Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes

I realize this looks like a hot mess, but don't hold that against the dish (that was just me not taking the time to plate delicately). Which is a compliment really, because this is so good, I didn't want to bother taking my time - I just wanted to dig in. If this looks familiar, it's probably because you've ordered it at the Cheesecake Factory. It's a clone of their recipe (if we can do it with sheep, we can do it with tamale cakes).

Yield: 10 cakes (5 appetizers)

Salsa Verde:
2 tomatillos, papery skins removed and chopped
1 (4 oz.) can mild green chilies
1 green onion (scallion), chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
salt & freshly ground pepper

Tomato Salsa:
1 medium tomato, diced
1 tablespoon minced Spanish onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Southwestern Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon water
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
salt to taste
garlic powder to taste

Tamale Cakes:
3 cups sweet corn, fresh or frozen (4 to 5 ears)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup masa harina (corn flour)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sour cream
1 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1.      Combine all Salsa Verde ingredients in a food processor on high speed. Cover and chill.
2.      Combine all Tomato Salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
3.      Combine all Southwestern Sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and chill.
4.      Preheat oven to 400°F.
5.      Coarsely puree 2 cups of the corn in a food processor.
6.      Combine pureed corn with softened butter, sugar and salt. Blend well with electric mixer until smooth.
7.      Add masa and flour and blend well.
8.      Mix in the remaining 1 cup corn by hand.
9.      Measure 1/2 cup portions and form into 8 (3 inch) patties.
10.  Arrange patties on a baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cakes are browned on the bottom.
11.  Carefully flip cakes with a spatula and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until the other side is browned.
12.  While the cakes are baking, spoon some salsa verde onto a platter (coat the bottom with about 1/4 inch).
13.  Arrange the tamale cakes on top of the salsa verde.
14.  Top each tamale cake with tomato salsa, a dollop of sour cream, chopped avocado, cilantro and Southwestern Sauce (preferably in a nice zig zag pattern using a squirt bottle).

slightly adapted from a copycat recipe from “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes" by Todd Wilbur (original dish from The Cheesecake Factory)
salsa verde ingredients
salsa verde
tomato salsa
southwestern sauce
corn kernels
adding butter, sugar and salt
adding masa and flour
whole corn kernels mixed in
formed into patties
baked sweet corn tamale cakes
two sweet corn tamale cakes over salsa verde with
dollops of southwestern sauce haphazardly plopped on top

For that size/shape plate, I should have put
just one cake on there, but I wanted two!
sweet corn tamale cakes topped with
tomato salsa, sour cream and avocado

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