Monday, August 8, 2016

Home-made Tamales: Vegan, Vegetarian, and Chicken

We have been wanting to make tamales for a long time.  Masa, or corn flour of any type is a bit hard to find in both Australia and Sweden.  This is the same for the corn husks (although we can now get fresh corn in its own husk in Sweden as well as Australia).  We finally gave in and bought the items online.
This is however, how we ended up with blue corn flower (making for purple tinged tamales).

We had 4 people over (6 total) 1 vegan, 1 vegetarian, 1 gluten free, 3 omnivores.

3 cups of masa harina (corn flour)
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sweet paprika
2 tsp. baking POWDER

Mix together in a large bowl (Zok used the low setting on his kitchen aid)

Add in 1 cup of vegetable stock (you could use chicken stock but see above)
Add in and mix thoroughly 
What you want is about cake mix consistency- you can keep adding in water or stock (you want to be able to spread this on the corn husks with a rubber spatula)

 Take your corns husks, rinse them quickly, then put into a large bowl of warm water, keep them immersed for about an hour to make them pliable.

For the Vegan option
Fresh roasted corn (roasted on the BBQ, and shaved off in the same style as the roasted corn pasta recipe)
Shave off kernels into a bowl by using a sharp knife
Some sort of bean, your choice, we used small black beans
For the vegetarian option:
Roasted green peppers (roasted on the BBQ, you could broil them in the oven)
until blackened, let cool
Peel, de-seed and chop
Add in shredded mozzarella (or cheese of your choice)
For the meat eaters:
Shredded, marinated, chicken in a red adobe chili sauce (see next recipe)

To fold your tamales, put the filling of your choice in the center of your masa, then, fold each long end in to meet one another, hold the extra together, as one, roll them around to seal your ingrediants.
You should still have the tapered end left, fold that over
Do not wrap too tightly as they expand (the masa expands as it cooks)

So, have a pan handy or some place to put each tamales as you are finished filling and folding them.
Now you are ready to steam them.
Steaming can be done in a pressure cooker, this is probably the easiest way.
We had to use a steamer insert in a regular pan.  Be careful to not let the pan boil dry.  Have the stove high enough to keep a steady steam.
Cooking time is between 60-90 minutes.
The tamale is ready when you can see the masa pulling away from the husk covering.



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