Sunday, 28 April 2013

Burger & Shake Night at Homemade Sheffield

Homemade is a café/deli in the Nether Edge area of Sheffield. They mainly open 10am - 3pm Tuesday – Saturdays, but about once or twice a month they hold special themed food nights. Recently there has been a Friday Bistro night and a Saturday tapas Sharing Plates night.

The week before my birthday I was browsing the interest in search of somewhere to go with A to celebrate my birthday. I was delighted to discover that on Wednesday 24th April, my actually birthday, Homemade was holding a Burger & Shake night. Now you may think that a burger – meaty in a bun – wheaty, is not the best idea for a vegetarian coeliac, but that is until I tell you that they offer 3 handmade meaty burgers - all gluten free and 5 handmade veggie burgers, of which 4 are vegan and 2 are gluten free. Yippee!

Having a burger and shake is not something I have done since having to eat gluten free, over 2 ½ years now. The fun element, American slant and the fact it was a special event evening really appealed to me as a place to go for my birthday meal. That little bit different to the usual Italian or Indian food I often eat out. My boyfriend A loves burgers so I knew he would be more than happy with my choice.

Upon arrival we were seated at our reserved table and I was impressed that water was immediately brought to the table along with the menus. A ordered a strawberry milkshake while I chose a smoothie from their specials board of raspberry and blackberry. The drinks were obviously made fresh on site as A’s milkshake had little bits of strawberry floating in it and my smoothie was wonderfully thick and smooth.

My choice of two burgers was:
The Hot Chick - chickpeas, cumin, carrots, paprika, garam masala and fresh coriander. Served with sour cream.
Billie The Kid - mint, feta, oregano, red onions, chilli, chickpeas and garlic, topped with griddled halloumi or beetroot.

It was a tough decision but in the end I chose the Billie The Kid with beetroot, as I liked the idea of the mint, feta and chilli in the burger. A went for The Uncle Sam, a beef burger with coriander and spices topped with onion and tomato. We had a choice of homemade baked potato wedges or house made coleslaw and salad. We both went for wedges.

While we waited for the food I was enthralled by the wall we were sat next to. It was covered with pages from an old copy of woman’s weekly, or housewife magazine (I can’t remember which) and was full of top tips and recipes for the woman of the home. Things like sensational salads, how to cater for a dinner dance and adverts for Bovril. The front cover page said it was priced at 14½. I was really amused by the poem advert for cheese triangles, which it described as crustless cheese!

Our burgers arrived, with mine accompanied by a gluten free bun, which I was pleased about. The taste was lovely, quite subtle on the chili, but I loved the chunks of feta which had become all soft and melty. The texture was more like a potato cake than a dry mealy bean burger, which made a lovely change. I really enjoyed the baked potato wedges which were served skin on. The chef even came to our table to assure me she made all the food and it was gluten free.

I was delighted to be told that they had a gluten free dessert. And not your usual boring crème brulee or bought in chocolate brownie either. Instead I was offered a slice of house-made apricot and coconut tart. This sounded too good to pass up and I was presented with a simple enormous slice. It had a base of apricot halves with a desiccated coconut frangipane style top served in a gluten free pasty base. The filling was a little fragile and crumbly, but this is expected in gluten free baking, but it was deliciously flavoured and moist, that I happily devoured every crumb. It was the best gluten free dessert I’ve ever had out. I told the chef this at the end of the night as I think it’s important to encourage people to continue to care about and provide tasty gluten free food.

It was a lovely way to celebrate my birthday and we left full and happy. It was our first visit to Homemade, but I have no doubt we’ll be back!

Note: For their special food nights it is important to book a table.
They also only accept cash or cheques for payment.
Burger & Shake nights are currently every Wednesday, but for a limited time only.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Birthday Mini Coconut Cupcakes 2 ways – Chocolate and Coconut & Lime Butterflies

On Saturday A invited me round to his house for a film night with some of his friends. Everyone was bringing something to share and I decided to bake some mini cupcakes. It’s my birthday today, so I think my brain was already thinking about cake! I love how mini cupcakes are cute and individually sized, the perfect thing to share around when you want just a little something sweet.

