26 April 2015

Crispy Tamal

Tamales are one of my absolute favorite foods.  I make them every now and then and freeze them for random lunches.

Rick Bayless has recipes adapted from giant tamales baked in banana leaves, for  a 'tamal'.  I've been making one version for years in a loaf pan and recently came across a different version called a crispy tamal.  This recipe is a veganized, lowered fat variation of that recipe.

Crispy Tamal

3 c masa harina (I use Maseca Masa Para Tamales)
3 Tbs vegan non-hydrogenated shortening or olive oil
1 Tbs Massel vegan chicken boullion powder
2 c warm water
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2  tsp salt
2 c vegan chicken stock (I use Massel)
6 -8 oz vegan chorizo, diced
1 c salsa
2-3 c cooked beans, rinsed and drained ( one or two cans)
1 c  fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)
12" cazuela

Preheat oven to 400F

In a bowl,  add dry masa, salt,  boullion powder and baking powder and mix well.  Add shortening/oil to dry masa mix  and rub together with your hands into it is incorporated with no large clumps.  Add the warm water, mix and set aside to hydrate.

In a skillet, mix the chorizo, beans, salsa and corn if using and warm it up.  Or mix in a glass bowl and microwave until warm.  Set aside.

In a stand mixer, add half the hydrated masa and set to medium speed.  Add about 1 c of the broth.  When it is incorporated, add the remaining masa and another 1/2 c of broth.  There will be 1/2 c broth left over.

When it is all mixed, increase speed and beat until it is very fluffy, maybe a minute.

Take half the masa mixture and coat the bottom and sides of the cazuela.

Add all the bean mixture and spread evenly.

Take the remaining masa and beat it again, slowly adding some of the remaining broth to get it somewhat looser. You may not need all of the broth.

Take the remaining masa and spread over the top of the bean mixture.

Bake uncovered at 400F for 25 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325F, cover and bake for another 30 minutes.

Slice into pie shaped pieces and top with vegan sour cream, guacamole, tomato or your favorite hot sauce or salsa.

Note: you can also add the corn kernels to the masa at the end of mixing for a chewier crust.  Or, you could add them to the crust and the filling.