Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of RecipesNow.com
Deliciously hot and spicy tastes from Texas.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake the sweet potato for about 50 minutes, until completely soft.
Place the masa harina in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On low speed, slowly add the water in a constant stream until the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix on high speed for five minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Return the masa to the bowl and beat for five minutes on high speed. Slowly add the shortening in tablespoon additions while beating. Continue beating until smooth and light, about five minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl, then reduce to low speed and continue to beat.
Combine the salt, baking powder and chicken stock in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the chicken stock mixture into the masa, combining thoroughly. Whip on high speed for five minutes longer.
Peel the potato and combine it with the maple syrup, cayenne, chile powder and salt to taste in a mixing bowl. Mash the potato with a fork and combine thoroughly with the other ingredients. Add half of the sweet potato mash to the master masa mix and combine thoroughly.
Drain the corn husks and pat dry. Tear 16 (1/6-inch-wide) strips from two of the husks for tying the tamales. Place about 2 tablespoons of the tamale dough on top of each husk, then add about 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mash on top of the dough, leaving 1 inch uncovered at each end. Roll the corn husks so that the dough is completely enclosed. Twist and tie each end with the reserved strips. Repeat the procedure for remaining tamales.
Steam the tamales in a conventional steamer or in a strainer set in a saucepan and covered with a tightly fitting lid that allows little or no steam to escape while cooking. Steam for 30 to 35 minutes; the water always should be lightly boiling. The tamales are done when the dough easily comes away from the husk.
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