World Cuisine

  • 8 corn husks (or use greaseproof paper and foil as for Cheesy Swiss Chard & Chicken Tamales below)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • large bunch of Swiss chard, leaves separated and stalks finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño chilli, deseeded, if liked, and chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) crème fraîche
  • 300 g (10 oz) masa harina or fine cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lard
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) warm vegetable stock

Soak the corn husks in plenty of warm water for 10 minutes until pliable, then drain.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the chard stalks and cook for 3 minutes until softened. Add the chard leaves, garlic, chilli and tomato and cook for a further 1 minute. Stir in the crème fraiche and leave to bubble until it just coats the vegetables. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, beat together the masa harina, baking powder, salt and lard in a bowl, then beat in the stock until a soft dough forms.

Lay out 1 corn husk so it is flat, place a spoonful of the dough in the centre and down towards the bottom of the husk, then flatten with your hand. Place a spoonful of the chard mixture on top, then fold over the husk so the filling is tightly enclosed and forms a cylinder. Leave the top end open and secure with strips of leftover husk. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Place the parcels, sealed end down, into a steamer. Cover and steam for about 1 hour, until the dough comes away easily from the husk.

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