There are so many things to put in a tamale, so you can really mix things up while also making a tasty meal that comes together pretty easily. Tamales might seem overwhelming, but once you figure out how to make them, it’s simple. And you can make tons at one time so you can cook for a crowd. Trust me, everyone is going to love eating at your house! Once you’ve made tamales, everyone is going to want you to make them all the time. Check out all of these delicious things to put in a tamale and I bet your mouth will start watering in no time.
Meat is one of the most traditional things to put in a tamale, with shredded pork being one of the top choices. Shredded beef is pretty popular too. I’ve had tamales both ways and I can assure you that each is equally as delicious. Chicken is another meat that works really well in tamales. Of course, don’t be afraid to go ahead and try something new. Leftover meat of any type is perfect!
Tamales are a great dish for people who don’t eat meat because you certainly don’t have to stuff them with pork, beef or chicken. Some of the best tamales are meat-free and instead are loaded up with vegetables. Corn, bell peppers and tomatoes are heavenly choices, but zucchini is one that I really love. Experiment to find what you like best.
Not all tamales have cheese inside of them, but the ones that do are sure tasty. In fact, my favorite tamale is a mixture of green chile and cheese. It tastes so good and has just the right amount of spice. Cheddar or jack cheese works well because it gets all melty and gooey. Queso fresco is another perfect choice for putting inside of tamales. If you’ve never had this kind of cheese, you have got to give it a try.
Most tamales have some type of chile in them. It’s usually mixed with the other fillings. Red chile is common in pork and beef tamales while green chile works well in chicken and veggie tamales. Of course, you can always go for half and half if you’re having trouble deciding which one you want. Buy canned if you want to, or try your hand at making your own. It isn’t very hard!
Many regions that are considered Mexican serve seafood in their cuisine. You might be more used to beef and beans, but many parts of Mexico and Spain serve tamales filled with seafood. Shrimp and jalapenos are a great combination, but you can try lobster, crab or fish too. These fillings pair really well with creamy sour cream sauces.
Tamales are a pretty simple food. They don’t typically contain any elaborate or hard to find ingredients. However, you can add tons of flavor to yours with just a dash of ethnic spices. Try cumin, chile powder or chipotle powder. Of course, herbs also work. Cilantro and parsley are refreshing options.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had a sweet tamale. My husband’s aunt used to cook them up with raisins and cinnamon. They taste like pie! The options are endless. Try fruit, chocolate, nuts, caramel, cinnamon and sugar. No matter what you do, you just can’t go wrong.
Don’t you just love tamales? What’s your favorite filling? I hope you are inspired to get in the kitchen and try your hand at making tamales. Let me know how it goes!
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