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Making tamales without corn husks/wrappers?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking about making miniature tamales that I can freeze and use as part of microwave lunches. The problem I'm facing is corn husks are hard to find where I am and they'd facilitate making proper full size tamales when I want smaller ones.



Do you know of a way to make, perhaps 'tamale balls' that can be steamed without a wrapping? Or perhaps a different idea?
post #2 of 24
I've seen tamales steamed in parchment paper and I hear you can do it with aluminum foil.
post #3 of 24
A lot of people here just use aluminum foil. Parchment paper would work better if you could find it.



Really, unless the corn husks have been neatly sorted by the company selling them, you end up wasting half your package trying to find husks that are not torn apart too small.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm liking the foil idea a lot. Thanks!
post #5 of 24
Yep, I wrap them in foil.
post #6 of 24
mr falafel- i have googled and learned a little about this mysterious tamale thing, and now that i think i sort of get what they are, i am really tempted to try and make one (or more likely, multiple tamales).



do you have a recipe recommendation? ... preferably one that explains the process and ingredients at an introductory level?
post #7 of 24
I have a neighbor who is originally from Guatamala...she makes the best tamales ever! Sometimes she uses foil and they always come out great.
Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid...~Albert Einstein~
"Nothing tastes as good as kindness feels" - ~ElaineV~
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Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid...~Albert Einstein~
"Nothing tastes as good as kindness feels" - ~ElaineV~
Reply
post #8 of 24
OH MY, has anyone got a recipe?...I used to LOVE tamales, I have not had one in years, I have never seen any without meat..

Thanx in advance...
post #9 of 24
I have made them with foil and with corn-husks both. There are tons of recipes all over the internet, just use vegetable oil instead of lard obviously (coconut oil works wonderfully, just use less than the amount of lard called for).



I'm no pro (but I did learn from Froggy ) but I prefer the ones in corn husks a lot. They are much less greasy. I think the husks absorb the grease and excess liquids. (yeah, kinda gross...sorry).



On that note, I've heard you can use cheesecloth squares too, but I've never tried it...
post #10 of 24
What do you all use for the filling? Christ, I could go for 4-8 steamy and moist tamales.
post #11 of 24
Filling? Who needs filling?



I usually use roasted chiles but you can use anything you want. Portabellas, seasoned tofu, the list never ends.
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoodedclawjen View Post

mr falafel- i have googled and learned a little about this mysterious tamale thing, and now that i think i sort of get what they are, i am really tempted to try and make one (or more likely, multiple tamales).



do you have a recipe recommendation? ... preferably one that explains the process and ingredients at an introductory level?



I have Kippy Nigh's book on Mexican Vegetarian cooking which explains it all with graphics and filling suggestions. You can get it on amazon.



There are few websites that go into great detail on the process. http://www.fabulousfoods.com/feature...s/tamales.html once you figure out the masa harina and cooking part its just a question of what kind of filling you use. I put vegetarian taco filling in or even just make veg chili and use that as a filling. It really is up to you. But Kippy's book as some great ideas.
post #13 of 24
thankyou!
post #14 of 24
I usually use one of the following - mashed blackbeans and green chiles; chopped, cooked portabello mushrooms; or chopped Morningstar Farms "chicken" meal-starter strips with red chile.



Tamales are very 'forgiving' and you can play around with them a LOT!



Froggy and I did sweet tamales with pineapple, and THAT was so YUMMY! Later I tried the pineapple ones again with a little jalapeno and cilantro and it was just incredible!! A bunch of omnis gobbled down my hard work in about 5 minutes!
post #15 of 24
I just wanted to put in here for anyone who's never had a tamale but would like to try cooking them:



They start out as this really runny corn mush that you have to keep from running out of the wrapper of choice as you put them in the steamer.

The filling actually firms up as you steam them. You know they're done when they're firm all the way through and can hold together on their own. If I had to describe what a tamale is, I would call it a dense,firm corn cake.
post #16 of 24
If you have a market that sells corn with the husks still on, those will work. Those are what I use. Slice the corn off and it can be added to the masa or used in the filling. Then use the husk for the wrap.

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post #17 of 24
Really runny corn mush? No.Just mix it thicker. It should be like a paste that will hold its shape. Makes it mucho easier to roll up and the tamalae doesn't leak so much during cooking.
post #18 of 24
Yeah, anytime I have ever made it is has been pretty pasty, but in between liquidy and pasty...



When you steam them, steam for about an hour. That is the general guideline.



I am working on a strawberry tamale recipe. Also looking for a good chicken/pork sub for the traditional ones with red chile filling, but I haven't found a good one yet. Not big on seitan as a tamale filling. It doesn't shred like I want it to. I might try the the MS Farms meal starters.. perhaps. *shrug*



Refried beans are also good in it. It's really only limited by your imagination! A personal fave is the famous green corn tamale, with green chiles and shredded soy cheddar or monterey jack..



TNS- the pineapple with jalapeno and cilantro sounds AMAZING! I must try it!



Also, Tex-Mex tamales are very different. They're traditionally filled with a spiced ground beef mixture, and yellow corn, as opposed to white. I STILL haven't made those because they're MUCH smaller and more labor intensive than the Southwest version. Maybe someday.. I plan to make tamales in a couple months anyway.
post #19 of 24
OH!



And I have found that a rice paddle makes the spreading MUCH EASIER than any spoon would!



I was experimenting :P
post #20 of 24
I agree more with froggy...if it's not mushy enough it ends up being too hard...at least that was the experience that I had. The softer the better worked for me. Of course, there is such a thing as too thin...I guess one would need to try it a few times until they get it just right!
Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid...~Albert Einstein~
"Nothing tastes as good as kindness feels" - ~ElaineV~
Reply
Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid...~Albert Einstein~
"Nothing tastes as good as kindness feels" - ~ElaineV~
Reply
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFalafel View Post

I have Kippy Nigh's book on Mexican Vegetarian cooking which explains it all with graphics and filling suggestions. You can get it on amazon.



There are few websites that go into great detail on the process. http://www.fabulousfoods.com/feature...s/tamales.html once you figure out the masa harina and cooking part its just a question of what kind of filling you use. I put vegetarian taco filling in or even just make veg chili and use that as a filling. It really is up to you. But Kippy's book as some great ideas.



Thank you kind Sir, I'm going to try to make them for sure....
post #22 of 24
Well, I made 6, and I must say they were pretty good..I think I may have made them a bit bigger than they should have been ,but then I only need to eat 1 at a time... Thanx gobs..
post #23 of 24

this is the recipe that i found for the dough (masa) mix.     the instructions are simple and it taste good.   as for the filling, that is completely up to you... good luck....

 

Recipe for tamale mix:

http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/deliciousmaindishes/r/tamaledough.htm

post #24 of 24
Here is one that I found and I think I'm going to try Lol they make it seem so easy smiley.gif

http://www.cheekykitchen.com/2012/03/homemade-vegan-tamales.html
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