Stories / Recipes

These Tamales Are a Worthy Weekend Project

Frank Guerriero

April 17, 2019


Photo: Keirnan Monaghan and Theo Vamvounakis

This #WasteNotWednesday, we’re looking ahead to a scrap-savvy weekend project: tamales. Even if you’re a seasoned pro with these precious Mexican parcels, this eco-friendly rendition from Chefs Boot Camp alum Elizabeth Falkner is sure to keep you on your culinary toes.

Falkner starts by transforming over a dozen ingredients—including goji berries, pecans, and chia seeds—into a complex, smoky mole. Then, she whips up a filling with the traditional masa, plus quinoa, oats, cotija cheese, and a few other components. She puts her Waste Not wisdom to use by using blanched collard greens to wrap the bundles instead of corn husks—that way, your guests can chow down on the entire tamale. After a long steam and a quick sear, the tamales are served with that decadent mole, yogurt, chopped scallions, cilantro, and a wedge of lime. Get the recipe and wow your friends this weekend.

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The James Beard Foundation's new cookbook, Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, offers up a host of delicious solutions to the pressing problem of food waste. Featuring 100 recipes from alumni of our Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and ChangeWaste Not will teach you how to turn every root, bone, rind, and stem into an irresistible dish.

Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, published by Rizzoli,​ is on sale now.​ Order your copy today!

Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.