Monday, September 12, 2011

Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Tamale Appetizers

Shower the people you love with love...(James Taylor.) One of my favorite events to take part in is a Bridal or Baby Shower. It has the expected vibe of celebration, but also the vibe of thrilling things to come, happy expectations of the future. It's a roomful of giggles and unselfish support. The theme for this particular Bridal Shower was Fresh, Colorful and Mexican Inspired.
Sweet Corn
and Goat Cheese Tamale

The Bride requested Vegetarian Tamales, but also wanted it to be small plate/finger food portions. I may have eaten my weight in Masa while developing these tamales in cute, but filling appetizer size packets. Oh, what I do for my art.Just a few words about the word "tamale":

In the United States we are accustomed to using the word "tamale", but the singular version in Spanish is actually "tamal". It was adapted by the Spanish for the "corn dough filled and wrapped food" from Nahuatl (the language of the Aztec Empire.) Their word was originally "tamilli". The Spanish made "tamal" mean singular and "tamale" mean plural and then the visiting Americans added an "s" to that. In other countries with a rich heritage of tusk-wrapped dough, it is called nacatamales, pasteles, and humitas.

At the Bridal Shower I also served Pulled Chicken Mole and Roasted Zucchini & Mushroom Probaditas, along with a fresh Mango, Melon and California Avocado Salad with Honey Mint Drizzle. Other food fun included Caramelized Poblano and Potato Torta, Jicama & Avocado Guacamole, Chocolate Cinnamon Mexican Wedding Cookies, and a "Baudy Bachelorette" basket of mini Equadorian Frozen Bananas on Sticks (covered in homemade Chocolate Magic Shell (vegan.)
The Bride's friends led a whole afternoon of funny, retro games and concluded with a Pinata game where they played music and cracked open a little cardboard pinata-bride until she gave up her very unique German Candy (the groom is German...ohhhh.)
Great weather, good food, music, laughter and a surprise video appearance from the Groom professing his love and promises for the future. Wow, right? My advice: Surround yourself with people who are showering the planet with love and get wet!
Recipe: Sweet Corn and Goat Cheese Tamale Appetizers

1 bag Dried Corn Husks for tamales

4 Ears fresh corn (remove corn from cops)

3 1/2 cups Masa Harina for Tamales

2 1/2 cups hot water

1 stick (4oz) butter softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbls. baking powder

pinch salt
1 Poblano pepper (charred/grilled, peeled and cut into small cubes)

8 oz. Goat Cheese
1) Separate and soak the dried corn husks in hot water for about 2 hours. Weigh the husks down so they stay submerged.

2) Reserve 1/3 cup of the corn kernels cut from the cob and put the rest of the corn in a food processor. Process the corn with quick pulses until it is a chunky paste. 3) Add the masa, butter, sugar, baking powder and salt to the churned corn. Process til mixed well, about 1-2 minutes. Pour out into a bowl and stir in the reserved corn kernels. 4) Set up a steamer (or a rack in a large pot over an inch of water) by laying several of the wet corn husks on the rack.

5) Lay out the corn husks on a board to prepare the tamales. Place a heaping Tablespoon of the batter on each husks, press a piece of poplano pepper into each one and top with a dollop of goat cheese.

6) Fold up each tamale by pulling the left side over, then the right side over. Pull the bottom up and over, then the top to close it all up. Using one of the corn husks torn into strips, tie a piece around the tamale to hold it together.
7) Set the prepared Tamales on the husks lined steamer rack, cover and steam for about 45 minutes. You can test a Tamale, it's done if the tamale pulls away from the husks easily. Serve these with salsa, or guacamole or go for it and use both!

**These freeze great for eating later**


Diane Schmidt said...

I may have missed the party, but these look so good I may just have to throw myself a bash and make them....or have no party make them and eat them all myself, that's my plan for sure!I've never made tamales before (although I have bought the masa in hopes to) and will have to know what you've showed me how!

Teresa said...

They look delicious!
I can't help but tell you that the singular for tamales is tamal... It gets to me every time I see error...

showfoodchef said...

Diane - Thanks for stopping by, hope you try these. I know you'll make them great.

Teresa- Thank you for the comment and it sent me on a journey of discovery ALL about the words used for Tamale. I added it to the post. I love learning new things, thanks!


There is nothing quite as satisfying as a GOOD tamale. :)

Ziho said...

Mmm I love tamales, they are a lot of varieties, meat, chicken, cheese, and sugar (this are for dessert)

Excelent photo (mexican products like jalapeƱo, tuna, hass avocado...

Excelent recipes, greetings from Monterrey, MEXICO!

Anonymous said...

Can these be frozen after they're cooked for use later?

showfoodchef said...

These work really well when frozen and then steamed to bring back to goodness! Thx for stopping by :D