How To Quickly Reheat Tamales When You're Pressed For Time

Tamales are a classic Mexican meal that's been around for ages. Yet their appeal never seems to get old — perhaps because few dishes can be assembled so easily while still delivering an intricate array of flavors. At its core lies a medley of meat and cheese fillings enveloped in masa dough, which is steamed within an aesthetically pleasing corn husk. Frankly, once you eat these hot staples of Mexican dining? They start to go real fast (here today, gone tamale).

Of course, no matter how much you love tamales, you may not be able to finish them all. Now, you may be worried about the quality of those tamales once they've been in the refrigerator. And while the best way to reheat them is in a steamer, if you're in a hurry? The microwave might be your best option. Here are some tricks you can use to regain your tamales' original quality if you're using a microwave to reheat them.

Putting your tamales in the microwave reheats them the fastest

Just like there's a proper way to eat a tamale, there's also a proper way to quickly reheat them: Make sure they still have their husks on. If your tamales happen to be frozen, you'll want to make sure you thaw them in the refrigerator for a few hours before proceeding to the next steps.

To start, rinse some paper towels in water, then wrap each tamale in a damp paper towel. Place the wrapped tamales on a microwave-safe plate, with space between them so they don't touch. Next, add some plastic wrap over the top (which will help steam your tamales with the paper towels' dampness), then heat them for two minutes in the microwave. Once they come out, they'll be steaming and delicious.

If you happen to have a little more time on your side (and you're comfortable doing so), you can try using a pressure cooker, as well. Preheat the appliance to high, and ensure each tamale is slightly wet. Then you simply place them into the pressure cooker — as far apart from each other as you can — and wait about 10 minutes for the tamales to fully reheat.

Quick sides to go with your tamales after you reheat them

Once you have your tamales reheated, you may want to throw together some quick sides to enjoy with them. Refried beans are a great (and filling) choice that won't take long to cook in the microwave, or on the stove. Additionally, if you have pre-made guacamole, a little dab will do you well. Simply spread it onto your plate, and get those tamales ready for some avocado awesomeness.

Speaking of avocado, you can even enjoy fried avocado. This crunchy green treat will make a delicious side to accompany those tamales. Cut one into strips, dip each strip into egg (then some panko crumbs), and cook them in a pan filled with hot oil until golden brown. Don't forget about any salsa or pre-made pico de gallo, which you can add as fast as that pre-made guacamole.

Brown rice is another simple side that both heats up quickly, and goes great with tamales (while filling you up!). Flour tortillas make for another tasty and swift selection to pair with your tamales, especially if you have pre-made flour tortillas on hand.