Candied Pecan and Sweet Potato Tamales: Just tell them it's a new way of serving yams, and they'll love it. 1:33:25 PM
Photo: Louie Favorite,
Photo: Louie Favorite,

Candied Pecan and Sweet Potato Tamales from Kevin Rathbun

Recipe for Candied Pecan and Sweet Potato Tamales from Kevin Rathbun. Originally published in the AJC Nov. 13, 2008

8 servings 

Hands on: 30 minutes 

Total time: 45 minutes 

This unexpected combination is a winner. For a vegetarian option, substitute vegetable broth. You can bake, steam or microwave the sweet potatoes before combining them. Don't boil because they can take on too much water. Use some of the turkey stock from the turkey stew recipe. Look for corn shucks in supermarket or specialty markets or substitute parchment paper. 

For the tamales 

2 large cooked sweet potatoes, peeled and mashed 

2 cups masa harina 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 

2 teaspoons kosher salt 

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

1 1/2 cups turkey stock or chicken broth 

8 corn shucks (soaked in warm water for 1 hour) or parchment paper cut into 6- to 8-inch squares  

For the candied pecans 

1 cup pecan halves 

2 cups water 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 

1 1/2 cups canola oil 

To prepare the tamales: In a large bowl, mix potatoes, masa harina, butter, salt and pepper until combined. Add turkey stock until it becomes a workable pastelike consistency. It shouldn't be watery. Divide mixture equally into 8 tamale shucks or parchment paper and roll up and tie ends. Place in a steamer and steam for 15 to 25 minutes, or until heated through. 

To prepare the pecans: Meanwhile, boil pecans in water for 10 minutes. Drain well and mix with salt and sugar. Heat oil until 350 degrees. Deep-fry pecans until crispy, about 1 to 3 minutes. Drain on parchment paper. Serve on top of tamales. 

Per serving: 335 calories (percent of calories from fat, 47), 6 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 18 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 12 milligrams cholesterol, 691 milligrams sodium.

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