Flavorful Fiesta Time
Have a tamalada (tamale-making party)
Consider these tips from Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics to help make your tamalada fun and easy.
Before your tamalada, prepare the ingredients that require extra time and work. For example, if you are using roasted chilies, roast them the day before and have them peeled, seeded and cut up for seamless assembly the next day.
When hosting a tamalada, have food or snacks ready to share with your guests. Making dozens of tamales can take most of the day, so you’ll want to keep your helpers well fed.
Add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to your masa when making tamales. Not only can the sauce add smoky flavor, but it also gives the dough an appetizing golden color. You can also mix the sauce into your filling for a brighter flavor and a kick of heat.
Zucchini and Corn Tamales
Yield: 16 tamales
30 large, softened cornhusks
3 cups masa harina (corn flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/3 cups vegetable broth, warmed
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
3 cups zucchini, cubed small
1 tomato, cubed small
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup sweet white corn
4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
5 ounces Qué Mami Organics Red Enchilada Sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-ounce strips
To prep husks: Soak cornhusks in hot water. Place heavy pot on top of husks to keep submerged at least 1 hour. Once pliable, rinse each corn husk.
To make dough: In large bowl, mix corn flour, baking powder and sea salt. Using hands, mix in warm vegetable broth to make firm dough. In mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy then add dough in small amounts until well mixed. Continue mixing at low-medium speed 5 minutes, scraping dough off sides of bowl. Reserve dough.
To make filling: In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil; saute red onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and mix 1 minute. Add tomato, dried oregano and sea salt; continue mixing 1 minute. Add corn and chopped cilantro. Stir and continue cooking about 2 minutes more; zucchini should be cooked but al dente. Remove filling to heat-resistant bowl.
In small bowl, combine enchilada sauce and Tabasco pepper sauce. Add half of sauce mixture to filling; mix well. Reserve remaining sauce.
To assemble tamales, spread 2 tablespoons dough onto wide end of each cornhusk. Dough should extend across cornhusks, except 1 inch on sides and about 3 inches from narrow end.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon zucchini and corn filling into middle of dough. Add 1 teaspoon reserved sauce over filling and one strip cheese on top. Fold right side of cornhusk over filling and seal closed with dough. Fold over left side of cornhusk tightly and fold narrow end of cornhusk up. Cut strips from extra cornhusks and tie around each tamale to secure.
Place tamales vertically, filling-side up, in steam pot with enough water to steam 40-45 minutes. Cover tamales with extra cornhusks to trap in steam; place lid on pot. Tamales are ready when masa dough separates easily from husks. Add water to pot, as necessary, for longer steaming.
Let tamales rest 10 minutes before unwrapping. Remove cornhusks before serving.