Watch Cooking Channel

How To Make Fresh Corn Tamales

Tamales Recipe

I was determined to make tamales this summer but kept hearing that the corn piling up at the markets wasn’t the “right” kind. Sweet and bursting maybe, but not the starchy field corn needed to make traditional tamales. Though they can be made year round using cornmeal, masa harina or tamal flour specially made for the purpose, it seemed a shame to make the same tamales in July that I could have in December.

I was about to go the all-maseca route when I tried a Guatemalan tamal from a street vendor. Sweet, airy and topped only with crema and fresh cheese, it had the delicate flavor of the white summer corn crowding the farm stands. Known as tamales de elote in Mexico and Central America, humitas in the Andes, and green corn tamales in the States, these fresh corn tamales could be made with domestic corn and just a small amount of masa harina to approximate the taste and texture of starchier varieties. Though savory fillings can be added like shredded pork or chicken, they’re wonderful just on their own blended with fast melting cheese like Oaxaca or Monterey Jack and green onions. With every part of the corn, from the husks to the kernels to the cobs, imparting their own shades of flavor, you can savor everything the season has to offer while it lasts.

Tamales Recipe

Though fresh field or dent corn works best, white or bi-color sweet corn can be used. Choose corn that’s heavy for its size with bright green husks that still retain some moisture. The kernels should be plump and tightly spaced with no brown spots. Using a heavy knife, cut the corn as close to the base as possible so that the husks pull away easily without tearing. As you shuck the corn, sort the husks by size for later use – the coarse outer leavers to line the bottom of the steamer, the wide inner leaves with the curved bottoms to wrap the tamales, and the thin leaves closest to the kernels to cut into strips and tie the tamales.

Tamales Recipe

Working in batches, blanch the husks in a pot of simmering water for about one minute to make them pliable and easier to work with. Remove from the water, drain and set aside until ready to use.

Tamales Recipe

Remove the silks from the corn and discard. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob from top to bottom and gather the kernels with their juices in a large bowl. Use the back of a knife or grater to scrape the residual corn from the cobs. Repeat with the remaining corn. Using a food processor or blender, pulse the corn until it forms a thick puree. As an alternative, the corn can be ground by hand with a cheese grater set over a mixing bowl. Reserve the cobs for later use.

Tamales Recipe

Ingredients and seasonings vary, but fresh corn tamales are typically a mixture of fats (freshly rendered lard, vegetable oil, melted butter or a combination thereof), liquid (broth, milk or water), leavening (baking powder or baking soda), and seasonings (salt and sometimes sugar, cinnamon or aniseed). Because corn in the United States is sweeter and has a higher water content, masa harina or tamal flour is added to give it the right flavor and texture (both are widely distributed by Maseca). Starting with a 1/2 cup, add the tamal flour a little at a time until the dough is thick and creamy but is no longer runny and can hold its shape in a mound. Peppers, onions, grated cheese, beans, cooked chicken or pork can either be blended into the dough or tucked into the tamales as they’re being wrapped.

Tamales Recipe

To wrap the tamales, lay down the widest interior husks with the curved bottom closest to you. Add 1-2 heaping tablespoons of the dough to the center of the husk towards the curved end. The tamales will expand in the steamer so leave at least 1” border around the dough. If using a filling, add a spoonful to the center of the dough. Fold the sides of the corn husk over the tamal to form a rectangle. Fold the pointed end of the husk up and over the bottom half to form a package. Tie the tamal with the reserved husks cut into thin strips or kitchen string. The curved top can remain open but the sides should be well sealed to avoid leakage.

Tamales Recipe

Wrapping tamales can be tricky at first but you soon get the hang of how to tuck and fold in the dough. To make bigger tamales or just to give yourself more room to work, lay down two husks with the sides overlapping to create a larger wrapper.

Tamales Recipe

Tamales Recipe

Line the bottom of a large stock pot with reserved cobs. Add enough water to almost but not quite submerge the cobs. Cover the cobs with a layer of the dark, coarse husks. The tamales should not come in contact with the water so they don’t get soggy.

Tamales Recipe

Add tamales to the pot with the open seam up. Cover the tamales with the remaining, unused husks. Cover tightly with a lid and set to a gentle boil over medium heat until the tamales are firm, 20-30 minutes. The cooked tamales should pull away easily from the wrapper.

Tamales Recipe

While the tamales cook, you should be able to hear the water simmering. Add warm water to the pot as needed if it dries out. If you’re using a steamer rack instead of the cobs, drop a nickel into the bottom of the pot before layering the rack with husks. If the water evaporates, the nickel will rattle and let you know to add more water.

Tamales Recipe

Serve hot on its own or topped with Mexican crema, salsa verde or other fresh salsa and crumbled cheese.

Tamales Recipe

More Recipes From Ana Sofia:

Tags:

Comments (2699)

  1. fort myers handyman posted 03/14/2013

    Title…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content material or internet sites we’ve linked to beneath the[...]…

  2. Just Browsing…

    While I was browsing yesterday I noticed a great post concerning…

  3. Investment Banking posted 03/15/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While searching Yahoo I discovered this page in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  4. locksmith singapore posted 03/15/2013

    locksmith singapore…

    [...]the time to study or check out the content material or sites we have linked to below the[...]…

  5. atlanta ga posted 03/15/2013

    Title…

    [...]that would be the end of this write-up. Right here you’ll obtain some web sites that we consider you’ll value, just click the links over[...]…

  6. home income package posted 03/15/2013

    home income package…

    [...]Here is an excellent Blog You might Find Exciting that we Encourage You[...]…

  7. pos 409 posted 03/15/2013

    Tumblr article…

    I saw someone talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  8. العاب 2013 posted 03/15/2013

    العاب 2013…

    You made some respectable points there. I looked on the web for the difficulty and located most people will associate with with your website….

