Can you get a REAL tamale fix via UPS?
I’m just going to come right out and say it right at the beginning of this post so there’s no confusion about where I stand. I have a serious love hate relationship with the tamale. I’ll probably need to elaborate.
As a dish in the Mexican/Tex-Mex cuisine food group, I love tamales. As a dish that I’m going to try and construct (yes, that’s the right word) in my own kitchen, I hate tamales. Hate may be a little strong, but, they’re a BIG hassle for sure.
Back about six or seven years ago a friend bought me a great Tex-Mex cookbook, The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos. If you haven’t seen it you should. It’s a fantastic cookbook with lots of delicious dishes.
He thought that I should take on a tamale recipe for his sons birthday. Our families were going to get together to celebrate and tamales would be different and fun. That was his pitch anyway.
To say that I have a minimum of experience cooking Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine would be a ridiculous overstatement. Your basic taco or burrito recipe was about the extent of my expertise at the time. But, even with a glaring lack of experience, I thought what could be so tough about a tamale. I’d eaten a mountain of them in the past and they seemed simple enough. I didn’t realize at the time how wrong I could be.
I’m not going to bore you with all of the gory details. You have better things to do with the next sixty minutes of your life. Let’s just summarize by saying, 1, the basic recipe is for 200 tamales! 2, it took me two entire days to make half the recipe. 3, I know why you need a bunch of family or friends to help make these things. In the end, they turned out fantastic. But, I think it’s a first and final tamale performance for me.
So, what to do now. I have tamale cravings from time to time. I could go to my local Mexican joint. They have good tamales. But, there is another option. And, it’s a delicious one.
How would you like to have a kitchen that has all of the aroma of freshly made tamales without the forty hours of work? Wouldn’t it be great if someone else did all the hard work for you? The Texas Tamale Company makes that scenario a reality.
You may have seen them on the Food Network or the Today Show. If you missed it, here’s a peek.
The great folks down there in Houston Texas were nice enough to send over a box of their world famous tamales for me to check out. And, boy, what a treat!
The package directions call for steaming or microwave. For me that choice was pretty obvious, steam. I stacked them in a steamer basket and 15 to 20 minutes later they were hot and ready to eat. They were super easy to cook. And, the added benefit of steaming was that amazing tamale smell that fills your house.
We used a little of their homemade Queso and some green and red salsa for toppings.
We sampled a trio of beef, pork and chicken tamales. The beef was the spiciest. It had a great combination of flavors and had some nice zip. The pork and chicken seasonings seemed to be a little less up front. They were still great, but, the flavor was a little more delicate.
All three steamed up nice. The pork and chicken seemed to hold together a little better once they were unwrapped from the corn husk. But, we had no problem eating any of the three. And, we ate lots!
Here’s another look.
The Queso was a great addition. It came in a boil bag. So, you just throw it into a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes or so. Clip the corner of the bag and you’ve got a great tamale topping! There was just the right amount of spice to the Queso. It didn’t take over the entire plate.
OK, by now you’re saying. “maybe I could ship some of these to my tamales loving friends for the holidays”. Yes you could. And, they would be happy. The Texas Tamale Company website makes it easy.
So, here are your choices. spend two complete days making tamales in your hot kitchen. Or, let the world famous Texas Tamale Company do all the hard work for you. This leaves you with the easy part, enjoying!
The Texas Tamale Company provided the product for our tasting at no cost to us. We were not compensated in any way to write this review. Thought you should know.