When it comes to Hispanic food, forget the flan recipe. You need tamales. Tamales are a culinary staple, utilizing fresh, local, and natural ingredients. And a tamale recipe can vary rather drastically depending upon region. The consistency through regional tamale recipes is that it is some sort of delicious filling, cloaked in a corn dough, and then cooked. Read on for a simple tamale recipe that even the novice cook can accomplish.
For the simple corn tamales you will need the following. Seven cups of fresh corn kernels. 1.5 sticks of room temperature, unsalted butter. A half cup of granulated sugar. An egg. A half teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of baking powder. A half cup of dried corn flour. 20 dried corn husks that have been soaked in warm water for 30 minutes.
Working in batches until it is done, put the corn into a blender and puree until smooth. In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Then add in the egg, salt, and baking powder, mixing until incorporated. Finally add the flour and corn until it forms a loose, but smooth, dough.
Place a corn husk lengthwise in front of you, with the wide side closest to you. Spread three tablespoons of the corn dough over the half closest to you, leaving an inch border along the left and right sides. (now is when you would be adding any fillings if you wanted them, in a small strip down the middle) Now pick up the long sides of the husk and bring the corn together, rolling the corn husk up like you would a piece of paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough and husks.
In a steamer, arrange the tamales in there with their seam side down. Add a half inch of water to the steamer and cover it with a tight lid. Bring it to a simmer and let the tamales steam for an hour, adding more water when needed to maintain the half inch.
After the hour, the tamales will be very hot and ready. Take them out, but leave them in the husks. Serve with rice, refried beans, a nice hot tamale sauce, sour cream, and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Listo! Your very own, homemade tamales.
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