new years tamales

by Kristina Sloggett

in Dessert,Gluten Free,recipes,Vegan

Tamales have been part of marking my new year for a long time – my friend Katie and I used to enjoy them as we celebrated welcoming the new year. Several years we made them in her NYC apartment, at least once at my place in Portland, even in Eugene with her brother.

I love tamales.

pinto bean, monterey jack, green chile:

Tamales have become a New Years tradition for Jason and me. This year,we made several flavors, including a dessert tamale and a spicy new sauce. We ate well yesterday, had a lot of fun, and have more tamales to enjoy later.

I love tradition.

black bean, roasted sweet potato, arbol chile: 

making tamales – step by step

First, prepare the husks. Soak at least one hour in warm water. I place them in a container with a lid, water filled to the very top, as the husks float. I have also used a large bowl with something to weigh them down.

While husks soak, prep filling ingredients. Grate cheeses, soak/cook or open cans of beans, prepare hot sauces. 

a few of my flavors this year:

green chile + pinto bean + monterey jack

black bean + arbol chile + roasted sweet potato

dark chocolate + sweet cashew cream

Once the fillings are prepped, make the dough. 

tamale dough

makes 18-20 tamales

4 cups instant corn masa mix
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (or water)

Combine masa and salt. Add broth one cup at a time, mixing with hands until it reaches doughy consistency, almost spreadable.

Time to wrap tamales!

Remove corn husks from soaking, pat dry with a towel. Spread a thin layer of masa in the middle of a husk, leaving the pointed end and edges free for folding. Place filling down middle:

Fold sides of husk so masa meets and forms in the middle. Fold thinner pointed end over. Place in steamer, standing up on folded end.

Steam tamales. Using a large pot with a steamer insert, add water just under steam basket so water is not touching tamales. Bring water to boil, then reduce heat to medium. Check water level often, adding hot water as needed to keep from running dry. Steam for 60 minutes – check a tamale – masa should be firm. Continue to steam, checking every 10 minutes, if not firm, up to 90 minutes total.

We love to eat them fresh out of the steamer, topped with avocado and sauce (I made a sauce with arbol chiles we brought back from Mexico – I’ll share soon).

This year we also had dessert! I have wanted to make a dark chocolate filled tamale for a while, and I am so happy I did. Fantastic.

dark chocolate, sweet cashew cream:

A great start to the year, indeed.


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