Yesterday, I made my favorite chili-stuffed peppers, which always leaves me with extra stuffing. I’ve turned that stuffing into burritos, I’ve turned it into enchiladas; both delish. This time I got to thinking: tamales! My friend, the Google, provided me with lots of inspiration–recipes without lard or butter, but still used a fair amount of fat, and some that used very, very little fat. I decided on one that used vegan margarine, thinking it might create a dough that would be closer to tamales I’ve enjoyed before. I reduced the margarine by half and upped the other liquid. The dough was super workable and the resulting tamales were, well, muy bueno!
Another reason to love this recipe is that it only makes 12 tamales. Very do-able.
- 4 ounces dried corn husks
- 2 cups masa harina (a corn flour–find it in most grocery stores)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup vegan margine, room temperature
- About 1 1/2 cups warm “no-chicken” broth, plus more as needed
- 2 cups of the vegan filling of your choice. I used my pepper stuffing, there are a couple more that sound yummy here.
- sauce of your choice
First, 15 minutes before starting the dough, soak the dried husks in warm water, using a plate to weight them down.
Then, mix the masa harina with the baking powder and salt. Set it aside.
Whip the margarine until it becomes fluffy. Add the masa and broth alternately until a light, soft and non-sticky dough is formed.
Pat each corn husk dry and place on a surface, the pointed end toward you. Roll a two-inch dough ball and place it near the top of the husk.
Smoosh (yes, this IS a culinary term!) the dough ball into a square about four inches per side.
Place 1 1/2-2 TBSP filling down the center and top with the sauce of your choice. We like enchilada sauce.
Roll the husk from the side, encircling the dough and filling.
Fold up the bottom and tie with a little strip of husk if you want. If you’re making tons of tamales, they’ll hold each other together as they pack in the steamer. I worried the ones on the edges might flop open, so I tied them. They’re kinda cute that way; yummy little presents. 🙂
Place them into a steamer basket open side up, place it over boiling water and put a lid over them. Steam for 50 minutes to an hour–until the dough firms and pulls easily from the husks.
When they’re steamed, unwrap your yummy little presents and enjoy!
We had just a couple each, with a bowl of squash blossom soup. We’re expecting a freeze tonight, so I picked all my squash and squash flowers. The last time we’ll enjoy the soup until next summer, but I’m planning on LOTS of tamales! Can’t wait to try all sorts of fillings! Especially at Christmas–tamales are a Christmas tradition I thought I might need to do without. What will you fill your tamales with?