Sorry that there were so many questions about the tamales. I grew up eating these so I wasn’t thinking that someone might have no idea about them. Below are the bags . . all vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer.
- No, you do not eat the husks! I’m not saying you couldn’t but I’ve never known anyone to do it.
- Yes, you could use other things to wrap them besides corn husks but there’s flavor in those dried husks! I’ve heard in wrapping tamales in foil but since they’re steamed, I’m not quite sure how that would work. I’ve heard of folks using coffee filters and I could see how that would work ok but as long as I can get corn husks, that’s what I’ll use.
- When steaming them, you don’t want them to sit in the water at all. The basket I use is part of a very old turkey fryer gizmo. I put that in an old canner and the bottom of the steamer basket sits about 1-1/2″ from the bottom of the pot so that’s all the water I can put in there. I have to keep adding water so the pot doesn’t boil dry. There are all kinds of pots/steamers made especially for tamales. All you have to do is steam them . . you don’t have to get fancy.
- When freezing them, my preferred method is to flash freeze them (lay them all on a cookie sheet where they aren’t touching each other and freeze them), then put them in the bags, vacuum and seal them. That prevents them from getting mashed during the vacuuming. I had put my tamales, still in the steamer basket, in a cooler with ice on the front porch last night. It was cold enough that they were close to frozen so I just stuck them in the bags, vacuumed, sealed and froze them. I put them 6 per bag because that works well for us. If I need more, I take out additional bags.
- Yes, the husks are left on t hem for freezing.
- To heat them for serving, I like to let them defrost in the fridge, then I steam them in my little electric steamer. They could be steamed in a double boiler or, add a little (as in spoonfuls) of water to them and microwave them.
Any more questions, just ask . . others probably have the same questions you do.