Colorado Restaurant Bites: Dorothy's Homemade Tamales

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Believe it or not, this authentic Mexican hot spot resides in a bowling alley in Fairplay. But trust us, you’d savor these tamales no matter where they were served.

Dorothy Russell’s famous homemade tamales have been featured on the Food Network’s popular program, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” And rightfully so — Russell has perfected these savory specialties over the last 55 years. She moved from her long-time Hartsel location and set up shop at South Park Bowl Bar N Grill in the one-stop-light town two hours southwest of Denver in April 2011.

The worth-the-drive tamales are patiently made using a two-day process that yields delicious chicken, pork, buffalo, cheese or veggie varieties. For her chicken tamale, Russell bakes and shreds the chicken, and then brings in her grandmother’s secret recipe, which is more than 100 years old, for the key ingredient: her homemade red chili. Russell makes the masa, or corn shell, from white corn, garlic, salt and water and mixes until smooth. She cleans and softens the cornhusks and spreads a layer of sweet masa on the husk, adds the chicken and sauce, folds and steams.

For the ultimate kick, smother these treats with Russell’s homemade red or green chili. Tamales are available daily from 7am to 9pm.

Photo: Copyright stephan.maloman/flickr.

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