There had been a few occasions where while at Trader Joe's I eye some of the dishes in the "Mexican-flare section". Tamales, burritos, enchiladas, chile relleno, etc. I've shied away from some of them for a while just because some are high in calories and just not point comfortable for me. Then one day, I really wanted to give the Trader Joe's Mini Chicken Tamalitos a shot (partly due to a conversation I had with a fellow Instagrammer). So into the cart they went...
The box states the tamales are handmade mini white meat chicken tamales in red sauce. According to Trader Joe's website: "They’re handmade just for us by a small, Mexican panadería de tamal (that’s tamale bakery), and sized perfectly to enjoy as hors d’oeuvres. Each handmade Tamalito, wrapped in parchment paper, is made using traditional corn masa, stuffed with shredded chicken, cheese, corn, chiles and authentic Mexican seasonings, and finished with a mild red chile sauce. Did we mention they’re made by hand?"
Taking the tamales out of the freezer, there are 2 cooking options - stove top or microwave. Since I wasn't truly in the mood to cook I opted for the microwave version. Simplicity at it's finest! All I had to do was layer the tamales onto a glass dish, add in 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a damp paper towel and wrap the dish up with plastic wrap. A quick trip into the microwave and dinner was done. I did find I had to cook them a little longer because the 4-minutes did not heat all 10 tamales up enough.
Unwrapping them from the parchment paper, I was in for a nice surprise. These tamales are DELICIOUS! The corn masa is a show stealer; it's got a very smooth flavor. The filling is light and brings flavor to the dish. I did find I added a little bit of hot sauce to the top (because that's how I like my tamales) and it was fabulous.
Truthfully, looking at 4 mini tamales on a plate, it does feel slightly as if you're being gypped (I ate them on a small little "dessert plate" to trick my mind). But they are quite satisfying alongside a garden salad.
A serving, 4 tamales, is 300 calories or 8 points plus values.