Monday, October 28, 2013

Hot Tamales!.....Vegan Vegetable Tamales

Wow, I have been putting off making tamales, well, forever.  This was my first time ever making them and in all honesty, I can say it was not as daunting as I thought it would be.  I would almost compare it to making raviolis....Actually, I don't know why, because the process is 100% different.  Maybe just due to the various steps and it is somewhat zen-like and relaxing once you get in the zone.
 Anyway, once you find masa harina and dried corn husks, you are all set.  All you then need to do is decide what you want for your filling.  I bought instant masa harina in a bag (I'm pretty sure they are all the same).  It is made from hominy and is also used to make tortillas.   I have read elsewhere that you can also use polenta instead of masa...which may be interested to try one day.

 If you can't find corn husks, or want to try something a little bit off the beaten path, you can always wrap the tamales with banana leaves.  Typically you can find these in the frozen aisle of Asian markets or produce markets.
The key and probably most daunting part of making tamales is how to spread the masa mixture on the husk and then roll (don't worry, I will explain!)

Vegan Vegetable Tamales
Ingredients: (yields 10-12 tamales)
for the tamale dough:
1 package corn husks (you probably won't use them all)
2 cups masa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, vegetable oil or evoo
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tsp mesquite flavoring (optional)
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp nutritional yeast

for the filling:
1/2 tbsp evoo
1/2 green bell pepper cut in small strips
3 tbsp nopales (cooked cactus found in jar)
2 tbsp jalapenos
1/2 yellow onion chopped
1/2 can black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 can corn drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove miced
1 tbsp cilantro chopped

Fill large bowl with warm water and soak corn husks for about 20 minutes.  In order to fully submerge the husks, place a dish or bowl over the husks so the are completey covered in water.
In meantime, prepare your masa.  Add in all your dry ingredients first, mix, and then add coconut oil and water.  Add a touch more water if it doesn't have that play doe-like consistency. Set aside.

Now start to prepare the filling.  Heat evoo in saute pan and saute onion, garlic and green pepper for about 4 minutes.  Add in remaining ingredients, heat and set aside.

To form the tamalies, take corn husk and pat dry.  Spoon in about 1/4-1/2 c of masa dough and smooth out on 1/4 of the husk (see first picture).  The dough should not be too thick, maybe just 1/4 an inch, if that!  Probably more like 1/8th.  Spoon in filling down the center of the masa and roll.  You want to roll it like a burrito, pinching the two ends of the masa together and then rolling towards you, like sushi or a burrito.  Fold the bottom of the corn husk up and tie the tamale together.  Do this until all tamales are done.

Steam for about 30 minutes and serve with vegan sour cream and salsa.

No comments:

Post a Comment