1.5 - 2 cups Buttercup or other favorite squash (1 medium-large)
1 cup tamale masa (Maseca, available at the co-op)
1/2 - 1 cup cold water
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 tsp baking powder
Other fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Halve and seed squash, then section each half lengthwise into four strips. (No need to peel the squash, as this will be easier later.) Place strips into the hot water and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until soft enough to poke through with a fork. When done, run cool water over the squash for one minute.
Remove strips of squash and place on cutting board, skin down. Lay each strip flat and gently run your knife down parallel to the skin, like filleting a fish, to easily remove the squash from the skin. Place squash in large mixing bowl and roughly smash with a fork or potato smasher.
If using fresh garlic, mince and saute with oil until light golden brown. Add garlic and remaining dry ingredients to the smashed squash. Mix all together, slowly adding water until dough is slightly sticky. Take portions of dough and flatten into patties, roughly 5-6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick... they don't need to look perfect.
Pour a bit of olive oil in a skillet (cast iron works the best), turn to just above medium heat and cook the squash cakes until dark, crispy brown. When flipping the cakes, be sure to replenish the olive oil. Enjoy.