Monday, December 6, 2010

Spicy Black Bean Tamales!

So it's after the Holiday's and after working like a madwoman making vegan pies at work and trying to keep up at home as well, the fridge is looking a little, well ... empty.  I told myself I would have to get groceries on my way home, there was no way around it.  Living in nyc and getting a bunch of groceries really does not go hand in hand -I get what I can carry in my arms on my way home from work, otherwise I would have to come home, get my grandma-cart and go back out into the frigid weather.  Not really going to happen after a long day at work.  Once I finished in the bakery today, I had pretty much convinced myself not to go out, the only thing stopping me was thinking of the hubby coming home from work and saying "leftovers again?" or "nothing to eat?".  Ugh.  Then I had a genius idea - I had a bunch of random veggies in my fridge and I always have dried beans, so why not tamales???  I have tofu sour cream in the fridge along with tons of other necessary condiments for tamales, and the Hubby LOVES them and wont mind eating them, even as leftovers.  Problem solved and I will go grocery shopping tomorrow!

Spicy Black Bean Tamales:

Tamales in Corn Husks



Corn Husks
Bean Filling:
3 cups cooked black beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large jalapeno pepper, minced
1 medium green pepper, small diced
1 large onion, small diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon smoked salt
1/4 - 1/3 cup hot water

4 cups instant masa corn flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cups vegetable stock (salted)

1.  Get started by soaking your corn husks in hot water.  This will take about 1/2 hour. 
2.  Prepare the black bean filling.  Place the cooked beans in a medium bowl.  In a large pan, saute the onions and green and jalapeno peppers in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until beginning to brown.  Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Place in the bowl with the cooked beans.
3.  Mash the beans with the vegetables in the bowl until no whole beans remain.  Add all the spices and the 1/4 cup hot water and stir to combine.  Season to taste.  It should taste too spicy and slightly too salty - this will mellow out once the tamale is cooked.    Set aside while preparing the dough.
4.  For the dough, place the masa flour in a large mixing bowl and add the baking powder and sea salt.  Whisk to combine.  Add the olive oil and stock and stir to combine with a spatula or wooden spoon - it will be very thick. 
5.  Prepare a workspace - these are a bit messy.  Make a line of the soaked corn husks.  Take one of the smaller husks and shred into long pieces - these will tie the tamales.  Scoop 1/4 cup of the dough into the center of each husk, flattening with the palm of your hand.  Place 2 tablespoons of the spicy bean mixture in the center of the dough and slightly flatten with hand.  Working from the bottom, fold into center, followed by both sides.  Fold the pointy top in toward the center and tie with one of the shredded husk strips.  Set aside until at least half of the tamales have been finished.
6.  Place a large stock pot over high heat with a steamer basket opened in the center.  Place the tamales into the basket and cover with a tightly fitting lid.  Allow to come to a full steam.  These take about and hour to steam, but you can really stuff them into the pot.  They are finished when they feel firm to the touch, but keep in mind that they will continue to firm as they cool.  Remember to keep an eye on the water level at the bottom of the pot - you will likely have to refill it at least 2-3 times throughout the hour of steaming.
7.  Allow these to cool a little and serve them with sour cream and salsa with a little dash of sriracha - my favorite.  Or as my Hubby does with good old ketchup and mustard - how they were served on the beach while he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. 

*Note: These can easily be frozen by wrapping 2-3 in a cluster tightly in plastic wrap and placing them in ziploc bags.  This recipe makes a lot and it is so nice to come home and be able to quickly have some tamales ready to eat.  You only have to take them out of the freezer and steam them for 15-20 minutes or until they are nice and hot all the way through.

Tamales Opened with Vegan Sour Cream

These are amazing, enjoy!


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