I decided to make coconut cupcakes and then decorate them two different ways with two different flavours in the hope there would be something to suit everyone. Plus, I always think a mix of colours and flavours look more appealing than having everything the same.

Half of the mini cupcakes were topped with chocolate frosting and some lightly toasted coconut, while the other half I turned into mini butterfly cakes, filled with some of my leftover zingy lime curd. I was happy with how they both turned out but I loved the lime curd butterflies. I’ve not made butterfly cakes for years. They always used to make an appearance at birthday parties, lightly dusted with icing sugar. I felt quite nostalgic making them.

I thought most people would go for the chocolate topped ones, but the lime butterflies actually disappeared first. I still love its zesty vibrant flavour. Both varieties had disappeared by the end of the night though. Of course I had to taste one of each beforehand, for photography and quality control purposes you understand.

A is taking my out for dinner tonight to celebrate my birthday, and then my family are coming to visit during the May bank holiday, so I’m going to have a special couple of weeks!

Mini Coconut Cupcakes
60g gluten free flour (I used 40g brown rice flour, 15g buckwheat flour, 5g tapioca starch)
50g butter
35g creamed coconut (from a block, not the liquid)
60g caster sugar
1 egg
¼ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp coconut extract
¾ tsp GF baking powder

Butterfly Curd Filling
2 tbsp lime or lemon curd

Chocolate Icing (makes enough for 24 mini cupcakes)
70g butter
25g dark chocolate
10g cocoa powder
140g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk

2 tbsp desiccated coconut

Mini Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a mini cupcake tin with 24 paper cases.
Soften the block of coconut cream in the microwave until softened. Make sure the butter is very soft too. Weigh out all the ingredients into a bowl and beat together until smooth, light and fluffy.
Divide the batter between the paper cases using a teaspoon.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until risen. They will remain quite pale.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Chocolate Icing
Make sure the butter is soft and beat until soft and fluffy. Melt the chocolate, pour over the butter and mix until combined.
Sift over the icing sugar and cocoa powder and mix together carefully using a spatula, until most of the sugar has combined.
Add the milk and beat with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add a little more milk if necessary.
Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Pipe on top of the cooled mini cupcakes.

Heat a dry frying pan over a low heat. Add the coconut and mix slowly with a spoon, until lightly toasted and golden. Do not walk away as it can go from white to burnt in seconds.
When toasted, transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

Lime Butterflies
Run a sharp knife in a circle, cone formation around the top of the cooled cupcakes, about 3mm in from the edge. Remove the middle cone of sponge.
Fill the cone void with half a teaspoon of lime curd, or filling of your choice.
Cut the removed sponge cone in half to create two 3D triangle shapes.
Place these at a slight angle back on top of the filled cupcake, to look like the wings of a butterfly.
Dust the top lightly with icing sugar.

Makes 24 mini cupcakes

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Zingy Lime Curd

WOW! This has to be the best jam/curd/preserve I have ever made and ever tasted! It’s so fresh, zingy and zesty that it makes my tongue come alive with a jolt as the flavour sweeps over my taste buds like an electric shock. Almost like biting into a hot chili, a sudden rush of intense flavour, that makes your mouth water.

It’s sweet, sharp and sour all at the same time. I have never had lime curd before, but after buying a big bag of limes from the local market, I knew I had to do something with them besides squeezing a bit over a stir fry. I remembered seeing a post for a ginger lime curd on Chocolate Log blog and adapted her recipe slightly to create this fabulous curd. I didn’t have any ginger and wanted the curd to be really zesty, so used lots of limes and a lemon for extra zing.

I love the creamy yellow green tinged colour of the curd. The recipe said to sieve the zest out of the curd before jarring it, but I wanted extra citrus flavour and so left it in. I used a very fine grater to zest my fruit so the zest was fine enough not to be noticeable in the finished curd. It adds a lovely speckled appearance to the curd and I’m sure it adds to the zingy fresh flavour too.

If you love zingy, sweet and sharp flavours you must try this curd! I can’t stress enough how amazing it is. I have nearly finished a whole jar and I only made it at the weekend. I’ve been eating it on everything, bread, cakes, pancakes, swirled into yogurt and even my morning porridge! I may have had the odd spoonful straight out the jar too!

