I’m so excited to bring you this recipe. I’ve always wanted to try making tamales and The Husband loves them, so Father’s Day was the perfect time to give them a shot. This is certainly made easier with help, so enlist someone to give you a hand. Also, the masa, filling, and mole sauce can all be made in advance. The masa and mole recipes are from Roberto Martin’s cookbook, Vegan Cooking for Carbivores, although I deviated off the mole recipe a little. This is a fantastic cookbook–I’ve made so many dishes from it and can’t wait to make more. But I did find his instructions for filling and wrapping the tamales a bit confusing—it would have been nice if he had step-by-step pictures. So I ended up watching a quick how-to video on YouTube, but I’ve got you covered—below are step-by-step pictures on how to make these delicious tamales.
Some important things to keep in mind:
- The husks have to soak in hot water for about an hour
- The steaming process is an hour and fifteen minutes
- Make sure you have a tall steamer, as the tamales have to be steamed vertically (although we experimented with three leftover tamales in my steamer pot that we placed them laying down and they came out fine–but they also weren’t stacked). I borrowed my friend’s electric steamer which was ideal!
- The mole sauce isn’t super chocolate-y, so if you prefer it with more of a chocolate flavor, I recommend using four ounces instead of two.
4 Field Roast sausages, chipotle-flavored
1 C corn kernels
1 tsp olive oil
4 C masa harina
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 C warm water
16 Tbs (2 sticks) Earth Balance, melted
1/2 C olive oil
4 C broth made from Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base (or any veg broth)
3 large jarred roasted red peppers (this is my variation, as I couldn’t find the required dried pasilla chiles)
1 tsp olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 C chile caribe (also my addition)
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbs cumin
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 C slivered almonds
2 tsp salt
1 bag corn husks
Okay, I know this may seem like a big task to some, but these really aren’t that difficult to make. Remember, soak the husks in hot water an hour before assembly. I had The Husband working on the masa while I prepared the mole sauce. To make the masa, it helps to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Combine the ingredients in the order they are listed. Start out on a low speed, then increase until completely combined. Place the speed on medium for a few minutes in order to fluff it up. You can cover and refrigerate, just make sure you take it out about 30 minutes prior to assembly. It will resemble cookie dough.
When it came to making the mole sauce, I made some adjustments because I had trouble finding the dried chiles for this. (You’ll have to buy this fantastic cookbook for the original recipe). With that said, I think it came out rather delicious. I subbed in a few roasted red peppers and used a chile seasoning.
In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add the oregano, garlic, and cumin and cook another 2 minutes. remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate.
Give it a few minutes to completely melt. Stir the chile caribe into the broth and along with the almonds, salt, roasted red peppers, and onion mixture, add it the blender. Puree until the sauce is completely smooth.
Now, to make the filling, I ground the Field Roast sausages in the food processor until they were fine. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the Field Roast and corn kernels and cook until heated through, about 7-9 minutes, stirring often.
Add about half of the mole sauce to the skillet and combine it thoroughly with the sausage/corn mixture. Warm the remaining sauce in a sauce pan to use later.
Transfer the filling to a bowl. You’re now ready to start assembling your tamales. Pat dry the corn husk and spread it out on a cutting board, narrow pointed end on the bottom. If you have any small husks, you can overlap two small ones to make one larger one.
Place about a 1/4 cup of the masa on the center of the husk. Using your fingers, press the masa down into a circular/oval-ish shape about an 1/8″ thick.
Next, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the filling down the center of the masa. (I’d make it less spread out than what the pic shows—you just don’t want the filling to go too close to the edges of the masa.
Fold the husk like a taco and try to get the edges of the masa to touch and sort of bind the edges together a little.
You can tuck of the husk edges inside if you need to. Basically, you need to just fold over the edges of the husk and encase the filling/masa. Lay it flat.
Pinch the edges of masa to seal each end and then fold the top and bottom of the husk underneath. You can flatten out the tamale a little too.
Set the folded tamales, fold-side down and move on. It works best to place all of the tamales in the steamer once they are all finished. Repeat until you’ve run out masa and filling. I got about 28 tamales out this recipe. Like I said, I used a friend’s steamer, which was ideal for these tamales.
Steam for an hour and fifteen minutes, just make sure that after 30 minutes, you check to make sure there is still plenty of water. Check again after an hour. After the steaming, let the tamales sit another fifteen minutes before serving.
Our friends came over and we had a father’s day fiesta complete with margaritas, corn chips, salsa, Spanish rice and guacamole!
Look at how perfect the tamales came out!
Serve them with a ladle or two of the reserved mole sauce and some guacamole.