Steamed corn dough corn husks with chili and cheese recipe

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These tamales traditionally made by hand in Mexico are quite laborious to make, particularly when the nixtamale and resulting dough are prepared from scratch. With a nearly endless variation of available fillings, tamales may be the most versatile of Mexican foods.

  • Yield: 20 Approximately


  • 8 oz lard
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 lb Harina Para Tamales (not masa harina, which has finer texture)
  • 10 oz Flavorful Chicken Stock (warmed to 80 degree F)
  • 20–25 Corn Husks, soaked in warm water
  • 10 oz Salsa Verde
  • 5 Poblano Chiles (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 lb Queso Oaxaca
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the steamer.
  2. Roast the poblano chiles over a direct flame until they are charred all over, and then place them in a covered container (or in plastic wrap) to steam.
  3. Once the chiles are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off of the peppers and cut into strips ¼ inch wide.
  4. Cut the cheese into strips approximately ¼ inch wide and 3 inches long.
  5. In a mixer with a whip attachment, combine the lard and salt; beat on high speed until the lard becomes white and doubles in volume.
  6. Alternately add harina para tamales and warm broth to the beaten lard ¼ of total at a time thoroughly beating them into the lard after each addition.
  7. Once all of the harina and broth have been added, place a small ball of the tamale dough into a glass of water. It should float; if it doesn’t, beat the mixture further to make it lighter.
  8. Once the dough is prepared, set out the soaked corn husks and spread a thin layer of the tamale dough on the widest half (bottom half) of each corn husk (this should require approximately 2 Tbsp of dough/corn husk).
  9. Place 1 Tbsp of the salsa verde on the thin layer of tamale dough, and top the salsa with a couple strips of cheese and a few slices of poblano.
  10. Fold in both sides of the corn husk, with the pointed end facing away from you, and then fold the pointed end of the husk in half, back toward yourself, to complete the wrapping process. If desired, the husks can be tied with thin strips of corn husk or simply placed in the steamer with the open ends up.
  11. Steam the tamales in a commercial steamer for 1 hour, or in a stovetop steamer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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