Margaret Victor, a high school teacher from Sandia, gives this vegetarian recipe for tamales. For the best flavor, Margaret says to make them in June, right after the corn is harvested, but they're tasty any time of the year. Margaret and her family enjoy eating them with salsa. (Note that there's no masa to mix or spread, so these tamales go together fast.)
Yield: 2 dozen
18 ears fresh sweet corn (with husks on)
6 T. butter or margarine
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Remove husks and silks from corn just before cooking, reserving 2 dozen of the most pliable green husks. Steam ears of corn for 20-30 minutes or until tender. Rinse reserved husks; drain, and pat dry. Set aside. Cut corn from cob. Place corn in food processor or blender, and chop until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. To assemble tamales, spoon 2 T. of corn mixture onto the center of each green husk. Fold sides of husk inward to center, lengthwise, so that they overlap. Fold pointed end toward center, and fold wider end down over pointed end, completely enclosing filling. If husks are difficult to fold, tie a string around the middle of each tamale. Continue procedure until all corn mixture is used. To steam tamales, use a steamer or large pot with a rack or metal colander placed inside. Add enough water to fill pot below rack level and keep tamales above water. Place tamales upright on rack. Bring water to a boil. Cover and steam 15-20 minutes to heat throughout.
From the January 1996 issue.