Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Shortcut Inside-Out Tamales

I love ‘Americanized’ Mexican food... and I’m not an expert on what is authentic.  If you’ve ever enjoyed the shrink-wrapped tamales (that I’m sure tamale purists shudder at!) - you will love these!  The masa is creamy and yet fluffy at the same time.  The corn flavor is fabulous, with a fraction of the time and hassle of traditional tamales.

How traditional tamales are steamed

Traditional tamales are prepared and steamed in corn husks - lots of work!

I have absolutely no expertise in tamale-making.  But - for some reason - I really love them.  In the early years of my marriage, I would save up to purchase the Lynn Wilson frozen tamales and boil them in a pot of water for dinner.  They were difficult to remove from the plastic sleeves once they were hot - but it was worth it.  They were wonderful with sour cream, salsa, tomatoes, and a side salad.  

You can no longer find them in my area, and I had almost forgotten how much I miss them until I saw a post on (love their site!).  After checking their links on handmade tamales - it didn’t take much to convince me to try their “shortcut inside-out” version.  No fussing with corn husks is the real advantage of using their method.  These are steamed in ramekins, which makes them moist and fluffy with a wonderful authentic flavor.  

The shredded pork and red chile tamale filling I found on another web search.  So easy to make and so delicious!  I'm used to having my Mexican favorites smothered in cheese, but it’s really not necessary here.  

Just a dab of sour cream, diced tomatoes, a bit of fresh cilantro, and olives are all you need.  I loved it with a green salad.  Next time I’m going to serve them with guacamole and salsa too.

I keep a bag of the shredded pork filling in the refrigerator, along with the individual tamale bases for a quick dinner idea.  The shredded pork is wonderful - and so simple to make.  You’ll love it on tacos, in burritos, and even in enchiladas. 

For this recipe, with easy step-by-step photos and directions - go to:

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