So quick, so simple and so zingy and fresh. Lemon curd seems bland and boring by comparison. It becomes wonderfully thick as it cools and sets. I’ll be making this again and again for sure. I’ve already promised a jar to my grandmother who shares my love of fresh and zingy flavours.

Zingy Lime Curd
(Recipe adapted from Chocolate Log blog)
Zest & juice of 3 limes
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
160g caster sugar
55g butter
2 eggs

Place two clean glass jars and their lids on a baking tray and place into the oven. Heat to 130C and leave the jars in the oven to sterilise while you make the curd.
Finely zest the limes and lemon and add to a large heatproof bowl. Squeeze the juice form the fruit and add to the zest along with the sugar.
Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has from cloudy to clear. (You can sieve the zest out at this stage if you don’t want it in the finished curd, but it adds a lot of extra flavour).
Cut the butter into small cubes and whisk into the zesty syrup until melted and combined.
Lightly beat the eggs and then pour into the lime mixture through a sieve to remove any oogly bits, whisking all the time to prevent the egg curdling into scrambled eggs.
Keep whisking gently for 10-15 minutes until the mixture starts to thicken. Do not be melted to walk away or turn the heat up to speed up the process, it will scramble the eggs.
Once the mixture starts to thicken, swap to a flexible spatula and keep stirring until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula. You should be able to run your finger down the spatula, leaving a mark without the curd flowing back over it.
Remove your jars from the oven and immediately fill to the rim with the hot curd. Screw the lids on the jars tightly, using rubber gloves to prevent burning your hands.
Leave to jars to cool on the side – the lids will suddenly ‘pop’ as the vacuum is created, ensuring a sealed and sterile jar.
Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Makes 1½ - 2 jars of zesty lime curd

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Apple Carrot Cake with Honey & Lemon Ricotta Frosting

I am sure I can’t be alone in having a recipe folder on my computer of ‘must bake’ recipes that I have gathered over the years from food blogs, magazine articles and other random places. I was recently having a sort out and came across a recipe for Carrot and apple cake with a lime cream cheese frosting that I immediately remembered I’d longed to bake the first time I saw it on The Passionate Cook blog. Image my surprise (and horror) at discovering the recipe was from 2009 – 3 years ago and I still hadn’t baked it! I dread to think how many other recipes I’ve got saved, waiting patiently to be baked. Far too many I fear.

Anyway, I decided it had waited long enough and a few weeks ago I finally got round to baking it – with a few of my own twists naturally. The thing that first attracted me to the recipe was:
1)      it's carrot cake – my absolute favourite
2)      it also contained apple – another big bonus
3)      it looked so incredibly, unbelievably moist

Carrot cake is probably my favourite cake. I just love the combination of textures, flavours, spices, crunch…delicious! Looking at the ingredients list it seemed to be lacking some of my favourite carrot cake components and so I decided to tinker with the recipe and add some sultans, walnuts, extra spice and brown sugar in place of some of the white sugar.

I also changed the frosting from being a lime cream cheese to a honey & lemon ricotta. Why? Well the cake itself sounded relatively healthy with all the apple and carrot, so I wanted something a little lighter and fresher. Ricotta flavoured with lemon and only marginally sweetened with a little spoonful of honey seemed to fit the bill.

The baked cake was certainly very very moist. However, on day of baking I found it quite tricky to cut due to the strands of apple and carrot, which were not easy to slice through due to the sponge mix being so soft and tender. Instead it tended to snare onto the knife and drag the crumb structure apart as I tried to slice it. This didn’t affect the taste – which was spicy, fruity and flavoursome, but didn’t make for great presentation. However, after a night in the fridge the cake firmed up and was much easier to slice.

I actually preferred it better the second day, firmer yet still very moist. The flavours had mingled together giving a more well rounded general flavour. The frosting too had firmed up, the excess liquid in the ricotta being absorbed by the cake, making it become more like a cheesecake style top than the softer, wetter mix it had been originally. It tasted very fresh and I liked that it was barely sweet, giving a nice contrast to the sweeter cake beneath.

The cake was delicious and I loved the slight chew or crunch from the added walnuts and raisins. It’s not my ultimate carrot cake, a recipe for which I’ve have yet to find, but it’s certainly a tasty version of one. It’s cooked at a low temperature which adds to it being a very soft cake and making it more of a pudding cake than an afternoon tea cake. The apple adds a great freshness when paired with the carrot. Use a sharp cooking apple for a slightly tart flavour, or a dessert apple for a sweeter one.

