Posted on March 04 2015
My parents have been shucking and removing kernels from corn husk for 50 years; this is the easiest way to do it but you have to be very careful. You need a heavy sharp knife to cut and score at the same time; deep enough to get through the first layers of husks but not so deep that you cut the actual cob. The first few husks are compost, the following 4-6 work as tamale wrapping and the ones you still see attached below will also be compost. Removing the kernels works best if you use a great big container because kernels will fly everywhere. Watch your fingers.
We have a molino which we purchased in downtown Los Angeles; the first versions we had were manual meaning we had to stand there and crank the handle in order for it to grind but we have upgraded to a molino that is attached to a small motor. This makes things a lot easier. If you don’t have a molino you can also use a food processor; make sure you don’t over puree.
The tightness of the two metal wheels will determine the coarseness of your dough. If you feel it is too whole, you might see some whole corn kernels in it, tighten the wheels and pass it once more. Even if it is coarse, you can make good tamales. This only affects texture, not taste. Once all of the corn is ground we add the sugar, baking powder, melted butter (or lard) and salt.
Sweet Corn Tamales recipe
- 12 corn cobbs
- 8oz of butter (2 sticks) (you can replace part of this with lard)
- 1 cup of sugar (you can reduce or increase this)
- 2 Tblsp of baking powder
- 1.5 tsp of salt
- Slice the bottom of the corn cob to remove the leaves. Throw away the first 2-4 leaves; they will be too hard to use. Save the next 3-5 leaves for wrapping. You will have 2-3 leaves left on the corn that are too thin to use.
- Remove all corn hair.
- Shuck corn and remove kernels.
- Puree corn in molino or food processor.
- Place pureed corn in a large bowl and add sugar, baking powder, salt, and melted butter.
- Mix with spoon until it’s all incorporated. If the corn is dry you can add up to 1/2 cup of whole milk.
- Place a large spoonful of corn batter on the corn husk and fold.
- Place all your tamales in a large pot that has been lined with a steamer and water.
- Cover the top with corn husks and pot lid.
- Allow to steam for 40 minutes to 1 hour. You can check them from time to time; the husk should not be green and the tamale will be firm to the touch.
Eating them right away is the best. But they will stay good for 2-3 days refrigerated. You can also freeze them and steam them a little bit before you consume them.
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