Sweet Corn Tamales

This recipe uses the husks of the corn as well as the kernels, so don’t throw them out.  Masa Harina is corn flour specially ground for tamales; don’t try to use any other corn flour.  You can make these in advance (they take a while to cook) and then reheat them just before eating or even serve them cold or at room temperature.

Use a sharp knife to cut the husks off 2 ears of sweet corn right where the kernels begin.  Put the husks in a plastic bag and refrigerate.  Discard the corn silk.

Cut the kernels off the cob and place in a food processor.  Process to make a coarse puree.

Mix 1 3/4 C. masa for tamales with 1 C. plus 2 T. hot water, then allow to cool.

Add the masa to the sweet corn along with 1 stick of unsalted butter cut into small cubes, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 1/2 t. baking powder.  Pulse several times, then let the processor run for 1 minute. The mixture should be light and fluffy.

Separate the corn husks into individual leaves.  Line a steamer with the smallest leaves.

To assemble the tamales, fill the larger leaves with 3 T. dough.  You can add Jack or Cheddar cheese, roasted peppers (hot or sweet), sauteed onions or other savory ingredients.

Place the tamales in a single layer in the steamer, then cover with any leftover corn husk leaves.  Steam for 1 hour or more, until the tamales easily come free from the husks.

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