Chef Nick’s Chorizo Tamales

chef nicks chorizo tamalesMaking tamales can be a fun food activity for the whole family. Creating this recipe reminded me again why I love all the spicy and interesting Mexican ingredients. The star in the flavourful filling is the fresh chorizo sausage made at Lepp Farm Market by our talented butcher team. Unwrapping these tasty little presents will make your Southwest loving taste buds sing!

Note:  Masa Harina is the traditional corn flour used to make tortillas, tamales, and other Mexican dishes. You cannot substitute regular flour or corn meal as the results will be inconsistent. Both Masa Harina and dried corn husks are available at Vinh Tan Oriental Grocery, 2618 Cedar Park Pl, Abbotsford.

Ingredients

1 cup of Lepp’s raw chorizo sausage, squeezed out of the casings (approximately 2 sausages)
15 corn husks
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz refried beans
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 cup corn kernels

2 canned chipotle peppers (smoked jalapenos in a spicy tomato sauce sold in a tin, and available at Lepp Farm Market. You can freeze the rest for the next time you need a spicy, smoky hit of flavor, just remember to label the container!)
½ cup cilantro, chopped
1 ½ cups masa harina
1 cup water
¼ cup salsa
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder

Method
  1. Soak corn husks in warm water until soft, about 1 hour.
  2. Tear two husks lengthwise into 15 (1/2 inch) wide strings. Drain and thoroughly dry corn husks.
  3. Brown and cook chorizo sausage in a skillet. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, corn kernels, chipotle peppers, smoked paprika, cilantro, refried beans and salsa. Cook until heated through and set aside.
  4. For masala dough, boil water and pour into mixing bowl. Stir in masa harina and baking powder. Beat on medium speed using a paddle attachment until combined. Take mixture out of the mixing bowl and set aside.
  5. Beat lard on high speed in the mixing bowl until very fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and add masala mixture one handful at a time until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Cover and set aside.
  6. Spread ¼ cup masa dough onto the end of each husk. Place 3 tablespoons of chorizo filling on the middle of the masa dough.
  7. Fold sides of corn husk to the center, wrapping the filling. Fold one end of the corn husk up against the seam to seal until it’s completely enclosed. You’ll want the tamale to look like a square, not like a burrito. Tie tamale with a piece of raffia or butcher’s twine.
  8. Arrange tamales vertically in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water and continue to stack vertically making sure there is room for air to circulate throughout.
  9. Cover and steam until husks pull away from the filling, about 45 minutes. Cool tamales before serving.

Makes 15 tamales.