three hundred and twenty three

Eat IN BED: Heirloom Corn Tamal with Wild Mushrooms at Mica, Mexico

Images by Klinckwort Laframboise

We visited Lalo Perez Varona and his partner Micaela Miguel at the site of their newly opened venture, Mica. Combining their shared experience across agriculture and hospitality Mica connects a series of farms and local collaborators throughout Mexico to teach those who visit about how the foods they eat are produced. Lalo and Micaela shared their vision for Mica and a recipe for their traditional tamal made with heirloom corn and wild mushrooms with us below.

“Mica is the result of the experience me and my partner have from Delirio and BUNA, Micaela’s restaurant company and my agricultural company. Both of us grew up with families where food was everything. Our moms are great cooks (and in Micaela’s case celebrated chefs) and we learned to care for people by cooking for them."

Both of us grew up with families where food was everything. Our moms are great cooks (and in Micaela’s case celebrated chefs) and we learned to care for people by cooking for them.

“At Mica we cook simple food inspired by the ingredients that we grow and can find. We are very inspired by mexican tradition but always feel free to play with other influences.

“The tamal is a mexican dish that inspires comfort. We love this recipe because it’s the fewest ingredients possible but tastes very complex.”

“Our inspiration is educating people about agricultural practices that promote ecosystem health, produce vital foods, and sharing these foods with our customers through hospitality experiences. A huge focus for us is asking tough questions [around food supply and sustainability] and not shying away from the answers. We farm to be able to understand how we can farm better, we cook to be able to understand how we can cook better and are very focused on achieving zero waste."

Our inspiration is educating people about agricultural practices that promote ecosystem health, produce vital foods, and sharing these foods with our customers through hospitality experiences.

The Recipe
Heirloom Corn Tamal with Wild Mushrooms
Makes 8 tamales.

Ingredients

For the tamal:

500g heirloom corn masa*
500g pork lard
8 Banana leaves
wild mushrooms

For the celery root sauce:

75g potato (starchy) peeled and chopped into cubes
300g celery root, peeled and chopped into cubes
1ltr water
200ml whole milk

Method:

Tamal

Knead the corn masa and lard for 25-minutes until the mixture feels doughy and has an even texture. Toast the banana leaves lightly in a pan until they soften and become pliable. Portion 125g of the tamal dough into the center of a banana leaf and fold the banana leaf over to cover dough. Place tamal in a steam pot and steam for 45-minutes. The result should be a moist and tender tamal.

Mushrooms

Heat a pan until it’s searing hot and add a little lard. Add the mushrooms and don’t move the pan. After the mushrooms brown on the pan side, add 100mls of water and cover the pan with a lid to steam the mushrooms for 2-minutes.

Sauce

Combine milk and water in a small pot. Simmer the potato and celery root cubes in the mix for 5-minutes or until tender. Blend until smooth and salt to taste.

To plate; add sauce to the bottom of a large bowl, place tamal on top and add mushrooms on top of tamal.

*To make corn masa:

Cook 1kg of heirloom corn in 4ltrs of water with 4g of calcium carbonate or wood ash. Boil for 1-hour and let cool overnight. Drain, and grind in a stone mill.

Lalo & Micaela’s table is dressed using an IN BED linen tablecloth in natural and an IN BED linen striped napkin.

@comevital