Yum! Beef tamales
Musings,  Recipes

Tamales & Fermented Vegetables

…not together, of course!

I have been very busy for the last few months. A couple of the things I have been doing I will post about another day. I swear time no longer exists!

Yum! Beef tamales

Being the holiday season, I made tamales. I could not do so last year. This year I made a batch of beef tamales and a batch of pork tamales. When I had leftover masa after making the beef tamales, I quickly made up a batch of refried beans and had Himself grate me some white cheddar and jack cheeses. I made bean and cheese tamales until the masa ran out.

While the pork roast was in the crockpot the next day, I made Mexican rice. To use up the leftover masa after making the pork tamales, I stirred together the leftover refried beans and some of the Mexican rice. The dish the shredded pork and red chile sauce was in had leftover sauce with some tiny shreds of pork. I used a scraper to get every bit and stirred that into the beans and rice before assembling those tamales. I think the last mixture is my favorite!

Makeshift steamer plate holder

This year, my makeshift tamales steamer got an upgrade from wadded up foil to using the springs for making fermented vegetables to hold the plate from my pressure canner above the water level. The images shown here and below are of my smaller 16 quart pot. I filled it with half of the tamales and had to remove them all and get out my bigger 20 quart pot and bigger pressure canner plate!

Makeshift tamale steamer

The little thing in the middle is a Celtic knot cookie press I made back in my pottery days. A small pot, custard dish or even a funnel will do. I showed in a post two years ago, Easy Beef Tamales Recipe – Video Link , with the tamales leaning on the sides. Thankfully, I covered them enough with leftover corn husks and a damp tea towel to keep the extra moisture from running into the tamales. They would of been mushy. Ew! They should be leaned towards the middle and covered! It also is easier to lean them together and so they can hold each other up, so to speak.

left-beef tamales- left, right-bean & cheese tamales

You can make tamales with whatever you want to fill them with instead of meat filling- beans, rice, cheese, vegetables… It is your choice. I think next year, I will make a batch of the filling for my Tacos! Yummy State or County Fair-style Tacos! to have on hand for the leftover masa. I am drooling at the thought… There are recipes for a masa for making dessert tamales too! those look to be filled with fruit and/or sweet cheeses, usually.

Jar fermenting vegetables

Yesterday I made some fermented vegetables- sauerkraut (cabbage) with some garlic and herbs and another mixture of cauliflower, carrots and garlic. The later has a name that escapes me. We found that a tablespoon of fermented vegetables a day really aids our gut health and digestion. There are so many recipes out there to fit one’s tastes.

I do want to get something better than my fist to pound down the vegetables into the jar, along with made-in-USA weights instead of the stainless-steel springs. There is even a food-safe item to use instead of a cabbage leaf to keep the vegetables under the brine I am looking at. We have done numerous vegetable combos. The two I made are our favorites. I prefer the jar method because it is easier to use smaller amounts of vegetables. I place the jars near our woodstove to keep it at the right temperature this time of year. The back room is way too cold to ferment vegetables properly.

I will post the photos for the gift I made my great-granddaughter for Christmas. I love the winter for a time of rest, doing crafts, reading and learning various things that interest me. May you all have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, what you love and those who love you!

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