Monday, December 12, 2011

Corn Masa for Tamales using dry Corn

Monday is the day I share a little about food storage and since I'm teaching a tamale class tomorrow at Honeyville Farms in Chandler, Arizona, (10 AM and FREE) I thought I'd share how to use  Whole Kernel White Corn, or Whole Kernel Yellow Corn or Whole Kernel Blue Corn to make masa. Masa is the dough used to make homemade tamales and tortillas. 

While working with this corn. I've learned a few corny facts. Lend me your ear. Oh bad pun. Did you know there are more than 400 kinds of corn?! Oh my gosh. I for one have been a little lax in my use of the golden nuggets. How about you? I also was interested to know that I needed something to help digest the corn. To make the masa you will need to purchase something traditionally called "slaked lime", but chemically called Calcium hydroxide
It's available for 5$ a lb here.  When corn is not treated with the lime, it has an outer husk-fiber-type stuff that makes it very difficult to digest. The dough will also not hold together at all. It must come off.  Place 8 cups of corn in a 3 gallon pot with warm water and 3/4 cup of lime. Cover with 3 inches of water over the corn.
 Simmer at least 45 minutes.   It will bubble and foam quite a bit.
 What really surprised me was how bright orange the corn got at first.
After 45 minutes it will start to split and the outer skin will start to slip off rather easily. Almost slippery. Run the corn under a forceful stream of water. Rubbing between your hands.

This is how you wash the corn...(I did a short video)

As you rinse you will see a lot of this clear film left in your colander . It is the inedible portion of the corn.
Separate the edible corn from the outer fibers.

 Run the edible portion through a meat grinder fit with the finest setting.

 I ran it through once...
It looked pretty course at this point so I ran it through again with a little water.

 It should hold together like this.

The dough will look like this.
Now you are ready to go to the tutorial for Homemade Tamales. Use this masa in place of the dough recipe in the tutorial. It's amazing!
There you go. Oh. Masa doesn't keep very well so if you don't plan on using it within a day or so, put the unused dough in the freezer and use within a month.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Chef Tess, This was a great post on the corn. Who knew. I have my grandmothers old meat grinder and this would be wonderful, to make the Masa. I want to see if I can make homemade fritos. They started in Texas, where I am. But I thought if you added boiling water and salt, rolled them out and used cooking spray, and just bake them, it might work. Will let you know. thanks a bunch for information