"A veggie option of a sweet, corn bread amid a spicy, savory topping. Cut into pieces for an appetizer or serve whole as an entree."
For the Southwestern Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Pico De Gallo:
1 cup white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
¼ cup lime juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1½ pounds ripe red tomatoes, chopped
1 cup (about 2 bunches) fresh cilantro, freshly chopped, plus extra for topping
For the Corn Cake:
3 cups frozen sweet corn, divided
6 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup corn masa harina flour
4 tablespoons olive oil
For the Garnish:
2 tamale corn husks, for serving, optional
16 ounces tomatillo salsa verde, for serving
16 ounces sour cream, for garnish, to taste
1 avocado, diced, for serving
Let’s start by making the southwestern sauce. Mix the mayonnaise, vinegar, water, sugar, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder together in a bowl until well combined. Place the sauce into a squeeze bottle and keep it chilled.
To make the pico de gallo, in a large bowl, mix together the onion, jalapeño, lime juice, sea salt, tomatoes, and cilantro. Keep it chilled as well.
Let’s get to those sweet corn tamale cakes by pulsing 1 cup of the frozen corn in a food processor until it’s coarsely pureed. Place the puree into a large mixing bowl with the sugar, salt, and butter. Mix until well combined. Add the flour and masa. Mix until no flour is visible. Mix in the remaining 2 cups of whole frozen corn kernels.
Use ½-cup measuring cup to portion out the corn cake mixture. Use your hands to form into 3-inch-wide patties. If the patties do not want to stay together, add a tablespoon or two of water to the mix until they do. Place the patties on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn your griddle to medium-low heat and spread the olive oil out across your cooking surface. Once the griddle is up to temperature, lay each cake on the griddle. Shallow-fry the patties until they are golden brown on the bottom, 5–8 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5–8 minutes, until golden brown as well. Remove the cakes from the heat.
Place the tomatillo salsa in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1–2 minutes, until warmed.
On two serving plates, lay a tamale corn husk down flat. Spoon about ½ cup of the warmed tomatillo salsa and three corn cakes to each plate. Top each corn cake with a dollop of sour cream, Pico de gallo, diced avocado, and chopped cilantro to taste. Drizzle some of the southwestern sauce over each corn cake and serve hot.