Faux Tamales

Monday was an early day at work meaning that I was able to cook myself something quick and easy for dinner.  I remembered seeing a recipe for easy "tamales" in my canning book, one that used some of the salsa I made and canned a few weeks ago.  It met the requirements for an easy recipe with few ingredients so I set about making it and adding in a few extra ingredients of my own.

I couldn't be happier I took the time to make these after a long day on set, since they were filling, satisfying and delicious and an ideal easy weeknight meal.  The leftover reheated quite nicely too.

Snack-Size Faux Tamales
serves 2 as a main course
adapted from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krisoff

2 large egg whites
2 Tbsps olive oil
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels  - thawed
1/4 cup salsa - I used homemade Charred Tomato & Chile Salsa
1 cup cornmeal or masa harina
1/4 cup shredded smoked chicken - optional
1/4 cup shredded aged cheddar - optional
salsa & sour cream for serving

1.  Put the egg whites, corn, oil and salsa in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the cornmeal, blending until incorporated.
2. Lay 6 sheets of (6"x 12") wax or parchment paper on a work surface.  Divide the tamale mixture among the sheets.
3.  Shape them into logs with the paper and press a couple pieces of chicken into each log.  Sprinkle with some cheddar and  and wrap each log tightly.  Fold the long edged of the paper up and turn it seam side down and tuck the ends underneath.
4. Arrange the packages in a steam basket set over boiling water. Cover the pot and steam for 5 minutes or until firm. Unwrap and serve with more salsa and some sour cream.