Seasonal Recipe: Seasonal Recipe: Sweetened Blue Corn Tamales

Gailey Morgan, manager at Tesuque Farm NM

The Farm Department of the Pueblo of Tesuque works on sustainable living for Native American people with a focus on traditional farming. They have been able to provide pueblo members with crops cultivated naturally, free from pesticides and GMOs as well as teaching youth about natural and sustainable food practices. SFDC Vice Chair Reana toured the farm with Slow Food Turtle Island as part of Slow Food Nations. This recipe is featured in SFDC’s August 2018 newsletter.

Ingredients

(makes 30 mini tamales) 
  • 30 dry corn husks
  • approx 1 cup hot water (200 F)
  • 1/2 tsp culinary ash
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 2 cups blue cornmeal, fine ground

Directions

  1. Soak corn husks in hot tap water, husks must be completely submerged in water. In large mixing bowl, add cornmeal and sugar, whisk together. Set aside. Stir together 2 tablespoons of hot water with ask. Set aside. Stir in 1/4 cup hot water to cornmeal mixture. Using a fine mesh sieve, pour ask water into cornmeal mixture. Stir in ask water vigorously. The color of the mixture will change from a dark grey to a lighter color of blue or purple. The mixture should be consistent to a moist paste, like sticky cookie dough. Add small amounts of more hot water if necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside. 

  2. Remove husks from water. Gently pat excess water with a paper towl. Tear a few corn husks into “strings” for the tamale ties. Take 2 strings and tie together for a slipknot hold. Make approx 30 ties.

  3. To assemble a tamale, take 1 husk and place a generous tablespoon of the cornmeal mixture into the middle of the husk. Locate the long side of the husk and fold that over, then the other side so they overlap. Fold the wider end of the husk over then the narrow end over the wide end. Tie carefully but snuggly with the “strings”.

  4. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Once the water boils, add the tamales into the water for 15 minutes. Tamales are done when they become buoyant and float to the top of the water. Drain tamales and let cool before eating.  

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