Apple Carrot Cake with Honey & Lemon Ricotta Frosting
Apple Carrot Cake
300g peeled carrot
150g peeled and cored apple (cooking or dessert, your choice)
150g butter
175g light soft brown sugar
50g sultanas
50g chopped walnuts
180g gluten free plain flour
3 eggs
3 tsp gf baking powder
1½ tsp ground ginger
1½ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Honey & Lemon Ricotta Frosting
250g ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey (or more to taste)

Apple Carrot Cake
Preheat the oven to 150C and line an 8inch spring form tin with greaseproof paper.
Grate the apple and carrot using a coarse grater and set aside.
Add the sugar to a large bowl. Melt the butter and pour it over the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each one.
Sift over the flour, baking powder and spices. Beat lightly until most of the flour has been incorporated. A few streaks are fine.
Add the grated apple and carrot and fold in using a spatula. Then fold in the sultanas and chopped walnuts.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean and it should be slightly firm to the touch.
Allow to cool almost completely before removing from the tin and leaving to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the frosting

Honey & Lemon Ricotta Frosting
Place the ricotta into a bowl and beat lightly until quite smooth. Add the honey and grated lemon zest and fold together well. Taste and add more honey if you want it sweeter, 1 tbsp makes it only faintly sweet.
Chill until required, before spreading over the top of the cake. Finish with a final scattering of fresh lemon zest.
Store the finished cake in the fridge and eat within 3 days.

Note: I found the cake was even better after a night in the fridge, when it was easier to cut and the frosting had firmed up.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Nutribox & A Special Offer

Being coeliac can mean that finding healthy yet tasty snacks can be a bit of a challenge. If I’m out and about or off site for a work meeting then it can be tricky to find anything, let along tasty and exciting things to eat while everyone else pops in to a shop for a choc bar or passes round a plate of custard creams.

There are a few companies around now that offer to post you little boxes of snacks for you to have on hand. These are a great idea, but sadly are often not guaranteed gluten free or don’t have a great variety of suitable gluten free snacks, meaning and you end up with the same variation on peanuts and raisins week and week (I’m talking from past experience here)

Enter Nutribox! This is a Sheffield based company that source snacks from gluten free suppliers, all within the UK, that they then put together into a selection box and post out to delighted gluten free munchers. I must admit I didn’t know much about them until they got in contact and offered me one of their boxes to review. All the products they provide are gluten free – naturally gluten free – meaning they don’t try and supply gluten free alternatives to e.g. muffins, but rather provide healthy, naturally gluten free foods perfect for snacking on – fruit crisps, nuts bars etc.

They offer two sizes of box, mini Nutribox – 8-10 products per box or Nutribox – 18-20 products per box. Both of which can be delivered anywhere in the UK on a monthly basis. The boxes are designed to fit through the letter box, so you won’t have to keep traipsing off to the post office to collect your box of goodies. The range of things on offer and the companies they sources the snacks from differs from month to month, so each box is an exciting surprise as to what you will receive.

On receiving my box I eagerly opened it to find a selection of exciting treats inside, including:
3 raw fruit/choc/nut bars.
Bounce – Cashew & Pecan Vitality Life – A mix of nuts, GF oats, seeds and fruit juices
Braw – Apple & Pear fruit bar – dried apple, pear, dates, almonds and flax
Energy Bomb – Raw Coco Crisp – A high fibre, fruit, nut and cocoa bar

3 little packets of dried fruit and nut mixes by a company called The Ludlow Nut Company.
No Choc Fruit & Nut – Almonds, hazelnuts, sultanas & raisins
Tropical Mix – Banana chips, almonds & coconut
Hot Cross Bun – Cranberries, hazelnuts and sultanas

There were also two small raw chocolate bars. Raw chocolate is something I’ve heard a lot about but never tasted it in bar form before, so I was excited about this.
Ombar – Dark 72% Bio Live Chocolate – Raw, organic, vegan chocolate bar enriched with bio ‘good’ bacteria
Ombar – Cranberry & Mandarin Chocolate – Raw, organic, vegan chocolate bar infused with cranberries and mandarin

A finally an interesting packet of 2 disc shaped raw superfood ‘cookies’
Energise – Raw Fruit ‘Cookies’ – A mix of sprouted almonds, coconut, hemp, flax, agave syrup, cocoa nibs, goji berries, maca and vanilla.

