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Old 06-21-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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ISO help heating tamales

I picked up a box of Delimex brand frozen tamales today. Got home and threw one in the microwave, it came out dry and the end sticking out of the husk was hard as a rock. Directions say not to use conventional oven, but to steam for 25 minutes. I don't have a steamer.

I am thinking of cooking in a pan on the stovetop with a can of enchilada sauce. Will this work? Any estimates on time to "cook throughly"?

Thanks for your help.

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Old 06-21-2012, 02:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salem95 View Post
I picked up a box of Delimex brand frozen tamales today. Got home and threw one in the microwave, it came out dry and the end sticking out of the husk was hard as a rock. Directions say not to use conventional oven, but to steam for 25 minutes. I don't have a steamer.

I am thinking of cooking in a pan on the stovetop with a can of enchilada sauce. Will this work? Any estimates on time to "cook throughly"?

Thanks for your help.
You can improvise a steamer with a sauce pan. Place some table knives (for example) on the bottom of the pan and add water to the level of the knives. Place a plate of tamales on top of the knives. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 25 minutes.

Anything can be used that's water and heat proof to keep the plate with the tamales out of the water. Make sure the pan doesn't run dry.

An inexpensive steamer basket (about $7 in the supermarket) is a handy device to have on hand.

If you have a wok and chopsticks, lay the chopsticks in the wok at whatever level they rest on the sides. Water in the bottom of the wok. Balance the plate of tamales on the chopsticks, cover and steam.
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Old 06-21-2012, 02:48 PM   #3
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Hiya,

If you have a colander, pot with a lid large enough to hold it. You now have a steamer. Place the Tamales in the colander folded side down. Heat over simmering water until the wrappers loosen easily.

It's a little harder to cook them in sauce on the stove top. Not that it can't be done. You just have to keep a closer eye on it.

Try baking them in the over @350. Place the tamales in the pan. Cover them with the sauce. Place a piece of foil over the top. Defrosted guessing here, give it about 35 minutes. I've heated them up like that plenty of times. I just remove the husk first. We add cheese and olives on top just before baking. Don't turn them while baking.

Munky.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC, Salem95. I've done all three--used something to elevate the a pyrex pie plate (in my case, I used flat rocks from Lake of the Woods), the steamer basket (marguarite) and used a strainer/colander. All three work. I'd go with steaming them. An aluminum foil pie plate with holes punched in it would probably also work. I also have a several (I think 4) pans that have steamer inserts.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:06 AM   #5
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Welcome to DC.

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Old 06-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #6
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Steaming is the traditional way. What Andy said. You can get one for only perhaps $5 (the basket pictured) or contrive one in many ways. Steaming gently heats the tamales without drying them out. Any cooking method that does not provide high humidity is likely to result in hardening.
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Old 06-28-2012, 04:14 PM   #7
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I can understand going with frozen depending on what part of the country you live in. As mentioned, steaming is the way to go.
Where I live there are street tamale vendors everywhere. Most are good, some not so good. My favorite tamales are Mexican of all varieties. I don't care too much for tamales from Central America, although they're equally as popular here.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #8
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Mmmm.....tamales.....! Salem, you can still use your microwave as a steamer to heat them up. Tamales need steam, as others have said, otherwise, the masa dries up and you end up with rock hard tamales.

I'm in SoCal and have bought and reheated many a tamale from some lovely church ladies who make and sell them. Put a little water in a shallow microwave safe bowl, and wrap your tamales loosely in a damp paper towel, maybe some plastic wrap loosely around that. Put them on a plate on top of the bowl, nuke them and move them around every 30 seconds or so, until they are steaming hot.

It may take a couple of minutes, stopping now and them to let them rest a bit and move them around, but you will find your tamales are nicely steamed, moist, and hot.

Now I am craving tamales.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheryl J
Mmmm.....tamales.....! Salem, you can still use your microwave as a steamer to heat them up. Tamales need steam, as others have said, otherwise, the masa dries up and you end up with rock hard tamales.

I'm in SoCal and have bought and reheated many a tamale from some lovely church ladies who make and sell them. Put a little water in a shallow microwave safe bowl, and wrap your tamales loosely in a damp paper towel, maybe some plastic wrap loosely around that. Put them on a plate on top of the bowl, nuke them and move them around every 30 seconds or so, until they are steaming hot.

It may take a couple of minutes, stopping now and them to let them rest a bit and move them around, but you will find your tamales are nicely steamed, moist, and hot.

Now I am craving tamales.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:38 AM   #10
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Dag nab it!! A tamale craving has just been flung on me too!!
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