If you’ve never made tamales because you don’t have corn husks, you don’t have a steamer and you find them to be entirely too intimidating and time-consuming, then we have a lot in common when it comes to tamales. But guess what? It’s our lucky day because I just learned that:
1. You don’t need corn husks to make tamales.
2. You don’t need a steamer to make tamales.
3. Tamales are neither difficult to make nor time-consuming.
Instead of corn husks I used aluminum foil. I know, I know. Not the same. Still works. And instead of a steamer (who has a steamer?) I just stuck a cooling rack in a big pot with about an inch of water at the bottom.
Now on to the good stuff…
Vegan Tamales Stuffed with Kidney Beans
2 c instant masa
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c vegan shortening
1 c warm water (plus a little extra)
pinch of salt
Cholula or hot sauce of choice
1/2 c cooked kidney beans
1. Cream the shortening with a mixer until it is light and soft.
2. Combine the dry ingredients (masa, baking soda and salt) in a separate bowl.
3. Mix hot sauce and salt with the warm water (you’ll need a little more than 1 cup of water).
4. Pour everything into the shortening alternating between the water mix and dry masa mix. Mix until everything combines into a thick dough.
5. Spread out a palm-full of dough onto a square of aluminum foil. Add beans to the center. Fold the sides up around the beans so that they are fully enclosed in the dough. Fold up the foil to make a little packet. Repeat until the dough is gone.
6. Place foil packets upright in the steamer and cooke for about 20 minutes.
So damn good. It’s like cornbread stuffed with beans. I think I cooked mine too long. Correction: I know I cooked mine too long because the fire alarm went off because I cooked all the water out of the steamer and it was just smoking away on the burner. No big deal.
I will make these a million more times (and you should too) because they’re cheap and easy and delicious.