Masa Blinis for Tamale Open


Courtney of Coco Cooks and Ben of What’s Cooking  are hosting a Tamale Open and even though I missed the posting deadline they are kind enough to let me join in. I enjoy reading their blogs on a regular basis and find scads of mouthwatering recipes there.

For Tamale Open I decided against making regular tamales because I didn’t feel like preparing the wrappers and steaming the tamales so what I came up with is a flat version of a Sopa.

A Sopa is a little fried masa “boat”-(you pinch up the sides after the first side is fried) that you top with various goodies- they are fun appetizer finger food. For mine I decided to scoop the masa into a cast iron skillet that had been coated with a little olive oil and then press them into flat “blinis” little pancakes. I fried them over medium heat on both sides until they were crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside. Then I topped them with Cotija cheese, avocado, salsa, sliced shallots and chile garlic butter shrimp and a little fresh cilantro. They were so good we could have eaten twenty of them. We were restrained and had two a piece.

Masa Blinis

  • 2 cups MASECA instant corn mix for tamales
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup organic non-hydrogenated vegetable oil shortening or regular if you don’t care about trans fats

Stir the Maseca mix, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Heat the broth to lukewarm and mix it into the above with your fingers- (it’s a little like making mudpies) squish it to moisten all of the mix and remove most of the lumps. In another bowl, whisk or mix the shortening until fluffy, add the masa mix and whisk until fluffy. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill until hot, brush olive oil on the surface and scoop some masa mix in (space it apart maybe 4 in a 10 inch skillet) press it flat using the back of spatula-it’s a bit sticky so this takes a bit to do.  Fry it gently on both sides until crispy. Serve with toppings such as salsa , avocado, shrimp or shredded meats and cheese etc.



Chile Garlic Butter Shrimp

  • 25 count peeled deveined shrimp
  • butter
  • garlic
  • salt
  • chile powder  

Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Melt butter in a skillet and add some minced garlic, salt and a pinch of chile powder. Fry for a few minutes just until cooked.


Thanks to Courtney and Ben and can’t wait to see everyone’s dishes.



  1. Gabi says:

    Courtney- Thank you and thanks for such fun inspiration!

    LisaRene- I really like the masa too- it has such good flavour! I love your pupusas that you made! We were a small round up but very delish!

    Pixie- Thanks for coming by- I love your tamales!

    Holly- Thanks and Happy Cinco de Mayo to you too!

  2. LisaRene says:

    Very nicely done! Much healthier then frying them and I bet just as tasty! Masa is such an interesting grain to cook with, I just love the texture and flavor. It will be a lot of fun to see the Tamale Open roundup.

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