Tamale Nibbles


2 cups masa (corn flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/3 cups beef stock
2/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
1 pound cooked shredded beef (or pork or chicken)
2 teaspoons masa
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves,+ extra for garnish
2 cans chipotle pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper
Crumbled Queso Fresco to garnish


Heat a skillet over medium–high heat. Add the shredded meat, and following seven ingredients. Stir well and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer. Simmer until all the liquid in rendered out--approximately 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, Mix 2 cups of masa with the baking powder, salt and cumin. Add the beef stock and mix to a crumbly consistency. Pour in the melted shortening and mix by hand until smooth.
Spray your mini-muffin tins with non-stick spray. Roll the masa mixture into small balls—about 2 tsp. each. Place one ball in each muffin cup and press with your fingers—or the back of a rounded measuring spoon—to make little shells.
Once the beef mixture has rendered out the liquid, stir in the sour cream and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste.
Fill each masa shell with beef mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Allow the tamale bites to cool 3-5 minutes before extracting them from the muffin tins. Use a small sharp knife to lift one side, then gently lift them out with your fingers.
Garnish with crumbled queso fresco and thyme leaves. Serve warm!


This recipe is a time saver on TWO levels. One, if you were going to make traditional tamales, this recipe cuts the time in half! The prep work is much quicker and so is the cooking time. Two, this recipe starts with cooked shredded meat. That means, LEFTOVERS from another meal--such as a beef roast, pulled pork, grilled chicken, even take-out! So when you prepare one meal during the week, you are actually getting a head-start on the appetizers for your weekend gathering! Isn't that EXCITING!?!


48 bites


Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 8:35pm


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