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Sauces and Condiments

Basic fresh masa

Basic fresh masa
Stefano Paltera / For The Times

As I unwrap the husk, sweet corn aromas spiked with pungent pasilla chiles swirl around me. With the touch of my fork against the light, spongy masa, rivulets of dark red chili sauce gush forth. My first freshly made, hot-from-the-steamer ... Read more

Total time: 10 minutes | Makes enough for 4 to 5 dozen tamales
  • 1 2/3 cups butter
  • 6 tablespoons margarine
  • 5 pounds unprepared fresh masa
  • 1 to 3 cups pork, chicken, beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Step 1In the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer, combine the butter and margarine. With the paddle attachment on high speed, whip for 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Lower the speed to medium and add the fresh masa alternately with 1 cup of the stock, then add the salt. Beat until well mixed.

Step 2Return the mixer to high speed and whip for 3 to 5 minutes, until the masa is the consistency of spackle. If necessary, add more stock, one-fourth cup at a time, until the correct consistency is attained.

Step 3Drop one-half teaspoon masa into a cup of cold water. If the masa floats, it is ready; if it sinks, continue whipping it for another minute. Repeat this "float test" until the sample masa floats.

Note: From Alice Tapp. Unprepared fresh masa is available in Mexican or Latino markets.

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