Simmered in culture and stuffed with flavor, Tamales offer something for everyone. Paul Sandoval proprietor and patriarch of the family owned and operated business started making Tamales in 1974. Today consumers are seeking good Mexican food because making great Mexican food is no accident.
At Tamales by La Casita care is taken in every step for each and every recipe. While Tamales are the tradition at the restaurant, we also make all of our recipes from fresh ingredients made fresh each and every day.
Tamale making is both an art and a Science. Paul Sandoval, a Colorado state senator in the 70’s and 80’s is the proprietor with his wife Paula and his three nephews, Feliz, Julio and Paul. The family owned and operated business has turned Tamale-making into the mainstay of the restaurant.
At Tamales by La Casita, Tamales are handmade first thing every morning. There’re filled with masa and the Sandoval family’s secret proprietary fillings. Tamales are corn husks or banana leaves stuffed with masa and a meat or vegetarian chile mixture; they’re then folded and steamed. Tamales date from pre-Columbian Mexico, and because of the importance of corn to the culture, Tamales have long been served for important occasions.
At Christmas, families often gather in the kitchen to make Tamales for fun and camaraderie. At the restaurant over 12,000 Tamales are made daily, steaming them in custom designed steamers. However, during the week of Christmas we sell over 225,000 Tamales for both the restaurant and our wholesale business where customers and holiday goers line up three deep to enjoy our original recipes.
Making a Tamale can be time consuming, it’s not surprising that customers are flocking to buy the already hand made delights that satisfy the “something-for-everyone” criterion, because our Tamales are green, red, and vegetarian.
Making a Tamale step-by-step!
Mix the masa harina (dried corn flour); add vegetable oil, baking powder, and salt to make the dough. The dough has a consistency of cookie dough.
Utilizing an ice cream scoop or spoon, place a 2 oz dollop of dough in the center of a clean, rehydrated corn husk, the corn husk should be slightly damp for spreading.
Spread the masa with a butter knife or spatula all the way to the edges in a square, leaving 2 or 3 inches unfilled toward the point of a triangle.
Top the masa with 1.5 ounces of filling, which is made ahead of time that is well chilled to keep the Tamale from being runny.
Fold the two long sides of the corn husk like you were wrapping a package. First fold one side over just until it covers the filling, then fold the other side on top of that.
Fold the pointed end up over the folded sides, pressing down so that the ends will stay folded and you won’t need to tie the husk. The Tamale will sit open-side up in the steamer, make enough room to fill your pot.
In the pot, preferably a stock pot, steam the Tamales. If you don’t have a steamer to support the Tamales upright, make foil balls and place in the bottom of a pot, add hot water to just below the foils so that the Tamales are not sitting in water.
Place Tamales upright in the pot, packing them tightly, but allowing room for steam to circulate. Cover with lid or foil. Steam Tamales until the masa inside is shiny. (you may need to add water as needed). Enjoy!
If you are a Tamale fan or fan of New Mexican cuisine, our hand made and freshly prepared dishes have been a Denver tradition served by the Sandoval family for nearly four decades. Established in 1975 Paul Sandoval and his wife Paula have been serving Denver’s families with the best Tamales, green chile, and other Mexican favorite dishes to thousands of devoted customers.
Thousands of our followers have enjoyed dozens and dozens of green, red and vegetarian Tamales, breakfast burritos, enchiladas, green chile and many other delights. We make homemade green chile and red chile sauce as well. Ask about our kids menu and our gluten free items as well. At Tamales by La Casita we take pride in the traditional New Mexican cuisine that has reflections from Mexico, the Native American Indian, and Spanish influences that date back centuries. New Mexican food is America’s oldest cuisine. It’s also Colorado’s legendary fare since the southern part of our state and New Mexico were once part of Mexico.