My F&W
quick save (...)

Gastronaut: Tamale Recipe

A veteran of America's most avant-garde kitchens shifts his intense focus to making extraordinary tamales.

"Americans usually think tamales are filled with meat and wrapped in a dried corn husk," says Alex Stupak. "But I've seen them both sweet and savory, with fillings and without, and wrapped in fresh corn husks, corn leaves and banana leaves." Stupak, once the hydrocolloid-wielding pastry chef at New York City's WD-50, now makes tamales at his new Mexican restaurant, Empellón, in Manhattan. He begins with masa, the key ingredient in tortillas and a dough he calls "the foundation of Mexican cuisine." Preparing masa from scratch requires "nixtamalizing" dried corn by boiling it with calcium hydroxide (also known as lime), then grinding it; as a shortcut, Stupak buys masa harina, a kind of corn flour. Here, he shows how to use masa harina to make three different recipes: tamales stuffed with spicy braised pork and wrapped in banana leaves, a variety that he first tasted in Oaxaca; a savory pie known as a tamal de cazuela that's a great, easy way to feed a group; and tamales fried in a skillet for a hot, crispy snack.

Slideshow: How to Make Homemade Tamales

How to Make Tamales

slideshow Step-by-step guide to
assembling and cooking tamales at home

video Video: Delicious Mexican Dishes

More Mexican Recipes:

Published August 2011


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    You might also like
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.

    Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.

    Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world's most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 19-21.