Friday, 28 October 2011

New Food Friday - Tamales

So I definitely saved the new food I was most intimidated by until the end! I've wanted to make tamales for a long time and MoFo seemed like the perfect time to give it a try. Of course I decided to use a recipe from Viva Vegan and I settled on the Sweet Potato Black Bean Tamales. If you've never made tamales before it's quite a process, you need to soak your corn husks, make a filling, then the dough and then after wrapping them you steam them. There are a few pages on how to plan your tamale making before the recipes and I found that section really helpful. The whole process took me four hours from start to finish and whilst I was making the filling I made the Viva Vegan Tomatillo Salsa.

These certainly were delicious and I'd consider making them again if there was someone here to help but I think ~2 hours is my limit for cooking a meal!

My largest pan with its folding steamer insert can only hold 8 tamales at a time meaning that I have a second pan steaming away as I write!

I hate being negative about cooking experiences & I definitely don't want to dissuade anyone from trying to make tamales but I just don't have the patience for all of the fiddly wrapping, rolling and tying this entails! The tomatillo salsa is really awesome & it was way easier to make than I expected it to be, I'll definitely be making it again. I've never seen tomatillos in the UK so I grabbed a tin when I saw them in Vienna about a year ago. I've been planning to make this salsa ever since and I wish I'd made it sooner. I'm a huge spice wuss so I only used one chilli instead of two but the fact that I bought & used an actual chilli is kind of a big deal because I've actually never done that before! I found the salsa pretty spicy, definitely at the high end of my spice tolerance scale, but it's definitely delicious & I'll be piling it on next time I make a burrito.

Today I was also baking cupcakes & cookies for tomorrows exciting Halloween soirée. I'll be blogging about those & my haunted gingerbread house tomorrow, see you then!

19 comments:

  1. Those were the first tamales I ever made! And yeah, I won't make tamales by myself - I only ever make them when I'm with my bff, so I've only made them twice. But they're so good!

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  2. I made pierogi today and wondered if you'd be making them too!! Did they get dropped? (ps I've never dared to make tamales)

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  3. Good job on the tamales! I tend to get them pre-made (either by an acquaintance's grandmother/mom/aunt or at the farmers market), because I usually don't feel like putting in the time to make them myself. I look forward to seeing your haunted gingerbread house. :)

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  4. i can't believe you tackled tamales, Jojo! damn, you are amazing! i wanna say the longest i spent in the kitchen was 3 hours. i was making indian food. and not just one dish, like five. it was one helluva amazing meal, but i was worn out. 4 hours is just nuts and i can see how it wouldn't be my bag either. but help in the kitchen would cut down on the time, so if i ever grow a pair and make tamales i'm gonna make dan help me out. ha!

    i am looking forward to your haunted gingerbread house like you wouldn't believe. squeeeeeeeee!

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  5. That is some amazing work. I keep staring at the tamales. I've loved them when I had them, but I'm the only one who really enjoys cooking in my house. Maybe when you visit DC (hint, hint) we can make them together.

    I was reading someone's suggestion that you could make the filling for tamales and just serve it over polenta. I thought that sounded like a pretty great idea if you want the taste but are short on time!

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  6. The tamales look and sound great, but I have my cooking limits, too. When I cook all day it's usually to make many dishes for a special dinner. Still, I'm tempted to make these — maybe in the dark of winter when it's been raining for days, and making tamales seems like the only sensible thing to do. :)

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  7. These look amazing! I haven't taken the leap yet. I should have a tamale making party (after I pick up Viva Vegan!)

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  8. Those tamales look wonderful. Can't wait to see your haunted gingerbread house.

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  9. It's the lengthy process that has totally put me off making tamales, but I really really want to try them. Kudos to you for giveng 'em a go!
    <:-)

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  10. The meal i made for valentine's took me 6 hours of prep and cooking... NEVER AGAIN. These look awesome!
    I'm commenting to say that the only time I've seen tomatillos in the UK was fresh. I go to the farmers market every saturday here and one of the veg growers started growing tomatillos to see if they would gain interest, and they did. So either see if somebody does near you, or convince them to =D

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  11. Well done! They look awesome, sadly I don't think I'll ever have the patience/hunt down ingredients to try them.

    Can't believe how good you've done with MoFo, I'm sick of it and I haven't even posted anything special! You must be exhausted!

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  12. Pretty! Well done, I've only had tamales once, in Portland, but I'd definitely like to make them myself sometime, too bad you can't find the ingredients very easily in Sweden.

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  13. Those tamales came out great!I can't believe you did it all by yourself, that's a huge accomplishment. My aunt makes a ton so there are usually 8 of us she puts to work, but we all get to take home a few dozen so it's worth it. Yay for your first chile! I have only used a few and I still get nervous every time. I always use the lower recommended amount and take out the seeds. One day I'll leave 'em in hopefully.

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  14. I made these a while back and loved them! But I agree it is much more fun when you have a partner in crime. I still have more corn husks in my pantry. I might have to take your inspiration and got tamale-ing!

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  15. Your tamales look great, Jojo!

    If I have plenty of time, I actually find making tamales relaxing, like rolling gnocchi. But there is a variation where you just mix the filling into the dough and it's much quicker, try the Farmer's Market tamale recipe ;)

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  16. I've never made a tamale, I can't get corn husks here and I just don't think making them with baking paper is as nifty. They do seem time consuming, though. I think it would be fun as a group activity. I need some corn husks in Brisbane and then I can have a tamale making party!

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  17. I've been wanting to make tamales. You've inspired me!

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  18. Once a year, at christmas, michael's aunt (who is from mexico), her sisters, and their families get together and make 100s and 100s of tamales while drinking copious amounts of booze! My take from this is that tamales are awesome but best when
    1. Made with a group
    2. Made only for special occasions
    and 3. Assisted with alcohol!

    Great job! And I'm amazed you ate a chili :-)

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