Muffin Meals

No, these meals won't be muffins but Muffin is one of my nicknames. Besides, it sounds cute! After viewing the Vegan Lunchbox site, religiously, my Husband wants me to post my own menu. I will try to post one meal each day. I hope I inspire people to have creative and healthy home cooked meals. I think that even if you aren't a vegetarian, you'll like the meals I present. I do feature dairy products and eggs in my food from time to time, but will try my best to present vegan dishes as well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

OH MY Hot Tamale!!!!!!

I have been thinking about making Tamales for sometime now, but EVERYONE told me they were a big deal for the holidays and you had to reserve a whole day for it...and....and....

I decided recently to do some research, and those naysayers were right....and wrong!!! Most people do make SPECIAL Tamales like that, but many cultures use tamales as we do my interest went up significantly!!

Here is what I did. It was a bit time consuming for my first time, but that will lessen next time. I think I spent an hour doing the whole thing, being distracted by MiniB Muffin and The Muffin Man, while checking my directions a billion times... I expect much less time next time.

Basic Tamale Dough with Sweet Roasted Corn

2 cups corn kernels, fresh off the cob
1 1/2 cups masa harina
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 softened butter, margarine, or olive oil.
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water
10 fresh corn husks (I ended up using only 7)
Meat mixture (vegemeat w/ sauteed onions and peppers)

Cook the corn in a non-stick pan, stirring constantly, until it is sweet and golden brown -- you want the natural sugars to come out.

Mix the masa, baking powder, salt, and cumin thoroughly together.

In another bowl, beat the butter until very light and creamy, about 5 minutes. If using olive oil, skip the beating and add directly to the masa. Add the corn and beat for 1 minute. Gradually beat in 3 tablespoons of masa mixture, then 3 tablespoons of water until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Continue beating in the masa and water, alternately, until the dough is very smooth and of spreading consistency, about 5 minutes.

Place 1 husk on a flat surface and put about enough dough in the husk that flattened out, leaves a 1-inch gap all the way around. If using filling, add filling to center. Fold the sides of the husk to the center to overlap. At this point you can tie them or fold the ends over the center of the tamale. Repeat with next husk.

Place it seam side down in a steamer pot that is big enough and boil water in lower section for 1-2 hrs. Unfold one to see if its done, the dough should seperate from the husk easily.

Yield: 7-10 tamales

Adapted From: Emeril Lagasse, ESSENCE OF EMERIL SHOW#EE2185

Oh my goodness, very good. I will be doing this again with different fillings!

MiniB Muffin wasn't sure about the Tamale, so just incase I served this with rice and beans. She picked the corn out of the masa and ate her rice and beans....and ate about 1/4 of her tamale. Success in my eyes....she tried it and ate some. Next time I'm sure she'll eat more.

BTW I posted three meals today, so be sure to scroll down!


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