Butternut Squash Tamales

This vegetarian take on tamales is inspired by a favorite New Mexico restaurant.
By: Krystal Keith
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Ingredients:

Masa Dough:

  • 4 cups Masa Harina
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 1 cup melted coconut oil
  • 20 dried cornhusks

Filling:

  • 3 cups baby-diced butternut squash
  • 1 ½  cup minced shallots
  • 1 diced Fuji apple
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced, fresh jalapeno
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • Juice from one lime
  • 3 cups shredded mixed Mexican cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, chipotle powder, and sea salt

Directions:

Using a large pot, bring water to a boil and submerge the husks using a mixing bowl for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Using a large bowl, combine the masa, baking powder, oregano and salt. Using a mixer, add the warm water and melted coconut oil over the masa. Keep mixing until you have a dough-like consistency. Set this aside and cover, then preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Dice the butternut squash. Coat everything in olive oil and salt, then spread on a baking sheet. Place it in the oven for about 30 minutes. When the edges begin to brown, remove from the oven and set aside.

Place a large pan on medium heat and add shallots, garlic, and olive oil and cook until everything is translucent.

Add the ancho and chipotle powders along with the lime juice, then stir and let simmer. Stir in the apples, jalapeno and salt. Cook until the apples are nice and tender.

Mix in the butternut squash, remove from heat, and mix in cheese so that it melts throughout the mix.

Place one husk on the cutting board and fill with a half cup of masa. Press everything into the face of the husk leaving about an inch around the perimeter.

Spoon in a bit of the filling into the center of the masa platform, and wrap the husk like you would a book-shaped gift––fold over the right side then the left, overlapping the edges. Watch the video above to get this technique down.

Flip up the bottom tail and place seam-side down on a plate. Continue to do this until you run out of husks. With this batch, you’ll end up with 15 to 20 tamales.

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