How delicious and exciting do they all sound! I'd normally be thrilled to find even one of these on offer in a shop, so to be presented with a whole box full of new and interesting snacks made me ridiculously happy. I wanted to save some of the treats to take with me to the office or when I’m out and about, but I couldn’t resist trying three of them at home for review purposes.

Energise – Raw Fruit ‘Cookies’
Being raw there is nothing baked about these ‘cookies’ They are simply a mix of delicious, nutritious ingredients squished together to resemble a cookie. There are two raw cookies per 50g pack.
They felt a little soft and ever so slightly sticky to the touch, almost like a flapjack. They smelt strongly of coconut and when bitten into they had a nice chew and slightly sweet flavour. The flavour and texture of the coconut comes through on chewing along with a slight sweetness from the agave and then tartness from the goji berries. The texture was similar to other dried fruit and nut bars I’ve tried, very nice and very moorish. I could quite happily munch on these any time. All very nutritious natural ingredients, so far better than a muffin or chocolate bar.

Energy Bomb – Raw Coco Crisp
On removing the wrapper, this bar felt very dry, dense and firm. There was no softness or give it the texture. It had a strong cocoa aroma, quite bitter and not very sweet. On biting into it, it had a coarse, slightly crumbly feeling in the mouth. It wasn’t unpleasant but I wouldn’t hurry to have another one. It would certainly fill you up and provide you with a long supply of energy, probably ideal if out on a hike. I felt it would be more something I would eat for its benefits, rather than because I enjoyed it. It was perfectly pleasant, but not treat-worthy enough to make me crave another one. I found it too chalky and bitter, and this is coming from a girl who likes to eat 90% dark chocolate.

Ombar – Raw Dark 72% Bio Live Chocolate
The idea behind raw chocolate is that it has not been heat treated so all the powerful enzymes and antioxidant are still at their peak. It’s also had live bio cultures added to it to aid digestion – the same thing they do with some probiotic yoghurt drinks. So health benefits aside, how did it taste?
The aroma is what struck me first on unwrapping the bar. A deep, rich and intensely dark chocolate aroma wafted up to greet me. The bar had been divided into segments which broke apart with a very pleasing and loud, clear ‘snap’ the mark of a good chocolate. No dull thunk of poor chocolate here! On eating, the bar dissolved and broke apart in a very nice yet slightly unexpected way. I was expecting something very solid, but it had a very light texture, almost that of a very superior Aero. Light, but also intensely rich and cocoa flavoured. Even after only one piece I found the chocolate flavour lingered for several minutes. A delicious bar and one I would happily eat again. I was pleased to see that it had been lightly sweetened with coconut sugar, so a very natural and healthy bar all round.

I was really impressed with the quality and variety of the treats I received. I love that everything Nutribox send out is always gluten free, how they support local UK food producers and provide such a variety and exciting assortment of snacks and treats, rather than just putting together a few peanuts and raisins. Each snack is the perfect size to pop in your bag, meaning you never have to miss out on the afternoon munchies again. The snacks are unusual, tasty, nutritious and many of them are not readily available in local shops, meaning you get to sample some really innovative and artisan products. Much better than a plate of custard creams!

Special Offer
Nutribox have been generous enough to offer the first 10 Apple & Spice readers an amazing 50% off their first box! Simply put the following code (APPLE&SPICE50) – without the brackets – into the discount code box on the Join page.
Offer applies to the first 10 customers only, and must have a UK delivery address. So you better be quick!

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Spinach & Sweet Corn Tamales

I have been longing to make my own tamales since tasting them for the first time on my visit to LA last Febraury. I ate a dish of green spinach tamales in a fabulous restaurant called Hugo’s and it remains the best meal I have ever eaten in my life. The textures and flavours just blew me away and were unlike anything I have ever tasted. Imagine my delight when I discovered that the restaurant had created a video, showing exactly how to make the dish. Once I discovered this I knew I had to try and recreate them.

