Well, back in the kitchen I had an old bag of corn masa that was just itching
to be used, and a batch of tamales was in order!

Tamale dough:

baking powder
butter/lard/coconut oil/palm oil
fresh corn (optional)

whip the oil, mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. the consistency you
are looking for is stuck together but not sticky and not dry. balance with more
masa or more broth.


1. Mole

chili powder
cocoa powder
chocolate, melted

veggies or meat of your choice
(I used onions, garlic, zucchini, plantains and black beans, and Jesse made
chicken on the side)


heat the first group of ingredients in oil until your kitchen smells amazing (and
the chili makes you cough). I added garlic and onions and just cooked it forever.
Then I added broth to reduce, and added the rest of my veggies toward the end
of the reducing.

Here's a great way to make your food faster and ALSO satisfy your vegetarian
vs. carnivore dilemma: Take the veggies out of the mole sauce to use in the
tamales. While wrapping and steaming, add your meat to the mole with extra
broth, and simmer until you are ready to eat. This should make your meat nice
and stringy and your sauce nice and thick. Serve on top of veggie tamales.

2. Sweet potato and pepper jack cheese (Jesse's creation, I may be missing some

Thinly sliced sweet potatoes, cooked at 400 for about 10-15 minutes
grated pepper jack cheese

mash everything together, to taste

3. Dessert! Ricotta and Fig

(for this batch, I made a different dough using cinnamon, maple syrup and coconut
milk instead of broth)

fresh figs, sliced
ricotta cheese
lemon juice
lemon zest
maple syrup or other sweetener

mix together to taste

To make the tamales:

get some corn husks (I used bamboo leaves, because that's what they sell
here in Chinatown, and while they smelled like bamboo, they were way easier
to use than corn husks.), soak them for a while, let them dry out slightly.

lay out a piece on your work surface. with bamboo leaves, use two leaves. On
each leaf spread out flat a small quantity of dough, about the dimensions of
the tamale you want.

dollop on a small amount of filling.

invert the leaf without the filling over the one with it, and seal the sides.

fold down ends and sides, tear some lengths of husk to act as string, and tie
the ends down into a nice package.

when you have a lot of these, set them up in a steamer basket and steam for a
while. Make sure your water doesn't all evaporate, because it will make your
tamales taste or smell like carbon (ask me how I know). if you are making
multiple batches, take the tamales out of the steamer and keep them in a warm
oven while you make the next round.

Serve with anything you like! We had plantain-guacamole, peach-avocado
tomatillo salsa and plain yogurt.

Also, Jesse blended up a batch of watermelon margaritas: watermelon, tequila,
lime juice and ice. As he eloquently recounted: "I'm not saying they were great,
I'm just saying they were amazing."

1 comment:

zorreena said...

I really enjoyed reading your ideas about Tamales. . .I was trying to find fillings to make and your suggestions are great.