Stephan Pyles' Annatto Shrimp Blue Corn Tamales

Stephan Pyles' Annatto Shrimp Blue Corn Tamales
  • Recipe Comments
  • Max 5 stars
    My Rating
    (3 Ratings)
  • Prep:
  • Cook Time:
  • Total:
  • Serving:
Recipe for Stephan Pyles' Annatto Shrimp Blue Corn Tamales. The shrimp in these tamales contrast strikingly with the blue-gray corn of the masa dough.


  • 1/4 cup annatto seeds
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 recipe Blue Corn Masa Seca Tamale Dough
  • 10 large dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • salt
  • salsa cruda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or creme friache


  1. Prepare the masa dough.
  2. drain the corn husks and shake dry. Tear 16 thin strips (about 1/8 inch wide) from 2 of the husks and set aside for tying the tamales. Lay out on the remaining 8 corn husks on a flat work surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and place 1 portion on each husk. Evenly spread out the masa mixture, leaving about 1 1/2 inches exposed corn husk at each end and 3/4 inch on each side. Bring the sides of the corn husk together, folding the dough; tuck one side of the husk under the other and roll up the tamale so that the dough is completely enclosed inside the husk. Twist each end and tie with the reserved strips of corn husk. Repeat for the remaining tamales.
  3. Fill the bottom of a steamer or saucepan fitted with a strainer or vegetable basket with 2-3 inches of water. Bring the water to boil and place tamales in the steamer. Cover tightly with a lid or foil (it is important that little or no steam escapes during cooking). steam tamales for 30-35 minutes over lightly boiling water, adding more boiling water as necessary. tamales are done when they feel firm to the touch but are not hard and the dough comes away easily from the husk. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
  4. While the tamales are steaming, remove the shrimp from the marinade with a slotted spoon, let drain and season to taste with salt. In a hot, dry sauté pan, sauté the shrimp for 1 1/2 minutes per side. Transfer the tamales to serving plates and, with a knife, slice open the top of the wrappers from end to end. Gently push the ends together, as for a baked potato. Serve the shrimp next to the tamales and garnish with the sour cream and salsa, if desired.