I have a question about the recipe "Corn Tamales with Swiss Chard" from thirschfeld. Are assembled tamales a decent candidate for the freezer?
I've never made this particular recipe, but we have a Guatemalan friend who makes us a big...and I mean big....batch of tamales (wrapped in banana leaves, not corn husks) every New Year's, and I often freeze a bunch in foil. Works fine.
HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
I don't mean to hijack the post, but do the tamales need to be cooked first or is that not necessary in order to successfully freeze them. Just wondering.
She always brings our tamales cooked (still warm - such a treat!) There are often too many to eat at one sitting, so I let them cool, then freeze.
When ever we get tamales, we always get more than we can eat before they spoil. The tamales are always cooked and then cooled in the fridge before going into the freezer. No problem going straight from the freezer to the microwave.
I would think yes. I've eaten frozen tamales from Trader Joe's by steaming them 20 minutes (microwave broken) and they taste great.
I sure hope it works- after reading responses and thinking on it, I made a quadruple batch today (hey, if the kitchen is going to be dirty....) and it ended up being the most massive amount of tamales I could ever have imagined. All but the ones for dinner tonight are in the freezer- unsteamed. I sure hope we like these things (we've never had them before in any form).
Just to reiterate what others have said, yes, you can freeze tamales. Growing up in California, every supermarket I saw had bags of Red's Tamales in the freezer section, and our favorite tamale restaurant (in SF) sold theirs frozen (as well as eat-in or take-out.
My only concern with this recipe would be the chard. Think about frozen spinach and how much water it jettisons as it defrosts. If the chard does the same, you could have some soggy tamales. Once you defrost them, if they look like they may be soggy, maybe you could bake them in a slow oven to coax out some of that liquid. Maybe a direct question to thirschfeld? He's pretty knowledgeable, and he may have frozen these himself and can give you the info you need.
I just looked at the recipe - the chard isn't stuffed into the tamales, it's cooked and served separately as a bed for them. Just freezing the tamales should be fine.
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