Sunday, January 15, 2012

Daring Kitchen - Tamales

This months Daring Kitchen Challenge was Tamales.  While I've heard of them, I had never had them and had no idea of what to expect.

Blog-checking lines: Maranda of Jolts & Jollies was our January 2012 Daring Cooks hostess with the mostess! Maranda challenged us to make traditional Mexican Tamales as our first challenge of the year!
The first thing I had to do was find some ingredients that we didn't readily have on hand and couldn't get at the grocery store. Luckily Pete's Frootique had everything I needed.

The first main filing ingredient was tomatillos.
I wasn't sure if they were spicy like a pepper, but they taste pretty much like green tomatoes.  I roasted them   and then blended them as part of the mixture for my Green Chile Turkey Tamales.

Tamales have a dough made from "Masa Mix" which is really just finely ground corn.  Which is great since it makes them glutten free and I was able to invite friends over, one of whom has celiac.
The last ingredient I needed, isn't really an ingredient, since you don't eat it.  The tamales are wrapped in dried corn husks so that they can be steamed
I made 4 tamales for each of us: 2 with Green Chili Turkey filing and 2 with a black bean vegetarian filling.

It's a good thing that the friends I invited over are great friends!  They knew that I was making tamales for the first time as part of the Daring Kitchen Challenge.  Which was a really good thing, since the tamales were HORRIBLE!   The filling tasted great (and most of us ended up scooping the filing out just to eat that) but the dough part, while it had nice flavour, was like eating paste! It stuck to the roof of your mouth and was pretty much raw, though I had steamed them for more then 40 minutes.

Luckily we had a nice Mexican salad to go with it, so no one went hungry!

Since everyone else at the Daring Kitchen was having great success with the recipes, I decided to not give up and try again.   There had been a lot of filling left over that I had frozen, so I defrosted it, mixed up some more dough and tried again.

This time I had a better steaming set up, and I let them steam for a full 2 hours (as had been mentioned by some of the other Daring Cooks).

SUCCESS!  The dough cooked through, was not at all pasty and Hilary and I enjoyed some wonderful tamales.  I've promised my friends that they can come back another day and have some edible tamales with us.


Mary said...

I'm not sure I would have tried again if they were that bad! I hate having a flop for dinner with friends over, but if they're good friends you can just laugh, eat salad and have another drink. Your second batch look delicious. I use almost twice the liquid in my masa and steam for 1.5 hours for a great texture. That said, I'm on a tamale vacation for a bit!

Poisonive said...

Well done! If at first you don't succeed...steam for 2 hours:) Your Mexican Salad looked great.

I wonder if Pete's would ship to NL - sometimes ingredients can be such a challenge in themselves.

Sawsan said...

Hats off to you for not giving up and trying again..I had to cook the tamales for another hour because they were so soft at the end of 40 minutes but I thought there was a problem with my steamer

Claudia said...

It is amazing the variance in time to cook these things. Someone told me they steamed for 20 minutes! I did mine at 1.5 hours and they were good. I admire your sticking to it.

chef_d said...

Wow, the mexican salad looks delicious! And bravo for trying again, great job!

shelley c. said...

You are so brave to have given it a second go - major kudos for that! They look and sound delicious, and I am so glad that you were able to turn out a tamale that was more pleasing! I will definitely have to give these another try.

Inma Miranda said...

Your salad look spectacular!!!, and you did a great job trying again.

Barbara Bakes said...

Love that you tried them again and were successful. Your fillings sound delicious!