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Old 01-01-2015, 08:22 AM   #1
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Tamales, sauce or toppings please?

I find nice Tamales here, but for me, a bit dry.

I think they need a bit of sauce or toppings.

How do You serve Tamales?

Thanks, Eric, Austin Tx.

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Old 01-01-2015, 08:28 AM   #2
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Depending on the filling, you can use a green or red enchilada sauce. If they are dessert tamales, I haven't a clue.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:52 AM   #3
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My homemade ones have a juicy, meaty filling and the masa isn't dry because I add whole corn kernels. The ones I've had in two particular local restaurants serve theirs "open-faced" and they include a lot of filling, so they're not dry, either.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:25 PM   #4
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I usually used warmed up salsa or enchilada sauce (green or red). I top tamales the same way I would top enchiladas, based on what kind of tamales they are, beef, pork or chicken.
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:46 PM   #5
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I use enchilada sauce also with a twist. Both red and green enchilada sauces are too strong for me. I use an can of sauce and a can of creamed soup mixed together for the topping.
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:02 PM   #6
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I don't like them to be drowned in sauce. But I do like a pico de gallo that adds some extra flavors and colors. But good tamales should be able to stand pretty much on their own. They're too much work to end up with just shredded meat rolled in corn dough. Although the local Mexican bakery this year had some excellent fat tamales that were stuffed with plenty of wonderfully seasoned shredded pork. And with just the meat, they could do well without sauce.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:14 PM   #7
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I'm glad this discussion has come about. Its the sauces i am interested in making.

Last time i made tamales, I picked up three giant bags of dried chili peppers. Very hot, hot and mild.

I used a combination of the three by bringing them to a boil and allow them to cool.
I think I left them in the fridge over night as they did not seem soft enough.
The next day, I proccessed them and strained them.
I them added seasonings.
It was okay. I saved some in the freezer and the next time i used it, my wife raved about how good it tasted.

I need some ideas, ingredients and some basic rules for making these sauces from dried chili's.

Oh...whats the shelf life of dried chili's?
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:43 PM   #8
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I actually find the topic of sauces for tamales a little surprising. The tamale masa and the filling should provide plenty of moisture and flavor.

I use pulled pork or chicken mixed with salsa for my filling. Here's a recipe from Marcela Valladolid that includes a method for making red chile salsa from guajillo chiles: Pork and Red Chile Tamale Filling Recipe | MyRecipes.com

I would say a year for dried chiles. They won't go bad, but the quality will diminish. I would store them in the freezer, to keep bugs away.
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Old 01-03-2015, 01:33 AM   #9
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Shrek and I use sauces or gravy on everything. It helps when you are unable to chew well.
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:09 AM   #10
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I agree with GG, I don't usually make. sauce for my tamales, I have had a kind of gravy served on them in restaurants, I sometimes with guacamole and sour cream.


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Old 01-03-2015, 06:39 AM   #11
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I tried 3 things..

1. ate the tamales strait up. they were very nice, homade tamales from a grandma who lives down the street!

2. Red Chili Sauce, New Mexico Style.

Buy a small bag of dried red chilis New Mexico or Anaheim, and follow the recipe on the back.
rmove the stems and seed then soak in and boil in 2cp. water.
add 1/2 onion and 2 clove garlic and 1 chix boulion cube.

make a roux of 2tbs oil and flour.

cool the pepper mix then blend in blender. add all to roux pan and cook for a bit, stirring as it could get lummpy,

Also add cumin, salt to taste.

This yiels about 2 cp sauce.

very nice in small quantity on Tamals. I also made a green sauce, more on that later!

I served all this with Guacamole on salad. Very well received by all!

Happy New Year, Eric, Austin Tx.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giggler View Post
I tried 3 things..

1. ate the tamales strait up. they were very nice, homade tamales from a grandma who lives down the street!

2. Red Chili Sauce, New Mexico Style.

Buy a small bag of dried red chilis New Mexico or Anaheim, and follow the recipe on the back.
rmove the stems and seed then soak in and boil in 2cp. water.
add 1/2 onion and 2 clove garlic and 1 chix boulion cube.

make a roux of 2tbs oil and flour.

cool the pepper mix then blend in blender. add all to roux pan and cook for a bit, stirring as it could get lummpy,

Also add cumin, salt to taste.

This yiels about 2 cp sauce.

very nice in small quantity on Tamals. I also made a green sauce, more on that later!

I served all this with Guacamole on salad. Very well received by all!

Happy New Year, Eric, Austin Tx.
Next time try toasting the chilis in a dry CI pan after removing stems and seeds, before you soak them. Adds an extra flavor level.
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Old 01-03-2015, 12:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I actually find the topic of sauces for tamales a little surprising. The tamale masa and the filling should provide plenty of moisture and flavor.
I would say a year for dried chiles. They won't go bad, but the quality will diminish. I would store them in the freezer, to keep bugs away.
I have had very moist tamales and some not so moist.
I like a red or green sauce to top them with regardless. When I make my next attempt at tamales, I am going to use the recipe you provided me some time ago. It had whole corn kernels in it. Sounds like that alone would lend to a very moist tamale.
I am going to toss the chili's I bought as i have no idea as to how long they sat in the store before i bought them. Its been about a year since i put them away in the pantry.

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I agree with GG, I don't usually make. sauce for my tamales, I have had a kind of gravy served on them in restaurants, I sometimes with guacamole and sour cream.
I like the presentation a sauce provides. Imagine going to eat at a Mexican restaurant and they used no sauce on the burritos, enchiladas and tamales. They might very well be excellent, but appearance is very important to me and I assume the chef.

