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Open-faced Turkey Tamales

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(Recipe ID: 15)

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Preparation time: 1 1/2 hours; Cook time: 75 minutes

Source: Chef Joseph Lowery

This recipe won 1st place in the 'Cooking Light' category at the 2009  Women Today Expo in Knoxville, TN.  It does take some time to prepare, but its fun to do with a group of friends "assembly line style."


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  • 1 Tablespoon Avanti Savoia Cooking Olive Oil *
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 2 pounds Ground turkey
  • 2 teaspoon Ground cumin *
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano *
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme *
  • 1 Pickled Jalapeño Pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 8 ounce can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 quarts Chicken or Turkey Stock

    homemade, if possible

  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Cups Masa Harina

    Ground corn flour which can be found in the Mexican Food section of your local grocery store

  • 32 Dried Corn Husks Soaked in Warm Water
  • 1 Cup Stock for steaming (per pan)


  1. Saute onion and green pepper in oil until soft.
  2. Stir in turkey, garlic, cumin, salt, oregano, thyme and jalapeno pepper.
  3. Cook until turkey is done, about 6-8 minutes. Pour in tomato sauce, cook another 5 minutes and set aside to cool.
  4. Make dough by bringing the stock, salt and cumin to a boil in a large stockpot.
  5. Very gradually whisk in Masa Harina to stock so that it doesn’t lump. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until it is quite thick, stirring frequently. Let cool at least 10 minutes.
  6. Pat corn husks dry and spread 3 tablespoons of the dough about 1/4 inch thick over the middle of the each husk.
  7. Top with scant 1/4 cup turkey filling.
  8. Gather together each end of the tamale and tie with a strip of corn husk. Leave the middle open with the filling showing.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange tamales in one layer on bottom of baking pans (will need more than one.) Bring stock to a boil and, in each dish, pour 1 cup stock around the tamales. Cover with a lightly oiled piece of aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook for approximately 45 minutes. Serve plain or with Ranchero or Mole sauce. Yield: 24-30 tamales, depending upon how generously filled.

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