Sweet Potato Tamales. Is that weird? Well, maybe it is a little. However, they were really good, especially with a drizzle of honey over them. This month’s Improv Challenge ingredients were Sweet Potatoes and Honey. I usually eat my sweet potatoes roasted, but that seemed too boring. I thought about making some cake or cookies or muffins or even biscuits, but in the end, my imagination was affected by my menu. While I started putting a Mexican dinner together, I suddenly had to have tamales.
The fact that I did not have any corn husks and that two local grocery stores also didn’t have any corn husks (grrrr) did not sway me. I did a quick Internet search and discovered that I could use foil or parchment paper as a substitute. I was concerned that the steam wouldn’t get through foil like it would corn husks, so I chose to go with the paper. Although it was quite soggy by the time the cooking was over, it worked like a charm. (And it also made a funky “flower” garnish on the plate next to the tamale)
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup butter
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1½ cups mas harina
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, cooked and pureed
- 2 Tbsp honey (+ more to drizzle over cooked tamales)
- 1 Tbsp candied ginger, chopped
- parchment paper
- With a mixer, cream butter and cream cheese.
- Add baking powder, ground ginger, cayene, masa harina and salt, mixing well.
- Add sweet potato puree, honey and candied ginger.
- Cut parchment into 8 inch squares.
- Place ¼ cup of sweet potato mixture in the center of each square.
- Fold two opposite sides over the mixture.
- Fold the other two sides up to form a rectangle.
- Heat 2 inches of water in a steamer to a boil.
- Set the tamale packets in the steamer, cover and steam over as low a heat as will still keep the water boiling.
- Steam for 1 hour.
- Watch the water level to make sure the pan does not boil dry.
- Unwrap and serve with a dusting of cinnamon or ginger and drizzle with honey.
If you would like to join the Improv Challenge, look on my Improv page (tab at the top of the page) for details. Each month, we use two specific ingredients to make whatever our imagination comes up with.