Sunday, 30 October 2011

Diva Dinners: Frida Kahlo Night & Tamale recipe

One of Frida's paintings 

It took all day to peel 66 peppers. I tried to get hold of poblanos but impossible.
Zia Mays and I grew these tomatillos as part of the Secret Garden Club (go to this link for gardening lessons and tea at The Underground Restaurant)
Making tamales from scratch

Home made hibiscus syrup with South African Fizz
Steamed Tamales stuffed with masa and vegetables with home grown tomatillo salsa
Chile en nogada with new season fresh walnuts and goat's cheese
Seared Tuna steak with Brokeback Beans and Guacamole
Flan or creme caramel
My graphic designer Maria Grist, me and my mum

Guests brought self-portraits
How to make tamales:
Makes 35-40

From a Mexican specialist site such as buy:
1 packet of Corn husks (contains about 40)
4 cups of Maseca or Masa Harina maize flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of vegetable shortening such as Crisco 
500ml of vegetable stock

I used cheese and pumpkin but you can experiment.

1 butternut squash, diced
Mole, a Oaxacan paste that I brought back from Mexico, a few scoops
Olive oil, to toss the vegetables in
1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
Salt to season
1 pack feta cheese or queso fresco, diced
Fresh coriander.

Soak the husks overnight.
After seasoning your diced vegetables on a baking tray, roast them until tender in a hot oven for 30-40 minutes. Add the cheese.
Mix the masa, the salt and the shortening together. You can also use fresh corn oil but experts say shortening (or lard if you eat meat) makes the masa fluffier and lighter.
Gradually mix in the hot vegetable stock until you have a light flexible dough.
On the smoother side of the corn husk, spread some of the masa. 
Then add some of the filling inside. 
Fold and tie your tamal.
There are two techniques: 
1) You fold over the husk lengthways then tuck over the pointy end and secure with a thin section of husk. (Keep one or two of your soaked husks for tying). You then steam them pointy side down, open section up.
2) Fold over both ends with two ties like a package.

Steam in a bamboo or metal steamer for 1 1/2 hours.

Serve with salsa, such as the tomatillo salsa in my book.


  1. Looks like another one of your successful events Kerstin.It makes it all the more interesting when guests and hostess dress according to the given Theme. Fab pics as always.

  2. I just love the Frida painting juxtaposed with the real food, and the costumes look fantastic.

    Must try the recipe too.

  3. love the shot of the 3 of you, all with mono brows. I think all the eyebrows should be joined up into one long communal brow. Looks like a good night.


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