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Next time try toasting the chilis in a dry CI pan after removing stems and seeds, before you soak them. Adds an extra flavor level.
So toast the dried chili's before soaking them? Or do you mean toast fresh chili's?
What other ingredients do you recommend in a chili sauce. Do you use these added ingredients in the poaching liquid or do you add after you process the chili's?

When i made them I followed the directions on the chili package.
I think it called for fresh garlic and onions to be added to the boiling/ soaking water, then process all together? I think that's how i did it.
I then strained all of it and checked for salt?
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:37 PM   #14
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Next time try toasting the chilis in a dry CI pan after removing stems and seeds, before you soak them. Adds an extra flavor level.
+1 I brought a bag of dried chilis home from TX. The woman told me to do that and then to soak them in beer instead of water. I don't cook them...I usually deal with them the night before and leave them to soak overnight. And, I save the beer to toss in chili or something because some of the flavor ends up in the beer!
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:27 AM   #15
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I have had very moist tamales and some not so moist.
I like a red or green sauce to top them with regardless. When I make my next attempt at tamales, I am going to use the recipe you provided me some time ago. It had whole corn kernels in it. Sounds like that alone would lend to a very moist tamale.
I am going to toss the chili's I bought as i have no idea as to how long they sat in the store before i bought them. Its been about a year since i put them away in the pantry.



I like the presentation a sauce provides. Imagine going to eat at a Mexican restaurant and they used no sauce on the burritos, enchiladas and tamales. They might very well be excellent, but appearance is very important to me and I assume the chef.



So toast the dried chili's before soaking them? Or do you mean toast fresh chili's?
What other ingredients do you recommend in a chili sauce. Do you use these added ingredients in the poaching liquid or do you add after you process the chili's?

When i made them I followed the directions on the chili package.
I think it called for fresh garlic and onions to be added to the boiling/ soaking water, then process all together? I think that's how i did it.
I then strained all of it and checked for salt?
I mean before they get re-hydrated. Actually, I don't try to remove all the seeds as the pureed chilis will get strained to remove any solids left. I then put the puree back in the blender and add garlic, cumin, oregano salt and pepper to taste. It is very important to reserve the steeping liquid to thin out the sauce. You can "fry" the sauce as some folks do, or use it as is. For enchiladas, I like to dip the tortillas in the sauce on both sides, remove excess and "toast" them in a CI pan or griddle before stuffing and baking to melt the cheese on top. Keeps them from getting soggy. Sauce afterwards.

BTW, removing the seeds completely and toasting/drying them allows you to grind them to make pure chili powder. They should be crispy but not burnt.
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Old 01-04-2015, 12:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I have had very moist tamales and some not so moist.
I like a red or green sauce to top them with regardless. When I make my next attempt at tamales, I am going to use the recipe you provided me some time ago. It had whole corn kernels in it. Sounds like that alone would lend to a very moist tamale.
I am going to toss the chili's I bought as i have no idea as to how long they sat in the store before i bought them. Its been about a year since i put them away in the pantry.
Here is one of the restaurant tamales I've had. You can see the corn kernels in the masa. I believe they steam them, then open them up and top with the filling, crema and a little sauteed veggies. Oh so good! I need to go back.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:26 PM   #17
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+1 I brought a bag of dried chilis home from TX. The woman told me to do that and then to soak them in beer instead of water. I don't cook them...I usually deal with them the night before and leave them to soak overnight. And, I save the beer to toss in chili or something because some of the flavor ends up in the beer!
Excellent advice. Thank you very much. I always have beer on hand.

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I mean before they get re-hydrated. Actually, I don't try to remove all the seeds as the pureed chilis will get strained to remove any solids left. I then put the puree back in the blender and add garlic, cumin, oregano salt and pepper to taste. It is very important to reserve the steeping liquid to thin out the sauce. You can "fry" the sauce as some folks do, or use it as is. For enchiladas, I like to dip the tortillas in the sauce on both sides, remove excess and "toast" them in a CI pan or griddle before stuffing and baking to melt the cheese on top. Keeps them from getting soggy. Sauce afterwards.

BTW, removing the seeds completely and toasting/drying them allows you to grind them to make pure chili powder. They should be crispy but not burnt.
Gotcha. I was always so impressed with the sauce they cover burritos and such at the Mexican restaurant.
I wanted to replicate it.
I now think I can.
Thanks very much!

I still have three 1/2 empty large bags of dried chili's in the pantry. I will check the date. If they are good to go, I will make some sauce and freeze for Mexican night. I am sure that will change it up and add some diversity to the meal.
How long do you soak the chili's? I brought mine up to a boil and allowed them to steep until cool. Then I put the pot in the fridge overnight.
Was that overkill? How soft should they be? Many recipes say an hour or even less. The ones I have would not be soft in one hour.
Do you bring them up to a boil or do you just soak them?

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Here is one of the restaurant tamales I've had. You can see the corn kernels in the masa. I believe they steam them, then open them up and top with the filling, crema and a little sauteed veggies. Oh so good! I need to go back.
Looks very, very good GG. Yes, that would be what I want to make.
The sauce makes for a great presentation and i bet it tastes even better.
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Old 01-04-2015, 01:44 PM   #18
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Okay, what you call sauce I call filling That's pork shoulder cooked in chile sauce and then shredded.
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