Well, we’re smack bang in the middle of Holiday Season, and every food blogger is putting up their best Turkey Dinner recipe….but no, not this blogger.
We are going to put up “Tamales with Red Chile Sauce”.
Tamales? Why? I can already here you asking.
Well… Because my family and I looove them, and that alone is a good enough reason.
But also amongst a lot of our Latino friends, Christmas-time means Tamale-time. Family and friends come over for a tamales making day (tamalada).
As we’ve all by now figured out, the texture of almond flour can mimic cornmeal fairly well. I’ve managed to make some great corn bread, and it was actually hard to tell the difference from actual cornbread. Which got me to thinking, I miss those tamales I used to eat, and could I dare to replicate the taste and texture of a good masa tamale?
I was willing to waste a lazy sunday afternoon and find out. Now I’ll be honest, I’ve had a try at the Fat Head Dough tamales before, and no, no, no! Way to heavy, and greasy for my liking. So I was very confident I could get the texture right, and the filling, no problems, but I want to taste that corn, that masa flavor I crave….That’s where corn extract came to save the day. Not cheap, not easy to find, but it can be ordered online without too much trouble and a little of it goes a long way.
I have to say I’m really impressed how these turned out, and with the added corn flavor to the Almond Flour Tamale mixture, it was like eating the REAL DEAL!
For the Red Chile Sauce, I guess you could just find a low carb Enchilada Sauce, but I love the flavor of a true New Mexico Red Chile Sauce.
For the filling I used a rotisserie chicken that I shredded, and added some of the chile sauce and a splash of chicken broth. It couldn’t get any easier than that. But feel free to fill it with pork, beef, or whatever you like that fits in with the dish.
For the sauce, I got inspiration from a Super Authentic Red Chile Recipe, and it was delicious; However we did tweak it a little to make it more approachable for a westernized palate. Red chile sauces are traditionally very earthy from the boiled down Chiles, so we added a few more seasonings and sweetened it just a little, but feel free to try it as is without the added flourishes.
FOR THE TAMALE DOUGH
4 cups almond flour sifted
1/2 cup lard/manteca/bacon fat
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1.5 tsp corn extract
1 tsp pink himalayan sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but does give better texture)
1 package of corn husks soaked for 2 hours (use about 20)
FOR THE RED CHILE SAUCE
15 dried New Mexico Red Chile Pods
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup reserved water from soaking the chiles
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 packets Sazon con culantro y achiote or 3 tsp of our Sazon Recipe
1/2 TBSP erythritol/stevia blend sweetener (we use Truvia or Splenda Naturals)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp goya adobo seasoning or our Adobo Seasoning Recipe
FOR THE FILLING
1 rotisserie chicken shredded
1/2 cup of red chile sauce
1/4 cup(or less) chicken broth
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE RED CHILE SAUCE
- Cut tops, split, and de-seed chiles.
- Place chiles in large pot, add water to just cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer for 1 hour.
- Reserve 1 cup of the water from the soaked chiles, drain and place the chiles in a blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. (Do this gradually so the hot liquid doesn’t explode in your blender)
- Check for seasoning and pour into container.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR TAMALE DOUGH
- In large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and stir.
- In medium bowl, beat lard/manteca with hand mixer until it resembles meringue. About 2 minutes. Then add lard to flour mixture with corn extract and enough chicken broth to make a pliable/spreadable dough. Not too stiff not too soft.
- Set aside.
- On a flat roomy work surface, lay out a corn husk, add about 1/4 cup of tamale dough, flatten it out into a rectangle, then add filling on the last 1/3 of the dough, and roll into a cylinder or rectangle(whatever you prefer).
- Fold the corn husk kind of like a wrap or burrito, so that none of the tamale is exposed, then tie string to secure.
- Should make about 14 moderate sized tamales.
- In a large double boiler, bring water to boil, then reduce to a simmer, make sure the water doesn’t make contact with the bottom of the tamales. Steam the tamales covered for an hour, being sure to check the water doesn’t run dry.
- Check for doneness. Should hold together well and not stick to corn husk.
- Serve with Red Chile Sauce and whatever condiments you like