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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tamales con Guindillas Pequenas y Especias

Tamales with Chillies and Herbs


A tamale is a Mexican steam-cooked corn dough wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves, with or without a filling. The filling can sweet or savory. This is considered a traditional dish, (so I hope that I didn't screw this one up.)


A bag of masa lista or masa harina (maize corn meal/corn flour) was also one of the items picked up from the previous visit to the Spanish store.



This same masa is used for the tortillas but I figured I'd start with this recipe picked up from Mexican Cantina Cooking, a $10 spanish cookbook randomly picked up from Borders quite some time ago :)



corn husks soaked in warm water for around 30 minutes

it's supposed to look like that!

The tamales dough is made of

125g softened butter
600g masa harina
3 cups of chicken stock
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Beat the butter until light and creamy. In another bowl mix the masa lista, baking powder and salt with the stock. Mix the butter to the masa and beat until the mixture forms a smooth dough. To check if the dough is ready, drop a little bit of it in a bowl of cold water and it should float, otherwise the dough needs to be 'beaten a bit more' :)

The filling (chillies and herbs)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 green chilies (roasted, seeded and chopped - but I was lazy so I just chopped fresh ones!)
1 red bell chili
2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
a drizzle of olive oil
(the recipe also called for marjoram and some creme fraiche but i didn't have some at hand, so i just skipped it!)

Heat oil in a pan and fry onion and garlic until golden brown. Add chilies, salt and pepper, until chili is wilted. Set aside.

To assemble
Pat corn husks dry, place around 2 tbsps of the dough in the middle of the husk and flatten it. Add a tablespoon of the filling on to the dough. Take another tablespoon of the tamale dough, flatten it again ensuring it covers the filling completely. Fold the corn leaf over the parcel, fold another corn leaf around it in the opposite direction and tie with kitchen string.



(yeah big slices of chili. too lazy to mince!)

Steam for around 30-45 minutes or until completely cooked (when the dough pulls away from the corn husk).



Serve hot!








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