Butternut Squash Tamal with Honeynut Fudge, Sikil Pak, Castelrosso, and Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients (23)

For the tamal:

  • 4 cups masa, white corn
  • 4 cups butternut squash puree (see recipe below)
  • 2 1/2 cups brown butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 20 banana leaves

For the butternut squash puree:

  • 2 1/2 butternut squashes
  • 1 teaspoon salt, kosher
  • 2 teaspoons honey

For the honey nut fudge:

  • 2 1/2 honeynut squashes
  • 15 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the sikil pak:

  • 3 cups plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomatillos
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Guajillo, dried
  • 3 teaspoons Thai chili, chopped and seeded
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup brown butter (room temperature)

For the pumpkin seeds:

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 cups canola oil, frying
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, Maldon
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Butternut Squash Tamal with Honeynut Fudge, Sikil Pak, Castelrosso, and Pumpkin Seeds

This recipe is brought to you by our friends at Stella Artois.

If you’re looking to amplify your fall cooking with the bold flavors of Mexico, look no further than this butternut squash delight. The tamale is paired with a honeynut squash fudge and topped with fried pumpkin seeds and ultra-rich castelrosso cheese. Prep everything in advance and heat just prior to serving. What’s not to love from James Beard Rising Star Chef Daniela Soto-Innes?


Make the butternut squash puree:
  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2Wash the butternut squashes and cut them longwise to remove the seeds and fibers.
  3. 3With a sharp knife, create a grid pattern in the flesh so they cook even. Place the squashes on a baking tray facing up and season with salt and honey. Cover with aluminum foil so the steam stays within the tray. Bake for 45 minutes or until the meat is soft and you can see the grid pattern opening up.
  4. 4Let the squashes rest 15 minutes still covered with the aluminum foil. While still warm, use a big spoon to scrap the squash flesh out of the skin into a bowl. The squashes will be soft enough to become a mash only by stirring. Refrigerate in quart containers.

Make the tamales:

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. 2Mix the masa, puree, baking power, and baking soda. Fill and seal the banana leaves.
  3. 3Steam tamales in oven for 50 minutes. Let the tamales rest at room temperature for 3 hours before refrigerating.
  4. 4Store in the refrigerator below 41 degrees for up to 3 days. To bring up to temperature, steam for three minutes in the oven (with leaf).

Make the honeynut squash fudge:

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2Peel the honeynut squash. Clean from seeds and fibers and cut into a big dice. Bake covered with aluminum foil until soft and mashable.
  3. 3While still warm, place the squash in a Vita Prep (or hot liquid-safe mixer) and emulsify with cold butter. Mix until a glossy, shiny and fudgy consistency is reached.
  4. 4Pass through a chinois and store in quart containers with plastic wrap to avoid crust. Heat up before service and keep above 140 degrees.

Make the sikil pak:

  1. 1Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 2Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, and garlic on a covered tray and bake covered until soft.
  3. 3Clean the chilis, remove seeds, and hydrate on water.
  4. 4Toast the pumpkin seeds.
  5. 5Blend all ingredients together, adding water until spoon consistency. Strain using a chinois and refrigerate in quart containers. Heat before service, adjusting temperature, seasoning, and thickness by the minute.

Make the pumpkin seeds:

  1. 1Soak the pumpkin seeds in water for at least 2 hours.
  2. 2Preheat the oil to 330 degrees in a deep frying pan or cast iron.
  3. 3Deep fry the drained seeds until golden and puffed. Let the excess oil drain into paper towels and season with salt while still warm.

Top the dishes with half a pound of crumbled Castelrosso cheese prior to serving.

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