Bobby Flay's Shrimp And Roasted Garlic Tamale Recipe With A Twist

When you think of Bobby Flay, his grilling prowess may be the first thing that comes to mind. Others will always associate Flay with Southwestern fare (because the restaurant that put him on the map was New York City's Mesa Grill). And some, of course, know the chef in both contexts. Whichever kind of Flay fan you might be, this recipe for Bobby Flay's shrimp and roasted garlic tamales is going to surprise you. That's because it employs two very genius twists (which we'll get to shortly) that were created by recipe developer and registered dietician Kristen Carli.

"This dish is so dreamy," Carli raves. "The creamy shrimp sauce is decadent and impressive." As decadent and impressive as this dish is, it's not at all fussy and is perfect for a crowd. In fact, it stretches just 20 ounces of shrimp out to at least nine servings of two tamales each. Whether you want to make this dish for a family dinner or for a crowd, Carli's twist on Flay's iconic recipe will make it easier than ever!

What did we change?

Carli's shrimp and roasted garlic tamale recipe, even with its twists, stays true to the Flay recipe (via Food & Wine), in every way but two. Carli's first twist is that she has you cooking the tamales in an Instant Pot, as opposed to in a top-of-stove steaming contraption of some sort. It's a trick that quite a few Southwestern cooks use, according to Carli. Carli's second twist is that she leverages the deep, briny flavor you can only get from canned green chilis to give these tamales and their roasted garlic sauce an impeccable flavor.

Gather your ingredients to make Bobby Flay's shrimp and roasted garlic tamale recipe with a twist

Carli's recipe would appear to call for quite a few ingredients, but it all seems pretty simple when you consider that there are actually two dishes being prepared here simultaneously. First, while the tamales are steaming, you'll be making the roasted garlic shrimp sauce. And then there are the tamales themselves, for which you'll need four cups of fresh corn kernels, divided (canned is okay in a pinch), water, oil, yellow onions, honey, salt, pepper, cornmeal, unsalted butter, a can of green chiles, and some dried corn husks. By the way, your corn husks should soak in water for three hours beforehand.

Now, for the rich and creamy roasted garlic sauce, you'll need some minced garlic, large, peeled, and deveined shrimp, heavy cream, white wine, oil, and, of course the canned chilis that give this recipe one of its twists. When it's time to serve, you'll also need snipped chives and diced red bell pepper.

First, make the tamales

In a blender, puree 4 cups of the corn kernels with 1 ½ cups of water, one onion, the honey, the melted butter, one can of green chiles, a teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Transfer the puree to a bowl, and stir in the cornmeal. 

Drain the corn husks that were soaking and pat them dry. Lay the husks flat on a work surface, with their wide ends overlapping to the extent of about three inches. Spoon ⅓ cup of the tamale filling in the center. Roll the husks around the filling to make a compact cylinder, folding in the sides as you roll. Tie the tamales with kitchen string or a strip of corn husk. Repeat this process with the remaining husks and filling, for a total of 18 tamales.

Pour two cups of water into your Instant Pot, and insert the trivet that comes with it. Stand the tamales in up in the pot, with the open end facing up. Close the lid, and set the valve to sealing. Pressure cook for 45 minutes, setting it to quick release, and turn to the next step to start making the sauce.

Sauté the garlic and onions for the sauce

Now, you have around 45 minutes before the tamales will be ready to plate. While those are cooking, you'll want to turn to making the shrimp and roasted garlic sauce that will top the tamales. To get started, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the remaining onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about six minutes.

Stir in wine and cream, to create your roasted garlic sauce base

Add the wine to the sauce in the pot with the onions and garlic, and boil the mixture over high heat until it has reduced and thickened — this should take about five minutes. Add the cream and simmer over moderate heat until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Please note: at this point, the wine, including its alcohol content, should have reduced to around two tablespoons. Season the sauce with a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. 

