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Roasted Garlic, Sweet Potato, and Raisin Tamales with Peanut Tequila Mole

Roasted Garlic, Sweet Potato, and Raisin Tamales with Peanut Tequila Mole

Recipe by Jason Wyrick, executive chef of The Vegan Taste and author of Vegan Tacos, for Living The Farm Sanctuary Life.

Says Jason: "I travel the world on culinary adventures, but I always end up coming back to Mexican food. It's playful and rich, always bold, and always lively. This recipe is no exception. With chiles and tequila, how can it not be? These tamales feature the sweet counterpoint of raisins and sweet potato with the heat of ancho chiles and chipotles in adobo against a backdrop of a rich peanut sauce. Add some tequila on top of that and a few aromatic spices, and you've got a tamale that offers up a new adventure with every bite. You can also separate out the mole (pronounced MOH-lay) recipe to use as a sauce in other dishes, to create a rich soup broth, or to use as a salsa on tacos."

Chef's Tip: Make the mole while the tomatoes are steaming.


20 whole cloves garlic
1 large white sweet potato, diced 
1 tablespoon garlic-infused olive oil
Juice of 2 limes 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup golden raisins

2 ½ cups masa harina
1 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 ¾ cups warm water
3 tablespoons vegan shortening, optional
Corn husks, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes

1 roma tomato
1 ancho chile
1 tablespoon corn oil
1/4 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons tequila blanco
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons olive oil

Grated peel of 4 large limes
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts


Heat a large dry iron skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic from the filling and tomato from the mole to the skillet. Once the cloves start to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, flip and lightly brown the other sides. Remove them from the skillet, let them cool, and coarsely chop them. Once the tomato blisters on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes, flip it and blister on the other side. Continue until all sides of the tomato are blistered, then remove from the heat and set aside.

To make the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the sweet potato in the oil, stirring occasionally, until it just starts to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add enough water to come halfway up the sweet potatoes. Then add the lime juice and salt and let the water cook out. Add the chopped roasted garlic to the sweet potatoes and stir in the raisins.

To make the masa: In a stand mixer,* combine the masa harina, salt, and baking powder and give them a quick stir. Add the warm water and shortening, if using. At medium speed on the stand mixer, whip the masa for about 20 minutes. You can tell when your masa is done (if you used the shortening) by placing a small dollop of it in a glass of water. If it floats, the masa is done. If it doesn't, it needs to be whipped longer. If you did not use the optional shortening, skip this step as it will not float.

To fill and roll the tamales: Lay out a large corn husk. Using a wide spatula, spread about 3 to 4 tablespoons of masa on the left side of the corn husk. The masa should be about 4" wide and 5" tall and there should be uncovered space on the corn husk at the bottom and on the right. On top of the far left side of the masa, add about 11/2 tablespoons of filling. Starting with the left side, roll up the corn husk to close the tamale. Fold the uncovered part of the corn husk into the tamale as you roll it closed. Repeat with the remainder of the masa, corn husks, and filling. This will go faster if you lay out all your corn husks at once and do each step for all the tamales at the same time. Transfer the tamales to a steamer and steam them for 30 minutes.

To make the mole: While the tamales are steaming, bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the ancho chile for about 10 seconds per side. Add the chile to the water and simmer until soft. Remove the chile from the water and after it is cool enough to handle, pull out the stem and discard.

In a small skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of corn oil and cook the onion over medium heat until it just starts to brown. Add the clove of minced garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Place in a blender and add the reserved blackened tomato, chipotle in adobo, peanuts, all-spice, cinnamon, black pepper, salt, sugar, bay leaf, lime juice, tequila, and stock. Puree until smooth. Place a fine-meshed strainer over a bowl and pour the sauce through the strainer to make it silky smooth.

In a large pan over medium heat, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour the sauce into the pan and gently stir, cooking it for about 5 minutes.

To assemble and garnish the tamales: Once your tamales are done steaming, unwrap them, put 2 on a plate, and top each individual tamale with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the peanut mole. Top each tamale with a sprinkle of lime peel and chopped peanuts.

Both the tamales and the sauce can be made ahead of time and frozen.

*If you don't have a stand mixer, you can combine everything in a mixing bowl and forgo whipping the masa. The masa won't be fluffy when you cook the tamales, but they'll still come out quite well.



Reprinted from Living the Farm Sanctuary Life by Gene Baur with Gene Stone. © 2015 by Gene Baur. Photographs © 2015 by Rodale Inc. By Permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

Posted in: Recipes: In The Kitchen   

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