Fresh Corn Tamales With Shrimp In Roasted Garlic Sauce

A recipe from Bobby Flay, from the 2007 Classic in Aspen.

video Bobby Flay: Shrimp Tamales


Slideshow: Amazing Seafood Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 18 tamales
  • Time(Other): Plus soaking


  • 4 cups fresh corn kernels (from 8 ears)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 stick unmelted butter, melted
  • 36 dried corn husks, soaked in water to cover for 2 hours
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespooons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 2 ears)
  • Snipped chives and finely diced red bell pepper, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. In a blender, puree the corn with the water, onion, honey, salt and pepper. Transfer the puree to a bowl and stir in the cornmeal and melted butter. Don't worry if the filling is wet; it will firm up as it cooks.

  2. Drain the corn husks and pat dry. Lay 2 husks flat on a work surface with the wide ends overlapping by about 3 inches. Spoon 1/3 cup of the tamale filling in the center. Roll the husks around the filling to make a compact cylinder, folding in the sides as you roll. Tie the tamale with kitchen string. Repeat with the remaining husks and filling for a total of 18 tamales.

  3. Crumple foil into 2-inch balls and set a ball in each corner of a large flameproof roasting pan. Set a rack in the pan and fill the pan with 1 inch of water. Arrange the tamales on the rack and cover the pan tightly with foil. Steam the tamales over high heat for 45 minutes, or until they feel firm. Uncover and let cool for 15 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 375°. Cut off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves. Set the head on a sheet of foil, cut side up, and drizzle with 1/2 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until very tender. Let cool. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into a small bowl; discard the skins.

  5. In a medium saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the roasted garlic cloves and the wine and boil over high heat until the wine is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and simmer over moderate heat until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

  6. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook over moderately high heat until lightly golden on both sides and just white throughout, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

  7. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the corn and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the roasted garlic sauce and bring to a simmer over moderately low heat. Add the shrimp, toss to coat and cook for 1 minute.

  8. Transfer the tamales to plates. Snip off the strings; slash through the husks and peel them back. Spoon the shrimp and sauce on top, garnish with chives and red pepper and serve.

Make Ahead

The steamed tamales can be refrigerated overnight. Resteam until heated through.

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