All posts filed under: Tamales

Six, the Easy Way ~ Vegetable Tamales

Mexican Restaurants – Whether it’s the strength of the margaritas, the freshness of their chips, the scoville scale of their salsa, or just how “authentic” it all is; everyone has their own way of judging a good one. Me? I look at two things. 1). Chili Rellenos : Is it a charred poblano pepper? Does it have a light egg batter? And just exactly what have they stuffed it with? and 2). Tamales : This is a harder judging for me. Because I like them a lot of different ways. I’ve had them in banana leaves where the “dough” is a kind of yucca / masa mash. I’ve had them in Mexico where there was a little bean or olive surprise buried in the middle. There has been the random bad one where the dough was fluffy … like a biscuit – or dry as a powder keg and dense like hard tack. Suffice it to say, tamales are like that proverbial box of chocolates.. you never know what you’re going to get until you bite into it. …

10 (tamales) the hard way

I guess first and foremost I should say these aren’t what you’d call authentic tamales. I didn’t learn to mix the batter on my Hispanic Nana’s lap. There were no Mexican housekeepers bringing sacks laden with those beautiful little jewels when they came to the house. Nor, have I ever lived with anyone that made them.. I am the walking / talking embodiment of an Anglo/Saxon gene pool, and my childhood idea of a tamale came in those little glass jars stuffed with six paper-wrapped, cigar shaped cumin flavored cylinders. So, no instinctive knee jerk aptitude there. But… I worked for a time with a South American construction company. We ate a lot of tacos… and tortas… and tamales. So I know a thing or two about them. Well, I know what I like and don’t like about them. And, as it happens… I’ve eaten a lot of crappy ones, especially in Mexican restaurants. For me- the masa should be dense, cohesive, flavorful – with just the slightest pudding consistency; the filling – plentiful, meaty with a couple …