Pumpkins Seeds and Egg Filling

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Banana leaf tamales can be filled with just about anything that you think sounds delicious. In our Winter Issue, along with an article on how to make banana leaf tamales from scratch (find the instructions here), we promised five additional filling ideas for you to use or draw inspiration from.

This very simple filling originally appeared in a recipe that calls for 2 cups chopped chard leaves folded into the masa batter. Consider replacing the butternut in the recipe here with chard leaves and using this filling for vibrantly green—in color and flavor—impact!

2/3 cup hulled, untoasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2 eggs

1. Heat a medium-size skillet over medium-low for several minutes; pour in the pumpkin seeds. When the first one pops, stir them constantly for 4 to 5 minutes, until all have toasted and popped from flat to oval. (Don’t let them brown too much or they’ll be bitter.) Cool completely. In a food processor, coarsely grind the seeds.

2. Put the eggs into a small saucepan filled with cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the water simmers gently for 11 minutes. Drain, set the pan under cold running water for a minute or so, then le the eggs cool in the water. Peel and coarsely chop.

3. Follow instructions for preparing banana leaf tamales here. Once you are ready to add the filling onto the masa you’re spread in the center of a banana leaf, sprinkle masa with about 2 tsp of the ground pumpkin seeds and a generous tsp of the chopped egg. Fold tamale according to the instructions, repeat with remaining banana leave squares, and steam.

4. Serve with spicy salsa or hot sauce.

Makes filling for 12 tamales

Recipe based on one which appeared in Rick Bayless’s Fiesta at Rick’s, W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 2010

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