Chili and Cheese Tamales

by on December 28, 2012 » Add the first comment.
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Ingredients
Tamale Dough
1 pound (about 2 cups) fresh masa for tamales or (use Maseca masa for tamales, follow instructions on the bag)
1/2 stick unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ pieces (soften slightly)
1/4 cup good-quality, fresh lard, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
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Filling
6 ounces Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese

Instructions
Tamale Dough
1. Combine all dough ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times to lightly incorporate ingredients.
2. Cut cheese into strips, and place strips cheese over top of dough.
3. For each tamale: Fold sides over sides of cheese trying to completely encase cheese strip with dough.
4. Roll ends toward center creating a “closed” roll
5. Tie both ends with thin strips of extra corn husk.
6. Line a steamer with corn husks and bring water up to boiling
7. Place in prepared steamer and steam for >1 hour for up to six tamales or hours for ten or more tamales
8. The tamale is cooked when the dough pulls away from the husk (prepare two especially for this test)

2. Place 1 TBL dough on a single-layer bed of corn husks and spread into small flat spread. Assemble as shown and place in a steamer lined with corn husks. Place in a prepared steamer and steam for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The only way to know if the tamale is done is to open one and check it. The tamale is cooked when the dough pulls away from the corn husk.

Prepare Husks
Simmer the husks in enough water to cover them for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and place a plate on top of the husks to keep them submerged. Soak 1 hour. Before using, drain, shake off excess water. Sort them and select the largest ones for the tamales and use the smaller ones for lining the steamer and for making ties.

Variations
Add shredded chicken, pork or other filling to create different tastes and textures.

For spicy tamales use 6 chiles, poblano or jalapeno, roasted, seeded, and sliced

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