Monday, January 19, 2009

Turkey Tamales w/ Red and Green Salsa

When I visit friends or family back in Maryland, I often come up Rt. 1 to save the $9 in tolls. Of course, I usually spend that $9 by stopping at El Sobrero in Avondale, PA, a fantastic Mexican restaurant on Rt 41 just off the exit. They sell the most wonderful tamales frozen in packs of a dozen.

When I found a pound of cooked frozen turkey leftover from Thanksgiving, I decided use it to make my own tamales.

For the dough, I followed this recipe for a crockpot. I didn't have any corn husks so I used parchment paper. I didn't have any Crisco or lard, so I used peanut oil. Maybe that's why my dough didn't float no matter how long I beat it. For the filling, I just reheated the turkey w/ a can of supermarket enchilada sauce and mixed in leftover creme fraiche (a suitable substitute for Mecican creme).

I was a little worried because turkey was dry after reheating w/ the sauce but after cooking inside the tamales, it was moist and delicious just like the ones from El Sombrero. The tamale dough wasn't as good as theirs, I think because they must use something some coarse cornmeal in addition to the regular masa. However, these were a lot better than the ones at Trader Joe's.

I was not so sure about the crockpot part - usually tamales are steamed, which is a lot faster. However, on high for several hours, these got a little bit caramelized and crusty around the edges, which I liked a lot. And I have to to assume that helped the dry turkey end up tasting like somebody's abuelita cooked it from scratch.

I froze portions topped with grated mozzarella cheese I had left over from something and red and green Mexican salsas. They tasted great reheated, which is good because I have 8 2-tamale portions.

Frugal Factor: Everything in this dish has been in my pantry or freezer forever, but it must be insanely cheap. Definitely under $1/portion

1 comment:

Crockpot Lady said...

Rob, this is great! I'm so glad that you did these---what a fantastic idea to use parchment paper.
thank you so much for posting.