillos, and three different kinds of chiles cooked in lard and seasoned with garlic, allspice, and clove, how can you really go wrong?

Who the hell needs the next deep-fried, fast-food, faux-Mexican abomination when you've got fresh, amazing tamales, just like your madre made them?