Corn, Cheese and Chile Verde Tamales
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For the fresh corn masa:
- 4 cups white corn kernels fresh or thawed frozen
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup corn flour for tamales or masa harina
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup slivered white onion
- 1 pound fresh Anaheim chiles roasted, sweated, peeled, stemmed, seeded and cleaned, sliced into thin strips
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
To assemble the tamales:
- 30 dried corn husks plus more for lining the steamer
- 1 1/2 cups grated melting cheese such as asadero, quesadilla, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella
To make the fresh corn masa:
- Coarsely puree the corn kernels along with the evaporated milk in a food processor or blender. The mixture should be a bit chunky, not completely smooth.
- Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed until very soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and beaters.
- In a medium bowl, combine the masa harina, the baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the ground corn mixture with the masa harina mixture. Once all is incorporated, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, increase the speed to medium and continue beating until completely amalgamated, creamy and fluffy, about 7 to 8 more minutes.
To make the filling:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the sliced roasted Anaheim chiles, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are very soft and all of the flavors have combined. Remove from the heat and scrape into a bowl.
To assemble the tamales:
- Remove about 30 good size corn husks from the package and place in a large bowl of hot water. Soak for a couple of minutes, or until they are pliable, and drain. One by one, lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. If the husks seem thin, layer a second corn husk on top. Leaving a 1 to 1 1/2-inch space at the bottom, a minimum of 1/2 inch space on the sides and a little more than that at the top, spread about 1/4 cup masa into an approximately 2x3-inch rectangle. The masa layer will be a little thicker than 1/4 inch. Place a very generous tablespoon of the Anaheim and onion filling along with a very generous tablespoon of the grated cheese lengthwise down the middle of the masa.
- Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together (you will see how the masa swaddles the filling) and fold the joined edges to one side, rolling them around the tamal. Fold up the empty tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open. If the tamale won’t hold, you can tear strips from unused tamale wrappers and tie them around the bottom. Gently press from the bottom to the top to even the filling out, without squeezing too hard.
- If not steaming right away, place on a plate or sheet pan, cover with plastic, and refrigerate. You can assemble them a day ahead of steaming. You can also steam them ahead and reheat (see below).
- To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer, so that water is under the steamer basket or rack, and bring it to a simmer. If you want to be reassured that the water hasn’t all evaporated during the long steaming time, place a penny in it so you can hear it dancing around. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.
To cook the tamales:
- When you have all tamales ready, place them as vertically as you can in the prepared steamer with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some corn husks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more corn husks, cover tightly with a lid, and steam covered for 1 1/2 hours. Allow the finished tamales to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. You know the tamales are ready when they come away easily from the husks. They will still be moist, and as they are released from the husks, you will see the moisture, like when you remove good moist muffins from their paper baking cups.
- Finished tamales will stay warm for about 2 hours in the steamer. They can be made ahead and stored for several days in the refrigerator, well wrapped. They can also be frozen for months. In either case, reheat in a steamer. For refrigerated tamales, it will take about 20 minutes and about 45 minutes for frozen tamales.
22comments inCorn, Cheese and Chile Verde Tamales
KATHY S GARCIA
I MADE TAMALES FOR 6YRS BEFORE MY HUSBAND AND I GOT MARRIED…I MARRIED INTO A AWESOME MEXICAN FAMILY AND MARRIED MY HIGHSCHOOL SWEETHEART. IMMEDIATELY WE HAD TO MOVE OUT OF PHOENIX AS HE ENROLLED IN THE AIR FORCE AND WE MOVED MANY TIMES. MY INLAWS TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE TAMALES FROM SCRATCH…THEY ALWAYS MADE RED BEEF ONE…SO GOOD. OVER THE YEARS WE MOVED SEVERAL TIMES AND I KINDA LOST SOME OF THE SKILLS MY FATHER-IN LAW AND MOTHER – LAW TAUGHT ME. THEY WERE AWESOME AND I ENJOYED LEARNING HOW TO COOK MY FAVORITE FOOD IN THE WORLD. BEING MILITARY WE MOVED MANY TIMES BUT IN MEMORY OF MY INLAWS I ALWAYS TRIED TO KEEP WITH CHRISTMAS TRADITION.. WE ALWAYS MADE BEEF TAMALES BUT I WANT TO LEARN A FEW NEW KINDS AND THINKING OF GREEN CHILI CHICKEN OR A SPICY RED PORK. WE SEE AS I HAVE A BROKEN BACK, NECK, AND TAIL BONE…BUT I WILL TRY. I KEEP YOU POSTED..KGARCIA
Thanks so much for sharing your story with me Kathy, I admire your enthusiasm for cooking and hope you are feeling better, un abrazo!
This recipe sounds great
Making these TODAY! Just finished rolling them. Expecting total deliciousness overload. Note, I may or may not, have tasted the masa mixture, onion & peppers AND the cheese while rolling. My hubby just walked in and said ‘Are those Pati’s tamales?’
Hahaha, you guys crack me up, hugs guys!
When I saw you make this I swore that it was going to be the best tamale ever! I am going to try and make this once we get some cooler weather here in Yuma. I loved all the places you visited in the Sonora area, right across the border from where I live. Your boys sure have grown into lovely people.
Thanks so much for your comment, let me know how the tamales come out when you make them 🙂
Linda Navarro Lull
I watched your program this afternoon, and can’t wait to try these tamales. My husband makes pork and cheese tamales every Christmas. Can’t wait to have him try this version. The watermelon/grape margarita also looks delicious, we will have to try them with the tamales. Thank you for sharing these wonderful recipes.
Thanks Linda! I am so honored that with your husband being a tamales expert, you guys will give my recipe a try, yay!!!!!
While part of the family comes from Sinaloa and their Tamales de Elote are delicious too… I will prefer your recipe with a filling inside the tamales. Will definitely try this at home. Good job on your series about the Sonora region. Congratulations on your program.
Thanks so much Oscar, this is a huge honor 😉
I made these for a family dinner. I never made tamales before and learned the importance of letting them rest for 30 minutes after steaming. Regardless, my son-in-law ate at least 15 of them!
Wow, what a good appetite! So glad he approved Beth 😉
Have a client that only eats vegan.
I was able to adapt this to meet her needs.Beautiful
So glad to hear Ismael, happy you have a happy client 🙂
Can these be frozen and reheated? If so how would you do it
Absolutely Lexy! Let them thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the oven at 375F until nice and warm 😉
Maria C. Gomez
Buenas tardes senora Pati, el dia de ayer 1/9/21, mi esposo estaba bien su reportaje en la television y le gusto mucho, pues el es de Yecora, Sonora y cuando vio que estaba haciendo los tamales de rajas de chiles me dijo que eso le recordo a su mama de el. Ahora voy a tratar de hacerle los tamales aunque yo no se como hacerlos pero voy a tratar. Nosotros vivimos en una zona rural en Nuevo Mexico Estados Unidos.
Que alegria que le vayas a preparar los tamales a tu esposo Maria. Suerte! Veras que te quedan buenisimos 😉
I ,love your TV show and your style of cooking . Me llamo Teresa pero prefiero Tere . Gracias
Hola Tere! Thanks for the kind words, un abrazo!