Otro Cafe tamale

Recipe Friday: Otro Cafe Tamales

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Recipes Issue: October 2018
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Many people make tamales for special occasions and during the holiday season, but why not cook up a batch for no reason during October? If you’re a tamale fan, but have never attempted to make them, Otro Café’s executive chef Joe Meyers has provided PHOENIX magazine with an easy recipe.

To get started, head to your local grocery store’s Hispanic section for corn husks and masa. You should be able to find the rest of the ingredients in any supermarket, Meyers says. For those who don’t have a tortilla press to form the tamale casing, Meyers suggests using a rolling pin to achieve a thin, uniform layer. “If you make it too thick, then it will be all masa,” he says.

Otro Cafe serves tamales on the weekends during brunch with pico de gallo or topped with enchilada sauce, cheese and two fried eggs. Be sure to get there early, because quantities are limited.

 

Otro Café Tamales

Filling ingredients
8 roasted poblanos
8 cups tomatoes, diced
3 cups onions, julienned
2 serrano peppers, sliced
2 tbsp. garlic, chopped roughly
2 cups corn, raw and off the cob
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. salt + 1 extra teaspoon
½ tsp. black pepper

Preparation
Char, steam and peel poblanos. Put aside. Heat extra virgin olive oil in medium pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients, except the corn. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add corn and remove from heat. Let cool before refrigerating.

Masa ingredients
5 lbs. tamale masa
1 tbsp. salt + 1 extra teaspoon
1 tsp. baking powder
½ cup water
½ lb. butter

Preparation
Soften butter. Knead all ingredients together in a mixing bowl until well incorporated.

Cooking and assembly
Soak cornhusks or banana leaves in water, fully submerged, for 30 minutes. Lay a soaked cornhusk or banana leaf flat on a hard surface. Spread about a ¼ cup of masa on the corn husk or banana leaf so it’s about a ¼ inch thick. Scoop a ¼ cup or so of filling in the middle of the masa. Fold the cornhusk or banana leaf into either a square or burrito shape. Tie the husk or leaf around the middle to secure. Continue assembling tamales in the same manner.

When finished assembling, add tamales to a large strainer atop a stockpot. Add 2 cups of water to the base of the pot, cover and steam on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes, or until the masa separates easily from the husks.