These polenta-like tamales are a specialty of Cafe Annie’s.
2 cups fresh yellow corn kernels (about 4 ears)
2 cups (1 pound) masa harina for tamales
2 cups (1 pound) stone-ground white grits
1 generous tablespoon salt
1 stick (1/4 pound) butter at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) lard at room temperature
1 package dried corn shucks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Purée corn in a food processor. Put purée in a roasting pan, place in the oven, and cook out moisture, stirring frequently, until texture becomes custardlike, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine masa harina, grits, salt, and approximately 10 cups warm water (added 2 cups at a time) to moisten mixture and make it easy to stir. Whisk it occasionally to eliminate lumps. Simmer until grits are soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
Using an electric mixer, beat masa mixture together with corn. Add butter and lard and beat on high speed until thoroughly mixed and light in texture. Make into tamales and steam until husk comes away cleanly from masa, 10 to 15 minutes (these cook quickly). Makes 3 dozen tamales.