Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vegan Tamales

Oh man, I was in over my head with this recipe.  I wanted to make a vegen or vegetarian tamale so that my husband could enjoy these tasty items.  I am going to tell you what I did and then at the end I am going to share a video I found from youtube that I wish I had been smart enough to watch BEFORE I made my tamales.  My corn husks were WAY too small and I did not chose the correct cooking method.  My filling turned out well, but I should have made a chili sauce to go in addition to the filling.  So, please watch the video before you attempt these.  The recipe for the masa came from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Normally non-vegetarian tamales are made with lard or margarine or butter.  Basically any solid fat that has some flavor to it.  The Bittman recipe calls for you to freeze olive oil to bring it to a solid state.  I froze mine for about 30 minutes or until it was the consistency of butter that had been allowed to soften.

1/2 cup olive oil, frozen
2 cups masa (corn flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups Enchilda sauce or chili based salsa (I neglected to include this in mine, but I think I should have use it so I am including it for you)
12 ounces vegan soy crumbles
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried chipotole pepper
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole corn kernals
12 to 16 corn husks, soaked over night or for serveral hours making sure that the husks are clean

  1. Place the masa in a food processor, and add the vegetable broth a 1/4 cup at a time until a thick paste is formed.  Add the frozen olive oil, and baking powder.  Pulse a few times and with the machine running add more broth a 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture is the consistency of thick batter.  Set aside
  2. Warm the vegan soy crumbles in a large skillet, add the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chipotile pepper, water and corn.  Cook until the mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat and prepare yourself to build the tamales. 
  3. Place the corn husk on a flat surface rough side down (I did not know this little tidbit and trust me, do it this way).  Spread a layer of the masa mixture on the corn husk, top this with about 1 tablespoon of the filling, top with the sauce if using, and then fold you tamale up.  With the tamale facing you first fold up the bottom, then the right side and then the left.  You can leave the top open. 
  4. Place all the tamales in your steamer.  Here is were I goofed.  I used my electric steamer....This did not work.  I was not happy with the corn on these tamales.  It was nothing but mush.  The photo above so blurry because I was weeping over how my tamales came out.  I would recommend following the instructions on the video below.  I can also included a link to the video above, it is embeded in the word video. 

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