When I saw The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman and Beth
Dooley on the shelf at my local library I was immediately drawn in by
the beautiful picture of fresh and foraged foods on the from cover. I
took the book home and actually read it, cover to cover.
I was lucky enough to have a duck from Truffula Farm in my freezer and
when I read this book I knew I wanted to try tamales. I wanted to make
the duck that Daniel and Kelly Key worked so hard to raise go further
and stuff even more tamales so I added sautéed peppers and onions to the
shredded meat. I added smoked paprika and a little chill pepper as well.
Based on a recommendation from a friend I also made dessert tamales,
using shredded pineapple and chili powder as the stuffing. I made about
12 extra tamales and froze them. A quick thaw in the refrigerator, and a
stream to reheat them and they were like fresh!
Sioux Chef Tamales
12 to 16 dried corn husks
1 cup masa or corn flour
1/2 to 1 cup water
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 cups shredded smoked duck
Generous pinch dried bergamot or oregano
To soften the dried husks, place them in a bowl and cover with water.
Place a plate on top tom keep the husks submerged and let stand until
soft, about 4 hours to one day.
In a medium bowl, beat together the corn, flour, water and oil to make a
render but firm dough.
Fill the bottom of a pot with a steamer insert and add about 2 inches of
water to the pot. Line the bottom of the insert with a few of the
softened corn husks. Open 2 large husks on a work surface and spread 1/4
cup of the dough in the center of each, leaving a 2- to 3- inch border
at the narrow end of the husk. Spoon the shredded meat down the center
of the dough. Fold up the narrow end of the husk. Tie the folded
portion with a strip of husk, but leave the wide end of the tamale open.
Stand the tamales in a steamer basket, open side up. Repeat, filling
Set the pot over high heat and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the
heart to a simmer and steam the tamales until the dough is firm to the
touch and separates easily from the husk, adding more water to the pot
if necessary, about 45 minutes to an hour. Serve hot.