Present at the Ranch

Rancho La Puerta's blog about healthy and happy living.

Category Archives: Main Course

Vegetable Tamales

Rancho La Puerta Vegetable TamalesWith a history that’s deeper than the Aztec pyramids are tall, tamales have been a staple of Mexico for centuries.  Some historians recognize them as part of the pre-Colombian diet starting somewhere between 5000 BC to 7000 BC, where they were likely cooked in buried coals.  Wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and filled with seasoned meat or pineapple, traditional tamales are sweet or savory pockets of deliciousness.  Modern varieties have given the filling a new twist; there are feta and spinach filled tamales, black bean and onion, plantain and persimmon, sweet potato and chilies – the list goes on. However you decide to experiment, at The Ranch, we like the simplicity and vegetarian style of sautéed vegetable tamales.

Makes 8 Tamales

¾ cup masa harina flour mixed with ½ cup water  (or substitute with a ½ lb of fresh premixed masa)

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

2-3 tablespoons vegetable stock

10 cornhusks


Bring masa mixture and shortening to room temperature. Place masa, shortening, salt, baking powder, and pepper in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, and mix for 5 minutes. Drizzle vegetable stock in and mix for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Vegetable Stuffing:

1½ cups mixed vegetables (onion, zucchini, pepper, mushrooms, etc.)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dice vegetables. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat, add the vegetables and sauté until tender approximately 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

Filling the Corn Husks:

Soak corn husks in hot water for 2-3 minutes to soften. Once they are pliable, drain and pat dry.  Cut 8 thin ribbons out of a husk – these will be used to tie the tamales. Next, fill the husks. With the coarser side up, spread a large soup spoon size of tamale dough onto a husk. Place a dollop of vegetable filling down the middle of the dough, and fold the husk in half from side to side, making sure to wrap the dough around the filling. Next, fold the bottom end of the husk up to meet the top, and tie the top with a thin strip of husk. Repeat this process with the remaining husks.

Cooking the Tamales:

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place a steam rack over the boiling water, and put the tamales on the rack with the tied ends up. Cover and steam for 25 minutes, or until they’re still firm but softer to the touch. Enjoy!



Lobster and Shrimp Paella

Longer days are almost here and our Lobster and Shrimp Paella recipe is the perfect choice to ring in warmer evening dinners outside.  This beautiful and delicious recipe is taken from our cookbook, Ranch cookbook, Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho Puerta by Deborah Szekely, Deborah Schneider and Robert … Continue reading



Strawberry Summer Risotto

From our Hands-On Cooking Class, with Visiting Chef Nani Steele! Inspired by a book of summer recipes from Italy, this savory strawberry risotto is surprisingly delicious, not at all cloying as one might suspect. The berries impart a pleasant tannic … Continue reading



Oyster Mushroom Paella

Recipe by Executive Chef Denise Roa (inspired by Georgeanne Brennan.) Serves 12 (or halve recipe to serve 6)/ 1½ hours Celebrate the garden’s colorful bounty without making a trip to the local seafood purveyor. Poblana peppers give this a Mexican … Continue reading



Glazed Roasted Salmon En Croûte

This beautiful, phyllo-wrapped Wellington looks impressive, but it is quick and remarkably easy to make. Sliced, it reveals layers of pink salmon, sautéed spinach, and rice, speckled with sweet peppers. Jesús prefers the taste and color of wild trolled salmon, … Continue reading


Embrace Your Life. Start Today.
Privacy Policy | ©2013-2016 Rancho La Puerta Inc., All Rights Reserved | Reservations: 800-443-7565 | 858-764-5500 |