Before I could get cooking, I had to buy some Masa Harina, a special type of fresh, dried and ground corn/maize flour used for making tamales and also traditional tortillas. Thankfully a quick hunt online produced two online Mexican stores that sold it. Spying they also sold corn husks – the dried outer leaves of corn in which tamales are traditionally rolled and steamed, I got some of those too. I was now ready to get tamale making!

My spinach mixture refused to puree smooth as I only had a small food processor rather than a powerful blender, but this didn’t seem to affect the recipe. It made my tamales speckled green in appearance, rather than being completely green, but I think this was actually rather attractive. Another thing I liked about this recipe compared to others I’ve seen is that is uses roughly blitzed fresh sweet corn for extra texture rather than relying purely on the corn flour. It’s also a gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan recipe as it uses no fat (lard is traditional) in making the tamale dough. (I did add cheese and sour cream as finishing accompiments, but this is optional.)

I was actually surprised how quick and easy the tamales were to make. From start to unwrapping the cooked tamale was just under an hours work. I had fun wrapping and rolling my tamales, and experimented with using both the traditional corn husks and squares of parchment paper as wrappers. I must confess I found the parchment paper squares a lot easier to work with.

In LA my tamales were served on a pool of green tomatillo salsa, another thing not readily available in the UK (boo). Instead I used a jar of good quality tomato sauce which I spiced up with some chipotle chili paste. It turned out to be rather fiery, as I hadn’t realised the tomato sauce was actually a fresh chili and tomato sauce, so the addition of a blob of sour cream was quite welcome to cool my tongue.

The texture of the tamales was just as I remembered them. Quite thick and stodgy, but also soft and flavoursome as tamales are steamed rather than baked or fried. The texture may not appeal to everyone, but I love it! The spinach gave it great fresh flavour and speckled appearance while the little chunks of fresh sweet corn added a subtle sweetness and a pleasing texture against the spicy tomato sauce. So satisfying. I can’t wait to experiment with other flavours or maybe even attempting a few stuffed tamales.

I know many people in the UK may not have even heard of tamales before, let alone tasted one, but I urge you to give them a go. I have given some links of where to get the Masa Harina flour below. Click here to see the video recipe of Hugo’s Green Tamales.

Spinach & Sweet Corn Tamales
200g spinach
100ml water
400g sweet corn
30g caster sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
130g fine cornmeal (not cornflour)
120g Masa Harina corn/maize flour *(see below)

Corn husks or baking parchment for wrapping

* Masa Harina is made from fresh sweet corn that has been dried and ground into flour. You can buy it and the corn husks from online Mexican grocers or some specialist shops. Mex Grocer and Cool Chili Co are two such places.

Cut out 6-7 inch squares of baking parchment or soak some corn husks ready for filling.
Place the spinach and water into a food processor. Process until a green thin puree has formed. Mine remaining quite chunky, giving it a mottled appearance but this is fine.
Place the spinach into a large bowl.
Place the sweet corn into the processor and blitz until broken down, but still quite chunky (if using fresh corn, cook it first, but canned or frozen are already pre-cooked) Add the sweet corn to the spinach.
Sprinkle over the remaining ingredients and fold everything together using a spatula.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture in the centre, about 1inch up from the base of the corn husk or baking parchment square. Fold over the bottom edge, to cover the tamales mixture, and then fold in each of the two sides to prevent the mixture from escaping out the sides, then roll up. Repeat until you have used all your tamale mixture.
Heat a pan of water until simmering. Place a steamer or sieve over the top of the water and arrange your wrapped tamales inside. The water should not touch the sieve/steamer. You don’t have to cook them all at once.
Place the lid on the saucepan and allow the tamales to steam for 30 minutes. They should feel firm when cooked.
Remove the tamales from the steamer. Carefully unroll them from the parchment or corn husks and place two per person on a pool of spicy tomato sauce/salsa. (Green tomatillo salsa is traditional but very hard to find in this country) Put a blob of sour cream or crème fraîche on top of the tamales and finish with a fine grating of cheese.
Eat and enjoy.
Makes around 8 small tamales (enough for 4 people)

Note: I've just realised this is my 500th post - whoop!