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Big Ears 2014 Sunday Brunch


Sweet Potato-Prune-Pecan Tamales

yields about 30 filled tamales, plus another 6 or so plain

For the filling

3 cups chopped pecans

3 cups (about 60) prunes, roughly chopped

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

1 ½ tsp chipotle powder

1 TBSP ground cinnamon

For the dough

24 oz sweet potato, peeled, diced, and boiled until very tender

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

3 TBSP maple syrup

3 ¾ cups warm water

¾ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp salt

1 TBSP baking powder

5 ¼ cup masa harina

To assemble:

corn husks, soaked for about an hour

Heat oven to 400 and toast pecans until darkened and fragrant, about 10 minutes, being careful not to burn. Transfer to a food processor and grind to a minced texture. Meanwhile, mash prunes with spices in a mortar and pestle (alternately, pulse in a food processor).

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cooked sweet potato, spices, syrup, and oil. Mix well. Add water and mix again. Sift together salt, baking powder, and masa harina. Add to the wet ingredients and mix with the paddle attachment until fluffy and smoothed out a bit. The dough will remain a little sticky.

Assemble tamales using 2-3 TBSP of dough and a generous TBSP of filling for each. Steam for 40-45 minutes.

If desired, serve with maple syrup and our Coconut-Lime Spread.

Coconut-Lime Spread

yields 3/4 cup

1 can coconut milk

1 TBSP natural cane sugar (evaporated cane juice)

1/8 tsp pectin

zest of ½ lime

Simmer coconut milk and sugar until reduced to 3/4 cup, about an hour. Stir in pectin and zest. Cool and chill.

Grapefruit-Jicama Salad with Sweet Citrus-Mint Dressing

2-3 large jicama, cut into matchsticks

4 grapefruit, peeled and segmented

¼ cup + 2 TBSP orange marmalade (bittersweet preferred)

¼ cup + 2 TBSP lime juice

¼ cup apple syrup

finely chopped mint leaves from about 3-4 sprigs, or to taste

Whisk together marmalade, lime juice, syrup, and mint. Pour over jicama and toss well. Add grapefruit and toss gently to distribute.

Lime-Cucumber-Mint Agua Fresca

24 oz cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced

1/2 cup lime juice

6 TBSP turbinado

3 cups water

3 sprigs mint

Puree all ingredients except mint. Add mint to a pitcher, pour the agua over it, and chill. Serve over ice.

Ginger-Mango Agua Fresca

20 oz thawed frozen mango

1/4 cup lime juice

2 oz ginger

1/4 cup turbinado

20 oz club soda

Puree all except sparkling water. Strain. Chill the liquefied mango and club soda separately. Add soda just before serving and mix well. Serve over ice.