Tamale Dressing

Tamales are traditionally made with lard, but I have given a coconut oil alternative, which makes this recipe vegan.

Makes 8 cups or 1 large tamale

  • 2 banana leaves
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 ripe plantains chopped
  • 1⅓ cups, plus 1 tablespoon lard or coconut oil, divided
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle in adobo
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3½ cups masa harina
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, heated

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a 9×13 pan with banana leaves, leaving an overhang. Set aside. Roast poblanos over an open flame until charred. Place in a paper bag to steam and when cool, remove skin and seeds, and chop. Set aside with plantains. In a skillet, melt 1 tablespoon lard or oil over medium heat. Add scallions, chipotle, and cumin and cook 2 minutes, or until scallions are tender. Add to reserved poblanos and plantains. Season to taste. Beat together remaining 1⅓ cups lard or coconut oil with baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together masa and hot stock in a separate bowl and then add to fat mixture, mixing until smooth. Stir in vegetables. Spoon into prepared pan and fold leaves over the top, tucking in the edges. Cover with foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, or until filling is set.

Editor’s Note: Banana leaves are available frozen at most Asian grocers. Thaw and rinse well before using. Masa harina is available at La Plaza Supermarket in Cleveland.