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Lazyman Tamales


This past weekend I was craving the flavors of tamales, but I did not want to go through all the trouble of making them. I came up with this quicker recipe that will hold you over till the next time you can get the real thing. I have made real ones a few times, so if you are into that you can check the recipes here and here. The pictures of this meal do not do any justice to the food. For one, it is not a pretty meal and does not photograph well. Secondly, I am still learning the ways of my new camera lens.

The idea today was a BBQ sauce for the chicken that I "mexican-ed" up. Again, this was supposed to be lazymans, so I didn't want to go to crazy with the sauce. I used a quality store bought BBQ that I found.

It was a little thick, so I added some water to the mix. This was after adding chili powder, cumin, coriander, canned chipotles, and canned green chiles.

After the chicken is cooked, remove it and shred it up. Then add some of the bbq sauce to the mix.

Leave the rest of the sauce on low heat to thicken a bit.

This is a store bought cornbread mix. You want to use the real soft kind, often called corn cake. We added about half as much water as suggested so it would be thick enough to not just drip out of the tortillas.


Some BBQ sauce in the pan to prevent sticking.

More sauce, and of course, cheese on top.

An alternate title for this would be BBQ tamale enchiladas, but I don't like tossing around terms loosely and enchiladas to me need a chile sauce (enchilada means in-chile)

As I said, pictures not too good, food, amazing.

The corn bread baked up nicely to form a nice layer around the meat. It almost melded with the tortilla and you couldn't tell one from the other.

I tried to get a cross section, and you can kinda see what I am talking about with the cornbread layer.

For the chicken I did -
saute 1 onion and 5 diced and seeded jalapenos until some browning occurs.
add 4 minced garlic cloves.
add chicken
cook until browned
add store bought BBQ, a nicer brand
add half tin of canned green chiles, 4 chipotles with some of the adobo, tablespoon cumin, teaspoon coriander, teaspoon chile powder
mix and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. taste for seasonings, and remove and shread chicken
add some of the sauce into the chicken mixture, but leave some on the stove on low to reduce and thicken slightly

Mix a packet of cornbread mix, the juicy cake like kind
assemble wraps as shown in the pics
bake at 350 for 45 minutes until the cornbread mix is fully cooked


these look fantastic...
a note on the depth of field though... looks like you've got a super low f-number setting for your shots, probably due to low lighting. if you jack up the light, you can have a larger f-number and increase your depth of field and have it not be as abrupt of a blend from sharp to dull image. same goes for propping your camera on a tripod and slowing the shutter speed. also, some cameras also let you have multiple focal points to an image so they'll get sharp in 2 spots and dull out the rest of it, but in something with low lighting and odd curvatures like food, it can really make an image look funny. i'm still gonna make these...

I've been a long time reader, but this is my first post. I subscribe to the rss and it's been working fantastically.

I make a cornbread almost weekly, instead of using a boxed mix, I think I would make a quick batter, but would I be using half of my usual liquid?

this sure seems like an awful lot of work for a lazyman. the pictures look good though man. keep up the good work.

My cornbread is normally a dry, sweet cornbread. I made a batch last night alongside some chili (I love my crockpot) and tried to make a more sticky batter, I think this will work, though I was not thrilled with my cornbread for the night, I'm happy it would work here. I've never made tamales, but I love this first step.

Love the recipe Dan! On a side note, I've noticed the pictures have somewhat of a yellowish tint on them, probably due to lighting... There should be a white balance option on your camera and if you set it to "incandescent" (I have a Nikon D60 and that's the option for mine anyway) it fades out the yellowish tint and gives a "whiter" look. Great stuff!

This looks delicious! I love tamales but am much to lazy to make them - this looks like a great solution!

i'm definitely making these - hopefully mine won't have a yellow-tint to them, though ;)

Oh my god... yes, I am making these immediately. They look so delish!

Wow, this sounds great. What if I were to use an Eastern Carolina style BBQ sauce? Would it work, or does it have to be a ketchup based sauce?

These look fantastic! All your tamales have turned out so nicely, it makes me hunger. Have you ever tried a Guatemalan white corn tamale -- I've had these many times, made by a Guatemalan friend of mine. They are so different from more common mexican-style tamales -- I think you should look into it! Plus, I love all your cooking and would enjoy seeing you tackle one of these.

Is this with corn or flour tortillas?

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