A bag of masa harina can go quite far in your kitchen. In addition to tortillas, tamales and pupusas, you can make bread (using about a half cup of the corn flour for the same amount of all-purpose flour instead), which will yield a faintly sweet and almost nutty loaf.
We’ve made dumplings for soup, too; following the package directions, we rolled the masa dough into balls and dropped them into boiling broth instead of pressing them into tortillas. (A reader suggested yet another way to make masa dumplings in our Free Range chat; read more here.)
Do you have a favorite use for masa harina? Let us know in the comments below. Here are some ideas from the Recipe Finder to get you started.
Breakfast Pupusas Americanas. A sweet and savory treat no matter what time of day.
Cuban Shrimp Tamales. These are cooked in water, rather than steamed. The dough is enriched with corn kernels.
Salvadoran Chicken With Pupusitas. We would serve these little corn cakes with just about anything; this chicken is a good place to start.
Squash Blossom, Poblano and Cheese Quesadillas. Keep this one in mind for summer’s squash blossoms (they’re not that far away).
Meaty Tamal Casserole (Cazuela de Tamal), above left. If making tamales seems intimidating, try this casserole. No corn husks required.
Basic Corn Tortillas, above right. It takes some time to perfect the technique, but the results are well worth it.
Cornmeal and Cheese Shortbread, above left. This tender bread is ready in no time.
Chocolate Tamales, above right. The dough is sweetened with brown sugar, spiced with cinnamon and chockablock with chocolate chips.