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tamales

Old 11-30-2019, 09:45 AM
  #11  
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I've been needing a new stock pot and bought one from Amazon that just got delivered yesterday! We went to Costco just before Thanksgiving but no pots on the day I was actually willing to buy one. The one I got is by Cuisinart and has the pasta basket and steamer trays and I'll be able to try it for tamales.

I picked up all the ingredients but usually my Mom cooks an additional turkey for us to take home for leftovers so I was expecting to have a ton of cooked turkey to work with. She wasn't feeling up to shopping so my brother got the turkeys and instead of her usual 20+ pound birds, got two 12ish pound birds and both were needed to feed guests to handle the extra people who didn't RSVP. But that's ok, hubby's work gave him a turkey which I cut down raw, deboned and froze the breast halves and I can use that for tamales attempt one.

Going to call them "todd-males" after the hubby, who complained about the masa/filling ratio even before he went keto. Think I'm going to make a squarer patty and it will look more like the little bundles of sticky rice we have here for dim sum than a tamale. But there are good cooking reasons for the shape and size of a traditional tamale so maybe that won't work.

If this works for me, it will be easy to substitute vegetable stock for the chicken/turkey broth and make a vegan filling (spicy mushroom mix most likely, but maybe something with fresh spinach in there too).

Will post an update after I make a few batches in the next few days.
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Old 12-01-2019, 04:01 AM
  #12  
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Thank you so much for sharing this streamlined version! Living in San Diego for 33 yrs. gave me a real love for southwest food, but the tamale process seemed so overwhelming. You make it seem easy!
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:16 AM
  #13  
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I hope I'm not being redundant when it comes to tamales...I've posted about them before. We make then every year for Christmas Eve. We try to make all kinds...the more variety the better. We like carnitas, chicken and green chile, creamy corn and red pepper, picadillo, black bean, cheese, the list goes on and on. The one thing that we put into all of our savory tamales is a pitted, black olive. We also serve up a variety of sauces s/a red chile, green chile, black mole, pork or chicken sauce and fresh salsas.

I try to get the basic fillings made ahead of time and then let everyone have fun putting the tamales together. We have several, big, steamer pots of water going, so the tamales all get done about the same time. We then have time to make all of the fixin's while they are cooking. Oh, my dau always makes an amazing pozole soup to go with everything.

We always have leftovers which we either eat the next day, or send home with our guests.

~ C
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:22 AM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
I've been needing a new stock pot and bought one from Amazon that just got delivered yesterday! We went to Costco just before Thanksgiving but no pots on the day I was actually willing to buy one. The one I got is by Cuisinart and has the pasta basket and steamer trays and I'll be able to try it for tamales.

I picked up all the ingredients but usually my Mom cooks an additional turkey for us to take home for leftovers so I was expecting to have a ton of cooked turkey to work with. She wasn't feeling up to shopping so my brother got the turkeys and instead of her usual 20+ pound birds, got two 12ish pound birds and both were needed to feed guests to handle the extra people who didn't RSVP. But that's ok, hubby's work gave him a turkey which I cut down raw, deboned and froze the breast halves and I can use that for tamales attempt one.

Going to call them "todd-males" after the hubby, who complained about the masa/filling ratio even before he went keto. Think I'm going to make a squarer patty and it will look more like the little bundles of sticky rice we have here for dim sum than a tamale. But there are good cooking reasons for the shape and size of a traditional tamale so maybe that won't work.

If this works for me, it will be easy to substitute vegetable stock for the chicken/turkey broth and make a vegan filling (spicy mushroom mix most likely, but maybe something with fresh spinach in there too).

Will post an update after I make a few batches in the next few days.

I love the spicy mushroom filling idea! We always do a roasted vegetable filling as one of our fillings. Roasted onions would be good too. I've substituted for veggy stock many times and it works great. You can also use vegan shortening, s/a Earth Balance Sticks, instead of the traditional lard. Just remember to adjust for the added salt.

~ C
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Old 12-21-2019, 06:00 AM
  #15  
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Todd-males worked well with this recipe and I will do again. It was very easy to do, I mixed the oil into the masa first, then added the liquids, mixed by hand and it was easy. I used turkey stock from the Thanksgiving carcass, plus turkey meat I cooked and jarred verde sauce.

The new stockpot I bought didn't work as well as I had hoped. It has a steamer basket but it isn't really deep enough, still I made one batch day one. I had mixed the masa in a tupperware container with a lid, so put that on and let it sit on the counter until day 2.

Day 2 the masa was pretty much the same as day 1, no better/no worse -- so worked great! I went to the dollar store and got some cheap aluminum pans which I waded up and put in the bottom of the stockpot, and then that raised the level of the pasta strainer part so it was high enough above the water that I could do a batch that way. Didn't have enough to put another batch in the steamer but I could have done two at once. I took foil and sealed the gap between the pasta pot and the raised stockpot, put on the lid, and went away happy.

