Basic Tamales with Filling Variations
1 hr 30 mins
- Tamale Dough
- Corn husks
- 2 - 1/3 cups instant corn masa flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Mazola® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Powder
- 1/2 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
- Quick and Easy Cheese Filling
- 6 pieces co-Jack string cheese
- Chile and Cheese Filling
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
- 4 ounces white cheese – Monterey Jack, white American OR Chihuahua
- Chicken and Salsa Verde Filling
- 1 can (12.5 ounces) chicken breast OR 1-1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup salsa verde
- Ancho Chipotle Pork Filling
- 1 tablespoon Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1 pound pork butt, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 poblano chile pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin seed
- 1-1/2 teaspoons Mazola® Sobrecitos™ Tomato Flavor Bouillon Packets
- 1-1/2 cup water
- Place 15 to 20 corn husks in a large stock pot; cover with hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Weigh husks down with a dinner plate or bowl to keep submerged. Note: If husks are soft and flexible, using warm tap water will work fine. If husks are very dry and brittle, use very hot tap water.
- Stir masa corn flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined; make a well in the center. Whisk water and bouillon together; pour into well along with oil. Mix thoroughly with a large spoon until dough is formed. Let sit 5 minutes before preparing the tamales.
- Remove one corn husk from water; pat dry with paper toweling and place on work surface. Place 1/4 cup masa dough in center of husk. Pat dough with your hands into an approximate 4-1/2- inch by 5-inch rectangle; leaving at least 2 inches clear in lower part of the husk. The dough should be approximately 1/4-inch thick.
- For Cheese Tamales:
- Cut each piece of string cheese in half. Place one piece on top of masa dough; centered. Encase the cheese in dough by rolling the vertical edges together. (You shouln't be able to see the cheese). Roll husks around the dough. Fold up lower 1/3 t 1/2 of the husk. Tie with a strip of husk torn from any smaller or misshapen husks that won't be used in the tamale making. Repeat with remaining tamales.
- Place a basket steamer in the bottom of a large pan. Expand the basket to fit the pan. Add in enough water to come to the bottom edge of the steamer basket. Place the rolled tamales in a standing postion in the steamer basket. Place a lid on the pan; heat over medium-high heat for 35 to 45 minutes. During this time the tamales should steam. Occasionally, check that the tamales have plenty of steam by removing the lid. If the water evaporates, add more as needed.
- After about 35 minutes, remove a tamale and open it to test for doneness. The dough should be firm and the cheese will be melted. If it is still soft and doughy, let steam a little longer and test again. If done, remove all tamales from the pan and serve hot with salsa.
- For Chile and Cheese Tamales:
- Blot green chilies with paper towels. Cut cheese into twelve thin strips, about 2-inches long. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon green chilies in center of masa. Add cheese. Encase the cheese in dough by rolling the vertical edges together. (You shouldn't be able to see the cheese). Roll husks around the dough. Fold up lower 1/3 to 1/2 of the husk. Tie with a strip of husk torn from any smaller or misshapen husks that won't be used in the tamale making. Repeat with remaining tamales. Follow directions for steaming as in the Cheese Tamales, above.
- For Chicken and Salsa Verde Tamales:
- Mix cooked, shredded chicken with salsa verde in a medium mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Use tamale shaping method described under Cheese Tamales except spoon 1 heaping tablespoon chicken filling down center of tamale dough. Steam 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- For Ancho Chipotle Pork Tamales:
- Heat corn oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and cook until pieces are nicely browned on all sides. Add onions, poblano pepper and garlic. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Stir in brown sugar, ancho chile, chipotle chile and cumin. Cook an additional 2 minutes. Add tomato bouillon and water. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer on medium low 35 to 45 minutes or until pork shreds easily and most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Use tamale shaping method described under Cheese Tamales except spoon 1 heaping tablespoon pork filling down center of tamale dough. Steam 45 minutes to 1 hour.