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Old 12-10-2007, 06:45 AM   #1
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Tamales, how to serve?

I bought a dozen Tamales. How are these normally served? I think I steam them, but I find them sort of dry and lifeless. Is there some sort of sauce that goes over them? And what sides would normally be used?
Thanks, Eric, Austin TX

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Old 12-10-2007, 08:08 AM   #2
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Morning giggler.....Welcome to DC. The Tamales I buy are pre-cooked. No further steaming/cooking is needed. I just serve them plain with crackers and some hot sauce.
I would think some type of cheese and/or picante sauce would go well with them too.

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Old 12-10-2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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I buy precooked tamales as well. I get them with husks on from a farmers' market. I have seen them in stores without husks.

In any case, I wrap them in damp paper towels and microwave them briefly to reheat. The damp towels have a steaming effect. No need to take the husks off. Everyone can do their own. Sometimes I serve them plain, sometimes with chile sauce.

Tex-Mex rice and beans are good side dishes, perhaps some guacamole.

Yes, welcome to D.C. I haven't been here long. Reading a lot of posts has been helpful to me.
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Old 12-10-2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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Wrapped in a banana leaf and a side of ahi.
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Old 12-10-2007, 10:58 AM   #5
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Steaming them is a good way to heat them up.

I went the whole route a couple of years ago - I made the tamales and made a complicated smooth red chile sauce to serve over them. And Arroz Verde (Green Rice) for a side. Green Poblano Rice (arroz Verde Al Poblano) Recipe at Epicurious.com

It was a lot of work over two days, but was fun.

I really love a milder Salsa Verde (green chile sauce) on Mexican food.

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Old 12-10-2007, 10:04 PM   #6
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I have made tamales from scratch - now I just buy them premade and just throw a few in the microwave and heat for a couple of minutes ... peel and eat. They can be dry, sometimes, depending on how they were made or how they were reheated. Here are a couple of options if heat and eat is boring for you:

Remove the tamales from the husk wrappers, place in a greased baking dish, sprinkle on some diced onion, pour over some hotdog chili sauce or a can of chili (a can of Wolf brand chili will work if you don't have any homemade), and top with grated cheese - heat about 30 minutes in a preheated 350F oven ... or put 3-4 tamalies on a microwave safe dish - top as above - heat 3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.

As for "traditional" sides - Spanish/Mexican rice and refried beans - I like a touch of butter on my rice and some on my beans, as well as some grated cheese. For a salad - some grated iceburg lettuce, some fresh diced tomato, with a big scoop of guacamole and a dollop of sour cream and some fried corn chips ...

I don't know about the Mexican restaurants in Austin these days, I was there back in the 1970's when I was going to UT ... but when a few of us wanted really good Mexican food - ROAD TRIP!!!! We would run down to San Antonio on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and head for the Pan American Restaurant - biggest combo plate of food for the money I've seen outside of Mexico.

Originally Posted by Jeekinz
Wrapped in a banana leaf and a side of ahi.
LOL ... YUK!!!!
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:20 AM   #7
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I saw the posting and remembered to ask my Mexican friends from soccer last night.
In Mexico, tamales are steamed (microweaving is not very popular) and served with several type of sauces or chilis. Rice is the most common pairing and so are beans.
If you would like, I can ask them for recipes... rice and beans are cooked differently from state to state. As referene, Northern Mexico (Monterrey) doesn't eat so much chilli, people from the Capital (Mexico City) are called "chilangos" because of the amount of chilli they eat.
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are" Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
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Old 12-11-2007, 05:42 PM   #8
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I love Tamales. I thought they were served with a mole (spelling) sauce. I am not quite sure, as I would always be eating the jalapeno and cheese ones..mmm
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