Green Corn Tamales

Green Corn Tamales

These green corn tamales are a good choice for the beginning tamale maker because they don’t contain masa. They are also a great choice for a party because everybody loves them. The flavors are simple and sweet. We’ve been serving them at a rapid clip for many years at our restaurants.

The green in Green Corn Tamales means that the corn is fresh rather than dried. It doesn’t refer to the color of the corn, although fresh husks are green.

Makes 10 to 12 tamales, or 6 servings

10 ears corn
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar, if necessary
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup hominy grits
Salsa Fresca (see recipe below), for serving
Sour cream, for serving

Remove the corn husks by trimming off both ends of the cobs, trying to keep the husks whole. Place the largest husks in a pot of hot water and set aside to soak.

To make the stuffing, working over a bowl, run the point of a sharp knife down the center of each row of corn kernels, and then scrape with the dull side of the knife to remove the kernels.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add the corn and its juices, the salt, pepper, the sugar if the corn isn’t sweet, and the cream and simmer until the mixture thickens, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. Then stir in the baking powder and grits and reserve in the refrigerator.

Drain the corn husks on paper towels. Make ties for the tamales by cutting a few of the husks into strips.

To stuff the tamales, overlap 2 or 3 husks and spread about 3 tablespoons of corn filling down the center. Fold over the sides and then the ends to enclose the filling. Tie with a corn husk string. Repeat with the remaining filling and additional corn husks.

In a steamer or a pot fitted with a rack, make a bed for the tamales with the remaining corn husks. Add the tamales and steam over low heat for 1 hour. Remove from the steamer and let rest 10 minutes. Serve hot with Salsa Fresca and sour cream.

Salsa Fresca

Makes 2 cups, or 6 appetizer servings with chips

4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 red onion, minced
2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded if desired, and minced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir and toss well, and serve. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator no more than 1 day.

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