Almond and Wild Mushroom Tamale with Yucatan Tomato Salsa

Adapted by


Almond-Mushroom Tamale Filling
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup chanterelle mushrooms
¾ cup hen-of-the-woods mushrooms
1/3 cup onion, julienned
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
¼ serrano or jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
½ tomato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon toasted almonds, chopped
½ tablespoon golden raisins
1½ tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
2 slices habanero chili, minced
1¼ cups water
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup grits
1/3 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1½ tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
Chard Wrappers
1 pot water
6 Swiss chard leaves, ribs removed
Yucatan Tomato Salsa
3½ tomatoes
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1/3 onion, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable stock
To Assemble and Serve
1 tablespoon butter
Minced parsley
Toasted almonds


For the Almond-Mushroom Tamale Filling:

In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly caramelized. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and

pepper. Add chilies and garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Add tomato, almonds,
and raisins; simmer for 5 minutes until reduced. Remove from heat and cool.

For the Grits:

Heat butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add shallots and chilies and sauté until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add water, cream, and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Pour in the grits in a slow stream and stir as you go. Cook until grits have thickened and are tender. Add additional water to loosen, if necessary. Remove the grits from the heat, and stir in cheeses. Pour onto a plate to cool.

For the Chard Wrappers:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dunk chard leaves in water for 20 seconds until wilted, and immediately shock in ice water. Drain and reserve.

For the Yucatan Tomato Salsa:

In a cast iron skillet on high heat, cook tomatoes until well charred. Remove from heat and cool. Remove blackened skin and coarsely mash. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion for 4 to 6 minutes, until soft. Add the mashed tomatoes, chilies, and salt, cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more. Reduce heat to medium, pour in the vegetable stock, and cook six minutes.

To Assemble and Serve:

Lay out a Chard Wrappers on the counter, overlapping the edges of the leaf where you removed the rib. Spread a large spoonful of Grits on the bottom third of the leaf, leaving enough space at the bottom and on the sides to get seal. Top the Grits with some of the Almond-Mushroom Tamale Filling. Fold up the bottom, fold in the sides, and roll from bottom to top. The tamales should be about 3 inches long and 1½ inches wide.
Prepare a steamer on a low simmer and steam the tamales 12 to 15 minutes. Reheat the Yucatan Tomato Salsa, remove the chilies, and swirling in the butter. Ladle some hot salsa on each plate, top it with a tamale, and garnish with parsley and almonds.