29 June 2011

Tamale Tuesdays at Taquiera

Thanks to some Twitter intel, we've found out that Taquiera is currently offering Tamale Tuesdays - all day tamales every Tuesday. Get thee to Notting Hill!

21 May 2011

Amy's ready-meal tamales


We had to try these ready meal tamales by Amy's Kitchen after spotting them in the Whole Foods freezer section...

Unfortunately they're pretty bland and needed lots of extra accompaniments to make them tasty and a satisfying meal. Verdict: make your own or buy from Tamales Online instead.

3 February 2011

Tamalera: tamales in North London

I just got an email from Kathryn at Tamalera, alerting me to her small company selling yummy tamales to us Londoners. With a mix of traditional and local ingredients (beef from Smithfield market, and a veggie roasted jalapeno option), these sound super delicious.

They sell at Archway market every Saturday, with plans to expand soon and offer delivery. Tamale Spotting will be paying them a visit soon for an on-the-ground report.. has anyone else been to check them out?

Update: Tamalera have moved to Tachbrook street market near Victoria.

3 December 2010

Tamales to your door!

Exciting news reaches our inbox from Hampshire: Marten and Yolanda got in touch to tell us about Tamales Online, their new site which sells ready-to-heat tamales to your door. Belizean Yolanda had the idea when she couldn't find tamales anywhere in the UK - a dilemma we know all too well. Cooked to order and vacuum-packed for freshness, the tamales just need reheating by steaming or microwaving once they reach your door.

Belizean tamales differ from Mexican ones by incorporating a spice blend called recado into the dough which adds an extra layer of flavour - and a rather vivid colour! The filling also includes recado and a tomato-based sauce, resulting in a milder taste than Mexican tamales.

While tamales are rarely vegetarian in Belize, Tamales Online have included two veggie varieties - including the lovely bean and sweet potato one we tasted. We ate them with a side of refried beans and some salsa over the top which made for a delicious and warming near-instant meal.

Tamales Online have tons of filling options, even including a breakfast tamale with bacon and black pudding, and a sweet coconut and cinnamon one for afters. I can imagine the site being a real hit, with the ability to buy a big box in bulk and keep them in the freezer. Perfect for an instant warming meal and especially great for parties, we reckon.

Visit tamalesonline.co.uk to place your order!

10 November 2010

Tamales in Wahaca, Soho

Wahaca Soho

We were treated to a soft launch preview dinner at the new Soho branch of Wahaca last night. The place is bright and fun, with a dedicated tequila bar downstairs. But of course we only had eyes for the tamales!

Wahaca Soho

Artisan-made by Rico Mexican Kitchen, Wahaca's tamales come in chilli pork with mole and veggie poblano chilli, cheese and roast tomato salsa varieties. I found the veggie one just a touch dry and under-filled but dipped in the tomato salsa on the side it was rich and tasty, and the frijoles were also a great accompaniment (hmm, maybe I should try making tamales filled with black beans?). My companion, a tamale-newbie, had the pork one with mole which she said was fantastic.

Tamales aside, the queso fundido - Mexican fondue, essentially - was a big hit too, as were the smoky, salty roasted sweet potatoes. And happily classics like the frijoles and margaritas are still as good as ever. It was also nice to spot Thomasina herself at an adjoining table and say hello! I think the Soho restaurant will be a big success judging by the buzz on soft launch night - find it at 80 Wardour Street.

Wahaca Soho

30 October 2010

Dia de los Muertos at Benito's Hat

Tamale-tasting at Benito's Hat

We were treated to a little preview of the special Dia de los Muertos festival menu at Benito's Hat last week. Celebrating the Mexican Day of the Dead, the menu features festive specialties including Pan de Muerto with chocolate sauce, a 'Vampiro' cocktail - a twist on the Margarita with tomato juice - and tamales, of course.

Tamale-tasting at Benito's Hat

They have two varieties on offer: Pork with salsa roja and veggie with salsa verde. The addition of salsa and cheese to the top of the tamale - finished in the oven to melt the cheese - was unusual but very tasty and added an extra layer of flavour. The pork was tasty but not so strong to outdo the taste of the tamale. The enchilada-style tomato salsa was a great complementary flavour that we'll will definitely try when we cook tamales at home. Chef Felipe told us he used balsamic vinegar in the pork marinade, a seemingly unexpected ingredient that according to co-owner Ben is actually quite common in Mexico.

Tamale-tasting at Benito's Hat

The sharing plate of veggie quesadillas, potato taquitos and black beans nachos was delicious as well, the irony-rich spinach quesadillas a particular highlight.

Try the festive menu yourself at Benito's Hat on November 2nd. Tamales might also make an appearance at other times of year, although as chef Felipe explained to us, they are quite time-consuming to make to order, which might account for the success of its cousin, the easy-assembly burrito.

27 October 2010

Wahaca's winter menu

We're rather excited about Wahaca's new Winter menu, which is rolling out this week. Quite aside from the two varieties of tamale, we're also dying to try the Pork Torta, new-recipe Mole, and delicious-sounding Queso Fundido. Winter comfort food at its best!

(click to enlarge)

We're popping along to the preview of the new Soho restaurant in a couple of weeks so will report back soon.