Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tamale Time 2006 Edicion Numero Cuatro - Ya Basta!

Well, theFrog just called and her care package of tamales just arrived. 4 days too late. Oh well, we tried. The TPO was saddened by having to throw it out in the trash, such a waste. Good thing it was sealed, so as not to stink up everything. I hope they never opened the box.

So, as we finish up our story, here are the other photos. One with the newly folded tamales placed into the big foil roasting pan, ready to get steamed. The next shows them in the pot, with the steam rising up. Ooh, they're almost ready! The last photo is Cousin Johnny holding an empty plate. Lucky guy, he got to eat the first one.

No matter, 1 dozen or 12 dozen, they take about an hour to steam. Save your money, don't pay for a large steamer. I inverted an old Marie Callender's pie tin at the bottom of a stock pot. Then made a large base of scrunched foil and placed that on top the pie tin. You don't want your tamal to bathe in the water, just take a sauna! I made sure there was enough water at the bottom, about a quart at least till it touches the foil. Then we placed the tamales, folded side down, in a circular manner inside the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame to a very low simmer and cover tightly. Check to make sure there is enough water at the bottom, but try to keep the lid on it, or you'll lose the steam. You will know it needs water, because it will start to burn the pot, that smell is nasty and it gets onto the tamales. Yucko! The tamal is ready when it separates from the hoja. Tah-dah!

In all we had about 9-10 dozen to split between us. Not bad, because the cost of our little Tamale Time was less than what we would have paid for only two dozen tamales at the tienda. The left over masa was used for some roasted green pasilla pepper and red bell pepper tamales with two cheeses. These were small but very flavorful, from roasting the peppers.

It is sad that theFrog couldn't taste this batch, but when Michael goes for a visit soon, he promised to bring some along. Store bought? Maybe, we shall see. Adios!


mooncrazy said...

Success! Don't you love it when a plan comes together. And you have a camera, yeah. They look yummy. I have a friend that only uses broth to steam, what's your idea on this? I use water and have not had any complaints. I think the broth might be overkill.

La Vida Dulce said...

Thanks so much! The broth goes into the masa, to lighten it up. I've never used broth to steam tamales, but who knows, it may work.

Anonymous said...


I am chasing you down from David Lebovitz's blog, particularly his recent entry re: persimmon g√Ęteau.

I wanted to check out your persimmon bundt recipe. Nice. I copied the heck out of it.

Great tamale fotos. I made sweetened chestnut stuffed tamales this year for the first time - chopped chestnuts folded into the masa and a sweetend mashed filling. Also made shredded duck with a roadshow version of mole. They were great together. And now that I have THAT out of my system, I'm going to revert to my more typical pork shoulder filled tamales.

Glad to have found you. It doesn't take many bad experiences with immature Hachiya persimmons to make you realize you have to wait them out, does it? I use the Fuyu variety in apple pies - 50/50. No other adjustments required. Delish.


La Vida Dulce said...

Thanks so much for your kind words, Robert. Shredded duck & mole tamales? OMIGOD! That truly sounds so amazing. And those sweet tamales with chestnuts, ooh, that has to be the best dessert tamal version I've seen this season. I do love my persimmons, and it is sad that they're such an under-rated fruit. 50/50 in an apple pie, I gotta try that one. Thanks!