Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tamales & Travel

1. Prepare all the filler ingredients.
Let your imagination go! We've used many items over the years, and anything goes. This time, we used blackeyed peas & corn. Basic ingredients come alive inside corn husks, so you don't need anything fancy. As an aside, you gotta visit the Hollywood Farmer's Market (Sunday 8-1, Selma & Ivar) for outstanding tamales by Corn Maiden.

2. Mix Masa according to the package, and set aside covered in the fridge.


3. Soak one bag corn husks in a large bowl with warm water for several minutes. Cover with a plate to weigh the husks down. Separate & pick out the best ones (most complete & biggest intact), rinse, and lay to dry on a towel.

4. Place 1-2 Tbsp. masa onto a husk. Spread around a little, and gently lay filler ingredients on top.
*Resist the urge to pack them too full. Make them smaller, and they'll work better. You should have more masa as compared to other ingredients. Go light!*


5. Fold them burrito style. Turn it over, and burrito fold into another husk. If it's a secure package, put it in the finished pile. If it's a flimsy wrap, repeat with another husk.

Art has the technique down, and I'm grateful that he happily obliges my request to wrap the tamales.






6. Fill the tamale cooker or steamer with water. The water should be below the rack. We got our tamale cooker for a reasonable price at the regular grocery store.

7. Stack the tamales on the tray, and put on the lid. Set stove on LOW for at least 3 hours, we let ours steam all day. Remember to replenish boiling water as necessary. They'll feel firm in the husk when done. Serve immediately, or reheat in the microwave. Freeze some for a quick & delicious meal at a later date.

I'm looking forward to being in California for the next several days. We'll be in Fresno over the weekend for the percussion player's wedding who plays in this band that Art produces. We'll also be spending time in Claremont where Art is working. Both cities are unknown veggie territory for me, so I'll enjoy scouting veg*n eateries and markets. I checked Happy Cow and Veggies on the Road for some leads, and would love to hear from you.
I'll have access to a computer, and I always have high hopes! See you soon. :o)

20 comments:

Too Fond of Books said...

Wow! Thanks for the tamale recipe and instructions. I love tamales, but have never tried to make them myself.

KleoPatra said...

I LOVE TAMALES! I buy vegan ones at local farmer's markets (like the one in OB!). Thanks for this great how-to on 'em. Liv looks lovely in her sunny specs, too. Hope you have a fab time in Fresno!! 40 Watt Hype, bay-bee! Be safe, have a lovely time this weekend...

bazu said...

I've never made tamales, too intimidating. But you make it look so approachable! I just might have to give it a go...

Ok, Vicki, I'm going to come out and say it: I'm jealous of how much you guys get to travel! I have a serious urge, but don't see it happening for at least a couple of months! Have a great trip.

Liliy said...

I just found this blog. Thanks for the tamale instructions. Having steb by step directions is always appreciated.

P.S. That is a LOT of pansies!

laura jesser said...

I've never tried tamales before... thanks for the instructions. Have a great time on the road!

Emmy said...

The tamales look great. I've had a taste for tamales and this post isn't helping. LOL Thanks for sharing the recipe :) Hope you have a safe trip.

Urban Vegan said...

Ah--tamales--the ultimate traveling food! Have fun in Calif.

Cherie said...

Tamales are really fun to make! Yours look great. :)

Tracy said...

I've never had, and never have made tamales. I'm going to have to try them, you make them look so simple!

Shananigans said...

I LOVE tamales! Especially smothered in a good verde sauce. The farmers market I used to go to near my office in Koreatown had the best tamale stand for a while, then the space was taken over by and open pit chicken rotisserie. :x
I miss those tamales so...

Have a good trip!

Elizabeth said...

Good luck in Fresno. You can pretty much kiss non-chain places goodbye. We lived in the area for 3 years (well, I grew up in the area, but I wasn't veg then) and found it very difficult to find good restaurants. Here's some of my suggestions:
Extreme Pizza on Palm and Bullard has soy cheese and reasonably good pizza--last time we ate there, though, it'd gone downhill a bit.
Noodle place in Riverpark next to the movie theater...I can't remember the name of it. Off of Blackstone.
Any Armenian restaurant. Lots of Armenians live in the area.
Indian place--Bombay something? on Shaw.
Chipotle in Fig Garden Village, on Shaw. There's also a Whole Foods which would probably be your best bet for staple items.

I've heard there is a new vegetarian restaurant, but I haven't been there. There was a new gourmet restaurant that moved in right before we left, and it's not there anymore. The place didn't even know how to handle itself because all the help grew up in the area and doesn't know how to do fresh. Sad for an area that has so much fresh produce. Now, if you were *moving* there, I could recommend the best CSA I've ever belonged to. :-)

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Tanya Kristine said...

damn girl! you're amazing. those look fantastic!

i love tamales. i used to buy these big fat frozen ones from the market in my meat eating days and they were heavenly...i haven't thought much about them as a veggie but now i shall.

thanks VV!

vko said...

Thanks for the tamale step-by-step- how fun!

Have a great time exploring veg food places on your travel.

julie hasson said...

Aren't Corn Maiden's Tamales the best? Here in Portland we can get really good vegan tamales at the farmer's market from Salvadore Molly's. Yum!

I hadn't heard about steaming the tamales all day. I'll have to give it a try.

Have fun in Fresno!

Gaia said...

As we say in French, I'll go to bed less stupid tonight !
I had no idea what tamales where. How very interesting :)

I hope you have the best of time in California. You are so lucky !

Love your new pic !

Midwest Vegan said...

I love tamales. They're one of the things I miss most about California. People used to stand outside the grocery stores with coolers selling homemade tamales three for $1. I've tried making them once before I went veg but they were alot of work and I only got about 12 tamales. With your step-by-step instructions, I think I'm going to try them again.

Dori said...

Despite the fact that I like fiddley kind of food, I have never tried to make tamales although I have eaten them before. They look pretty simple and tastey.

Carrie™ said...

I like the step-by-step instructions. I had tamales at a Mexican restaurant once and they didn't really knock my socks off. Jim on the other hand, loved them. I can totally appreciate all the work involved in making them.
Have a blast in Cali!!

Mikaela said...

The tamales look fun - I've never mede them :) Have a safe and super awesome time in CA!