Sauté the shrimp for the roasted garlic sauce

Season the uncooked shrimp with a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. In a large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook over medium heat just until the shrimp is just becoming opaque. Transfer to a plate, but don't put the skillet in the sink at this point because you are going to be using it — and all of the browned bits at the bottom of the skillet — to finish your sauce in the next step.

Complete your roasted garlic sauce

Using that same skillet in which you just cooked the shrimp, pour in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the remaining corn kernels, and let them cook over moderate heat for two minutes. Add in remaining can of green chiles, and pour in the garlic, wine, and cream mixture that you made earlier. Bring everything to a simmer over moderately low heat. Add the shrimp, toss to coat and cook for one minute, then turn off the heat source.

Assemble and serve your shrimp and roasted garlic tamales

By the time the sauce is completed, the tamales may still have a few minutes left in the Instant Pot. Whenever the timer does hit zero, quick release the pressure, and allow the tamales to cool slightly before transferring them to plates. Snip off the strings and unwrap the tamales, then spoon the shrimp sauce on top. Garnish with chives and red bell pepper, serve, and savor! While this recipe is slightly involved, the end result is completely worth it. If you love Bobby Flay's recipe for shrimp and roasted garlic tamales, then you're absolutely going to want to give Carli's twist a try!

Bobby Flay's Shrimp And Roasted Garlic Tamale Recipe With A Twist
5 from 35 ratings
Bobby Flay's shrimp and roasted garlic tamale recipe is decadent on its own, and recipe developer Kristen Carli's twist takes the recipe to the next level.
Prep Time
30
minutes
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
18
Tamales
tostadas, sauce, and plated
Total time: 1.5 hours
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh corn kernels, divided
  • 2 ½ cups water, divided
  • 2 yellow onions, diced, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 (7 ounce) cans green chiles
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 ½ teaspoons pepper of black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
  • 36 dried corn husks
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Optional Ingredients
  • snipped chives, for garnish
  • diced red bell pepper, for garnish
Directions
  1. In a blender, puree 4 cups of corn kernels with 1 ½ cups of water, 1 onion, the honey, the melted butter, 1 can of green chiles, 1 teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper. Transfer the puree to a bowl and stir in the cornmeal.
  2. Drain the corn husks and pat dry — make sure that they were soaking in water for 3 hours beforehand.
  3. Lay husks flat on a work surface with wide ends overlapping by about 3 inches. Spoon ⅓ cup of the tamale filling in the center.
  4. Roll the husks around the filling to make a compact cylinder, folding in the sides as you roll. Tie the tamales with kitchen string or a strip of corn husk.
  5. Repeat with the remaining husks and filling for a total of 18 tamales.
  6. In the Instant Pot, pour in the remaining 2 cups of water, then place the trivet down in the pot.
  7. Stand the tamales in Instant Pot with the open end facing up.
  8. Close the lid and set the valve to "sealing." Pressure cook for 45 minutes, then release the steam and allow the tamales to cool down.
  9. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the remaining onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat until softened, about 6 minutes.
  10. Add the wine and boil over high heat until the wine is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 5 minutes.
  11. Add the cream and simmer over medium heat until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  12. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  13. Season the sauce with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  14. Season the shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  15. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook over medium heat until lightly golden on both sides and just white throughout, about 4 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
  16. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the corn and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Then, add in the remaining can of green chiles and garlic cream sauce.
  17. Bring to a simmer over moderately low heat.
  18. Add the shrimp to the sauce, and toss to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
  19. Transfer the steamed tamales to plates, snip off the strings, and unwrap the tamales.
  20. Spoon the sauce on top. Serve, garnished with chives and red bell pepper.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 1,207
Total Fat 28.7 g
Saturated Fat 9.9 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 80.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 213.3 g
Dietary Fiber 20.7 g
Total Sugars 6.5 g
Sodium 883.3 mg
Protein 31.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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