TAMALE, CORN, a.k.a. HUMITA, CORN
This makes one casserole for 4-6 or 8 corn husk wrapped tamales, again serving 4-6. VARIATION: add Yukon Gold potatoes to tamale mixture for added bulk and flavor. To recipe here add 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/2 inch, and cooked in salted water until to the tooth. Drain and cool. Add to tamale mixture when adding other vegetables.
4 ounce Milk
- 1 ½ cups grilled corn or combination of other vegetables*
- 1 cup masa harina (we use Mesaca, corn meal for tamales)
- 1/2 cup (4 ounce) softened butter
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup roasted green chilies, finely diced, optional
- 1 cup cooked filling (optional-this can be re-fried beans, cooked pulled pork, or chicken)
- ¼ cup jack cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup pepitos, shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted, optional
- ¼ cup sharp cheddar, shredded
- 8 large corn husks, soaked in hot water to make pliable
*Optional: Grill corn or assorted seasonal vegetables, chill and chop to add to the tamale. In addition or instead of fresh corn listed here, use frozen corn, and add some of each diced zucchini, mushrooms, onions, or blanched carrot or bell peppers, chopped and sized to keep measurement at 1 1/2 cups.
Simmer the milk and corn until tender; add the masa, salt, baking powder, salt and blend till fluffy. Fold in chilies and cheeses, and other vegetables if using. Add pepitos if using. Divide mixture equaliy between corn husks.
If filling with pork, chicken or beans, add 1 Tablespoon filling on corn masa mixture. Fold corn masa mixture around filling to enclose inside. Place into moist corn husks and fold into package. Refrigerate until needed.
Steam in Japanese style steam basket or perforated pan over boiling water (basket bottom should not touch the water) for 20 minutes or until center of tamale reaches at least 145°F. Serve immediately or cool down quickly uncovered in refrigerator.
If doing without cornhusk wrap, place entire batch in buttered casserole or oven safe dish, cover and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Chef Note: You can also bake mixture, covered @ 350F for approximately 45 minutes or until it reaches 165F in center. Remove and serve a scoop alongside entrée or place on top of steamed husks for dramatic presentation.