Monthly Archives: October 2013

Sweet Corn Tamales



My favorite way to serve tamales: topped with ancho shrimp and served with salsa and cilantro lime crema.
My favorite way to serve tamales: topped with ancho shrimp and served with salsa and cilantro lime crema.

Sweet Corn Tamales with Black Beans and Cheese

Making homemade tamales really isn't as hard as you might think. This is a simple, yet delicious recipe that is well worth the effort.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 45 mins


  • 1 ear of corn kernerls removed from cob
  • 2 cups masa harina* or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine**
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 1 cup vegetable broth***
  • 10 corn husks soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
  • 1 recipe Black Bean Dip
  • 1 cup shredded pepperjack cheese cheddar or jack would work as well****


  • Place corn kernels in food processor and puree for 1 minute.
  • Combine masa harina, baking powder, salt and corn puree in a large bowl.
  • Work butter into masa mixture until evenly distributed.
  • Add vegetable broth, a little at a time until a dough is formed.

To Assemble Tamales

  • Lay corn husk on work area with small end pointing down and place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of dough on husk. Flatten and spread the dough on the top half of the husk (but don't spread dough all the way to the top of the husk, leave at least 1/2 inch of space at the top.
  • Place 11/2 TBSP of bean dip and ~11/2 TBSP of shredded cheese in center of dough, and use husk to fold sides of dough over the filling.
  • Wrap sides of husk around tamale and fold bottom half of husk up to make a package that is open on one end.
  • Continue making tamales until all dough is used.
  • Place a steamer basket in a large pot and fill the bottom of the pan with water.
  • Place tamales in steamer basket. Depending on the size of your pan you can place them upright, with the open end pointed up, or you can lay them on thier sides, seam side down.
  • Steam the tamles on low heat for 1 hour. You will need to check the pan periodically and add more water as needed.


Serving Suggestions:
You can serve these tamales simply with salsa and avacado or guacamole, or you can create a heartier meal by adding grilled shrimp and a squeeze of lime, or a poached egg.
*Masa harina is a finely ground cornmeal used for making tortillas and tamales. You can find it at most natural grocery stores or Hispanic markets. Regular cornmeal can be used as a substitute.
**I like Earth Balance vegan margarine
***I like Better Than Bullion No Chicken Broth
****For a vegan version of this recipe omit cheese or substitue a non-dairy cheese

Fall in a Bowl

delicata risotto

Delicata and Apple Risotto with Blue Cheese and Pecans

Fall in a bowl! This is a great way to use seasonal squash and apples. The blue cheese and spicy pecans add a layer of complexity and purgency to the mildly sweet risotto. I like the more delicate flavor of delicata squash, but butternut squash would work in this dish as well.
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 4


  • 1 delicata squash peeled, cut into 1 inch dice
  • 2 1/2 TBSP olive oil or 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 1/2 TBSP butter or margarine
  • 1/2 small onion finely diced
  • 1 small granny smith apple finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine like a Savignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese I like Maytag Blue Cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


For the squash

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss squash with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for ~20 minutes until lightly browned.

For the risotto

  • In a medium to large pot, heat broth on low heat.
  • Heat remaining 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil or butter over medium heat in dutch oven or large deep pot.
  • Add onion and apple and sautee for ~5 minutes until moisture is released and onions begin to soften.
  • Add garlic, sage, salt and pepper and sautee for another minute.
  • Add rice and stir to coat grains with oil and lightly toast - about another minute.
  • Add white wine to deglaze pan.
  • When most of the wine is evaporated, add one ladle of broth and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Continue adding broth, one ladle at a time, stirring very fequently.
  • Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more.
  • After 10 minutes, add roasted squash to risotto.
  • After 15 minutes of adding broth and stirring, taste rice for doneness. Rice should be cooked through and the starches in the rice should create a creamy texture. If rice is still too firm, continue adding broth until it is cooked through, if you run out of broth, you can use water to finish off the cooking.
  • When risotto is done, serve immediately topped with blue cheese and pecans.