  9. shred guitar like a boss posted 03/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are numerous entirely not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]…

  10. herpes treatment posted 03/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]very couple of web sites that happen to become detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively worth checking out[...]…

  11. telefon-domina.tv posted 03/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]The details talked about in the report are a few of the most effective obtainable [...]…

  12. best packers movers bangalore posted 03/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]very handful of internet sites that occur to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]…

  13. youtube views posted 03/16/2013

    youtube views…

    [...]please go to the web-sites we adhere to, which includes this a single, because it represents our picks through the web[...]…

  14. SEO posted 03/16/2013

    Title…

    [...]very handful of internet websites that happen to become comprehensive beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[...]…

  15. Apple laptop review posted 03/16/2013

    Apple laptop review…

    [...]Here is an excellent Blog You might Locate Intriguing that we Encourage You[...]…

  16. ponds posted 03/16/2013

    ponds…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a number of unrelated data, nevertheless actually worth taking a look, whoa did one discover about Mid East has got much more problerms too [...]…

  17. Flag Sun Strip posted 03/17/2013

    Flag Sun Strip…

    [...]that would be the end of this report. Here you will obtain some web sites that we believe you will appreciate, just click the links over[...]…

  18. Adultsex posted 03/17/2013

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really interesting information…

  19. best gaming computer 2013 posted 03/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool web-site that you just may well delight in. Take a look should you want[...]…

  20. Hotels and Flights posted 03/17/2013

    Hotels and Flights…

    [...]although internet sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not connected to ours, we really feel they’re actually worth a go by way of, so have a look[...]…

  21. AV Training posted 03/17/2013

    AV Training…

    [...]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated information, nevertheless definitely really worth taking a search, whoa did 1 find out about Mid East has got a lot more problerms also [...]…

  22. Netbooks posted 03/17/2013

    Netbooks…

    Thank you for another informative web site. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect way? I have a undertaking that I’m just now running on, and I have been on the look out for such info….

  23. Title…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to web-sites that we link to mainly because we believe they are worth visiting[...]…

  24. izrada web sajta posted 03/17/2013

    izrada web sajta…

    hello!,I like your writing very so much! percentage we keep in touch more approximately your article on AOL? I need an expert on this space to unravel my problem. May be that’s you! Looking ahead to peer you….

  25. Genestra posted 03/17/2013

    Genestra…

    [...]we came across a cool site which you may possibly get pleasure from. Take a look should you want[...]…

  26. Raspberry Ketone Plus posted 03/17/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here is a great Blog You might Uncover Exciting that we Encourage You[...]…

  27. Title…

    [...]here are some hyperlinks to sites that we link to due to the fact we assume they are really worth visiting[...]…

  28. buy facebook fans for fanpage posted 03/18/2013

    buy facebook fans for fanpage…

    [...]very handful of sites that come about to become in depth below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[...]…

  29. small scale business ideas posted 03/18/2013

    Looking around…

    I like to surf in various places on the web, often I will go to Stumble Upon and follow thru…

  30. hack wifi password posted 03/18/2013

    Wikia…

    Wika linked to this site…

  31. Traffik Buster posted 03/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  32. We buy Houses okc posted 03/18/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am constantnly saying that its hard to find quality help, but here is…

  33. chockana supply posted 03/18/2013

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to websites that we link to for the reason that we assume they are worth visiting[...]…

  34. video on your website posted 03/18/2013

    video on your website…

    [...]just beneath, are various entirely not associated internet sites to ours, nonetheless, they may be surely worth going over[...]…

  35. foreigner loan posted 03/19/2013

    foreigner loan…

    great points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest about your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?…

  36. Vick Strizheus Big Idea Mastermind Creator Teacher…

    [...]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[...]…

  37. Kollagen Intensiv lotion posted 03/19/2013

    Kollagen Intensiv lotion…

    [...]Here is a superb Blog You might Come across Intriguing that we Encourage You[...]…

  38. pedestrian accident lawyers posted 03/19/2013

    pedestrian accident lawyers…

    [...]we came across a cool site that you could possibly take pleasure in. Take a look when you want[...]…

  39. make money online posted 03/19/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool web page that you might get pleasure from. Take a appear for those who want[...]…

  40. Birthday Ideas posted 03/19/2013

    Birthday Ideas…

    [...]very couple of web-sites that take place to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly effectively worth checking out[...]…

  41. nude massage london posted 03/19/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool web page that you just might enjoy. Take a look when you want[...]…

  42. Buy Irish Gifts posted 03/20/2013

    Buy Irish Gifts…

    [...]although websites we backlink to beneath are considerably not related to ours, we feel they’re really really worth a go by, so have a look[...]…

  43. abortion winter haven posted 03/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a significant fan of linking to bloggers that I enjoy but do not get a great deal of link love from[...]…

  44. freelance websites posted 03/20/2013

    freelance websites…

    [...]usually posts some extremely exciting stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  45. oil and gas industry employment…

    [...]we came across a cool web page that you simply could appreciate. Take a search in the event you want[...]…

  46. Scam posted 03/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]although web-sites we backlink to beneath are considerably not associated to ours, we feel they are truly really worth a go as a result of, so have a look[...]…

  47. 7 tablet pc posted 03/20/2013

    7 tablet pc…

    [...]below you?ll locate the link to some web pages that we believe you must visit[...]…

  48. Usana review posted 03/20/2013

    Title…

    [...]usually posts some very fascinating stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  49. SAT preparation posted 03/20/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  50. Best Blog Sites posted 03/20/2013

    Best Blog Sites…

    Would you be curious about exchanging links?…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c