Contributing Monkie Sarma Melngailis
Published on October 21, 2008
White Corn Tamales
with raw cacao mole, marinated portobello, and green tomato salsa (raw)
Traditionally, Mexican mole sauce is made like curry: ground chili peppers, spices, and flavorings are combined according to a cook’s taste and intention. In this recipe, we use raw cacao beans, the unadultured seeds of the cacao tree that are extremely rich in antioxidant flavenols, significantly more so than even red wine and green tea. We use both raw cacao and organic cocoa powder for a more balanced flavor. Green & Black’s organic cocoa from the United Kingdom is the best brand to use but is not easy to find.
Making the mole sauce can be hard on your blender, so it is best to use a via-Mix or one with a strong motor.
“This is an impressive dish to serve guests — its presentation in the corn husk is rustic and fun.” – MK
Recipe by Sarma Mengailis | Raw Food Real World (Harper Collins, 2005)
Serves 4 to 6 (makes 12 tamales)
For the portobellos:
3 medium or 2 large portobello mushroom caps,
sliced into sticks about 2 inches long and 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup pumpkin seed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon mince fresh oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms with the pumpkin seed oil, garlic, oregano, and salt. Add a bit more oil if necessary to coat all the mushrooms, Transfer the mushrooms to a Teflex lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for 115 F for 12 to 24 hours (tossing them around from time to tome) or until the mushrooms taste as if they have ben sauteed.
For the mole sauce:
3 dried chili peppers (such as ancho, pasilla, or cascebel)
3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup raw almond butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons walnut or other nut oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1 In a bowl, add the chilies, cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, and cumin and mix to combine. Add enough water to the bowl to cover and let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
Step 2 Transfer the mixture to a Vita-Mix or high-speed blender, add the almond butter and cocoa powder and blend until completely smooth, adding as much filtered water as necessary to get it to a thick sauce consistency. Add the walnut oil, and sea salt and black pepper to taste and blend to combine.
For the corn filling and tamales:
12 corn husks
6 cups fresh white corn kernels, cut from 4-5 ears
1 cup pine nuts
1 cup cashews
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 small handful cilantro, finely chopped
Step 1 Soak the corn husks in warm water for 1 to 2 hours to make them pliable.
Step 2 Place 5 cups of the corn in the food processor with the pine nuts, cashews, cayenne, and salt and process just until smooth, but do not over-process. Fold in the remaining 1 cup corn and the cilantro and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the dehydrated mushrooms.
Step 3 Dry the corn husks with a towel. Tear a thin strip off the side of each husk — this will be used as string to tie the tamale together. Lay the corn husks flat and place about 1/2 cup of the corn mixture onto the center of each. Fold the bottoms up over the filling and then fold the sides over. Using the husk strips, tie the tops of each tamale.
Step 4 Place the tamales in the dehydrator at 115 F to warm them through, ideally for about 2 hours before serving.
For the salsa verde:
2 to 3 medium green tomatoes
2 to 3 medium tomatillos
2 jalepeno peppers, seeds to taste, chopped
1 very large handful cilantro
1 green onion, white and 1 inch green, chipped
2 tablespoons lime juice
Quarter and salt the tomatoes and tomatillos. Let sit for 1 hour and then drain the liquid and place them in the food processor. Add the jalapeno, cilantro and green onion and pulse until chunky. Drain any additional excess liquid and discard, and season the mixture with lime juice and salt to taste.
For the tart sour cream
1 cup coconut meat
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 cup filtered water
1/2 cup cashew nuts, soaked for 1 to 2 hours
1 teaspoon sea salt
In a blender, blend the coconut meat with the lemon juice, cider vinegar, miso, and 1/2 cup of the water until smooth. Add the soaked cashews and more water, 1 tablespoon at a time and blend until completely smooth (you may need more then 1 cup of water). Season with salt and blend further. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or covered container and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be kept for up to 2 or 3 days.
1/2 cup Tart Sour Cream
Cocoa powder for dusting
Baby cilantro or regular cilantro for garnish
Step 1 Spoon mole sauce onto each plate and spread to make a wide pool.
Step 2 Using a sharp knife, carefully slice open the tamales and place 2 or 3 on top of the sauce on each plate. Gently pull the tamales open a bit and top each with a heaping tablespoon of salsa. Place a spoonful of sour cream on the mole sauce dust the plate with cocoa powder, and garnish with cilantro.