Humita is a traditional food from the Andean region of Argentina. This dish reflects South America’s Incan heritage. It is similar to a tamale, but is made with ground corn. If you are looking for the perfect pairing for Humitas for Wine Wednesdays, try an earthy Argentine Malbec or a Chardonnay. Many of these wines are produced at vineyards in the Mendoza region of Argentina, at the foothills of the Andes – so they play nicely with this traditional dish.
YIELD: Makes 8 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 8 ears fresh corn
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft (do not let it brown), about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cut around base of each ear of corn and gently remove husks whole. Reserve husks. Brush silk off ears.
- Grate kernels off corncobs into medium bowl, or slice off and pulse in processor to rough purée. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in cooked onions, milk, and red pepper flakes. Chill mixture until firm.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. To assemble 1 humita, choose a thinner, more flexible inner husk and tie thin end into knot. Split up to knot and set aside to use as tie. Lay 2 of widest husks side by side (narrow ends at top and bottom), overlapping a few inches to form rectangle. Spoon 1/4 cup filling into center, then fold sides over to cover filling. Fold in top and bottom to make enclosed rectangular package. Tie crosswise with knotted husk. Repeat with remaining filling and husks. Place finished humitas on baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
This recipe is adapted from Argentine chef Francis Mallman from Epicurious.com.