Upon the advice of friends, we took a trek to supermarket on the other side of town a few days ago. But this wasn’t just any ole grocery store- this was the holy grail of international food stores: the Super G Mart. The clientele alone attested to its diversity of products. The place was absolutely packed with folks from all corners of the globe! (This immediately gave the place some major street cred in my not so humble opinion) We grabbed ourselves a cart and perused the awesome product section with varieties and options that I had never even heard or seen before. The aisles were just as exciting and full of ingredients we were anxious to try at home. Our first foray into homemade foreign cuisine was inspired by dried corn husks: homemade tamales!
I’ve seen several tamale recipes in food magazines and it seemed relatively easy. The first step is to soak the corn husks in warm water. I just filled a large bowl, putting roughly 12 husks in (they are very thin) and putting a heavy glass bowl on top to ensure they were submerged. After they soaked for a about an hour I drained the water and shook any excess off of the husks in the sink. The recipe I was using called for Mara Harisa (a corn flour mix), but that happened to be one thing I failed to pick up at Super G. So I substituted using corn tortillas. I simply shredded and pulsed them in the food processor until they were finely ground, adding vegetable oil, white flour, salt, chili powder, and a little cumin until it reached the consistency of peanut butter.
For my filling, I went simple for this first batch. Aaron browned some turkey meat with chopped onions, adding a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor. When this was cooked it was time to put our tamales together! I went on You Tube to find a tutorial on assembly and then mimiced their directions. It was suprisingly simple to do: spread 1-2 tablespoons of your Mara Harisa on one side of husk (fat side), put your filling on top, and roll!
I secured my tamales with torn strips of husk to ensure they stayed together during the steaming process.