Next attempt will be for the vegan son and DDiL, I'll make that spicy mushroom mixture for half, and then blend in a can of corn niblets into the masa and do more of a sweet version like cornbread into the other half. I'll do those in the husks.

Next time I try the Todd-males (so more filling in them than normal), I'll get banana leaves from the local market and make them that way. I envision a little packet more like the sticky rice we are used to here, basically masa patty too much filling, another patty and wrapped into a square maybe 3-4".
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:02 AM
  #16  
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​Whippoorwill Holler posted on YouTube Tamale Pie. A quick but still tasty version without all the work.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:56 AM
  #17  
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Tamales really aren't that hard...just a little messy.

Pork, Beef or chicken are super easy because you just have to put the meat in a dutch oven pot, lightly season and bake in the oven. Take out, remove meat from pot, add some red, or green enchilada sauce to the pot (if you want a really rich, but maybe a little unhealthy sauce,) just leave the fat in the pot when you add the sauce. Cook the tamale sauce over a medium flame to meld the flavors together, while scraping the brown bits off the bottom. Shred the meat and add to the sauce and you're done with the filling. After you use all of the meat up, use the leftover sauce to pour over the finished tamales when serving. That's it, super easy and all in one pot!

Oh...we always put a pitted, black olive in the center of each tamale when we make them.

For the husks, I clean out my kitchen sink and fill it full of warm water to soak the husks. It keeps the mess mostly in one place. The masa dough is made in a big kitchen-aid mixer bowl and reused without washing for subsequent batches of dough, again to cut down on excess mess. I use a sheet pan to lay out and assemble the tamales and keep a few, clean rags within reach.

You can use a lot of things as steamer baskets in your pot of boiling water. I'm short on space in my kitchen, so I love my fold-up vegetable steamer for small batches. For larger batches, I've used big pots with colanders, crumpled up tin foil and/or pasta baskets to keep the freshly made tamales above the water level. We just fold ours at one end, so they are stacked open end up when placed in the steamer. You can get a lot of tamales in a pot that way.

Lemme know if you need any more tips.

Good luck in your tamale making ventures!

~ C

Last edited by tropit; 12-21-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:45 PM
  #18  
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First batches of vegan tamales made and feedback received from hubby's plant based/special dietary friends (including Halal) at work. I got the cook much better, a large part of that was because I got a better fitting/height steamer basket. I've gotten better with a consistent amount of filling and the rolling in husks as well, this batch looked good. Haven't gotten them to the son and DDiL yet, but that will give me feedback on them being frozen.

I made the broth using Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base. I was worried it would give an icky color to the masa but it was fine, came out golden and not grey or green. Since it's the oil the hubby prefers and what was on hand, I used Avocado oil. I mix the oil into the masa first before adding the broth. Texture both in making it and cooking was good.

I filled half with a spicy mushroom mixture: chopped fresh mushrooms, chunky cut onion, red pepper flakes -- I wanted the vegies chunky texture but in a bit smoother sauce so I added some Mushroom Sauce (vegan alternative to Oyster Sauce) and a bit more heat so some chili paste. After the mixture had cooled I added in some fresh chopped cilantro. They went over very well, they had enough heat to hold up to the masa but not too much and would be welcomed at a company potluck. Again, the taste testers come from a variety of backgrounds.

The other half I did a different style and it wasn't as well received. I stirred in a drained can of Niblets into the masa and mixed them through instead of filling them. Basically it was just little cornbread nuggets. I liked them just fine but then I'm not allowed carbs and think they are all pretty delicious!
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Old 01-18-2020, 01:49 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Iceblossom View Post
First batches of vegan tamales made and feedback received from hubby's plant based/special dietary friends (including Halal) at work. I got the cook much better, a large part of that was because I got a better fitting/height steamer basket. I've gotten better with a consistent amount of filling and the rolling in husks as well, this batch looked good. Haven't gotten them to the son and DDiL yet, but that will give me feedback on them being frozen.

I made the broth using Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base. I was worried it would give an icky color to the masa but it was fine, came out golden and not grey or green. Since it's the oil the hubby prefers and what was on hand, I used Avocado oil. I mix the oil into the masa first before adding the broth. Texture both in making it and cooking was good.

I filled half with a spicy mushroom mixture: chopped fresh mushrooms, chunky cut onion, red pepper flakes -- I wanted the vegies chunky texture but in a bit smoother sauce so I added some Mushroom Sauce (vegan alternative to Oyster Sauce) and a bit more heat so some chili paste. After the mixture had cooled I added in some fresh chopped cilantro. They went over very well, they had enough heat to hold up to the masa but not too much and would be welcomed at a company potluck. Again, the taste testers come from a variety of backgrounds.

The other half I did a different style and it wasn't as well received. I stirred in a drained can of Niblets into the masa and mixed them through instead of filling them. Basically it was just little cornbread nuggets. I liked them just fine but then I'm not allowed carbs and think they are all pretty delicious!
They both sound delicious! First, I read the chili thread and now the tamale thread. Looks like I'm going to have to make chili and tamales this weekend.

~ C
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