Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2007
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2007
Swiss Chard Leaves: Elegant and Inexpensive Substitutes for Corn Husks
Making tamales at home is made less expensive and more elegant by using Swiss chard leaves instead of the now-expensive dried corn husks. You will need a bag of masa made especially for tamale-making, and a pot with a metal stand or steaming basket inside of it. Tamale filling is up to your own taste and creativity. Chopped green chiles combined with Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese is tasty as a vegetarian version of tamales. Chopped or shredded, leftover roast beef or pork, spiced with some red chile powder is a meat-eater’s treat. Spread masa and water mixture onto a leaf in a rectangle (bags of masa come with such instructions). Lay filling on masa, and roll together the contents to seal it. You may tie ends together with string. Swiss chard tamale wrappers will be edible after you have steamed the tamales for forty minutes. This is a prudent, tasteful and nutritious method of preparing tamales.
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton and Elegant Survival, January 2009