Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Shrimp And Tamales And Garlic Cream Sauce.


Years ago, I was watching Food Network's "The Best Thing I Ever Ate,"
and one of the items featured was Bobby Flay's Shrimp and Tamales and Garlic Cream Sauce.
I bookmarked that dish somewhere in my brain and I finally got around to making it the other day.
Wish I hadn't waited so long.

This dish has three parts - soaked corn husks containing the flavored masa filling, sautéed shrimp, and a roasted garlic cream sauce.

Corn husks can be found in the Hispanic section of the grocery store.  Rinse the husks under running water, then soak them for at least two hours before stuffing them with the masa filling.

While the husks were soaking, I made a vegetable stock for the masa filling.
Vegetable Stock
assorted vegetables - I used carrots, celery, onions with skins, scallions, peppers, garlic, and mushrooms.
Coarsely chop the vegetables and cover with 2 quarts of water.  I leave the skins on the onions for extra flavor and I coarse chop to allow for more surface area on the vegetables for more flavor.
Add in a few sprigs of fresh thyme, some bay leaves, and a handful of fresh parsley.  And maybe a teaspoon of kosher salt.
Let simmer for 30-45 minutes, skimming any foam off the top.  Taste test and add more salt if needed.

Strain out liquid and discard vegetables.  The vegetables have served their duty admirably.
Reserve liquid for tamale stuffing.  Freeze any leftover vegetable stock and use whenever you want a punch of flavor in something you'd ordinarily use plain water in - say when you're cooking rice or pasta.

Tamale Stuffing
1 large red onion, chopped
3 ears of corn, kernels sliced off
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
6 oz. corn meal
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 TB honey

Purée onion, corn, and stock in a food processor.  Stir in the butter, cornmeal, and honey until well combined and no lumps.

Spoon about 1/3 cup of the tamale mixture into each corn husk, then tie up the bundles with a strip of husk.  Arrange tamales in a single layer on a steaming rack, cover with foil, and steam over boiling water for 60-70 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Slice off the corn kernels and chop the onion.

Combine corn and onion in processor and pour in stock.

Process away.

Stir in melted butter ...

... honey ...
... and cornmeal.

Stir until smooth.  Sort of.

Spread soaked corn husks open.

Ladle in some tamale stuffing mixture.

And tie up into cute little packets.

I placed my tamales on a rack over water, covered them with foil, and steamed in a 350° oven for about an hour.

While the tamales were steaming, I worked on the Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce.

Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
1 head of garlic  (I mean the whole head, not just individual cloves.)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

For the garlic, drizzle oil over the entire head, cover in foil, and bake in a 350° oven for about an hour.

Drizzle a little oil in a sauce pan, heat it up, then sauté the chopped onion for 2-3 minutes over medium low heat.  Remove the individual garlic cloves from the head and squeeze the garlic purée out of the skins and stir into the sautéed onion. 

 Roasted garlic is a lovely thing.  Try a taste!

Add in the wine and cook until the wine is almost evaporated.
Add in the cream, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half - about 20 minutes.

Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and taste test.

Sauté the onion in a bit of oil, then squeeze each garlic clove into the pan.

Lastly, prepare the shrimp.
Toss the shrimp in a mixture of equal parts cornmeal and cornstarch, seasoned with a few shakes of Old Bay, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and cayenne.

Heat a skillet with thin layer of peanut oil over high heat.  Add the shrimp and sauté each side 60-75 seconds, or until shrimp is lightly brown.  Don't over cook your shrimp!

To serve, set one tamale on plate.
Ladle some roasted garlic cream sauce and place the shrimp on top.
Sprinkle over some sliced scallions and chopped red peppers for the flavor and the pretty.

 Cut off the end of the corn husk and let the masa filling flow out.


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