You know the holidays have arrived in our home when you smell of a fresh pot of tamales steaming. A Latin holiday tradition tamales are served from the first of December until the after the arrival of the three wise men. My family comes together each year to celebrate our annual tamalada and make dozen after dozen of delicious tamales in various fillings. Pork with red chile, beef with tomatillo, turkey poblano and bean and cheese. Huge bowls of masa are placed on the table, colanders filled with soaked corn husks, bowls of spicy fillings, spoons and load of kitchen towels all ready for a day of making tamales, catching up with the latest family chisme, laughing and a few cocktails makes this laborious job fun.
A few weeks ago we held our annual tamalada and I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much. At one time I had three tamale pots simmering away on the stove and another single burner on my kitchen island warming a pot of pozole to feed my guests. Everyone one gets involved down to the smallest of bunch, who spreads more masa on the table than the actual husk, but we could care less.
Sharing this tasty tradition down to our children is all we focus on. The mess can always be wiped away. When Cacique® contacted me and asked if I wanted to try their new line of shredded cheese blends I knew I had to share one of my favorite recipes with a twist. My mami’s famous bean and cheese tamales featuring cacique four queso blend along with a slice of potato. I decided to add the potato after making/devouring Nicole from Presley’s Pantry tamale recipe. The potato steams as the tamales cooks and adds another layer of goodness to the tamales. And of course you cannot enjoy tamales without a great salsa, so I decided to make a roasted poblano salsa to drizzle over my plate of tamales.
The salsa can be made a few days in advance. Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve your tamales. Keep an eye out for Cacique® new shredded cheese blends. Made with 100% authentic cheese, visit Cacique® for a location near you that carries the new Cacique® shredded blends visit www.caciqueinc.com/locator.
Note: Click the ‘Products‘ tab above to learn more about the Cacique® ingredients used in this recipe. You can find these ingredients near you by clicking the ‘Find Stores‘ tab, selecting the products you are looking for, and entering your zip code.
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 (8-10 ounce) package dried corn husks
- 4 cups masa harina
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
- 3 -4 cups warm chicken broth
- 3 cups refried beans
- 2 cups Cacique® Four Quesos Blend shredded cheese
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
- Roasted Poblano Salsa
- 2 poblanos
- 6 tomatillos, washed and husked removed
- 1 small onion, cut in half
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 jalapeno chile
- Juice from 1 lime
HOW TO MAKE IT
- To Prepare Husks: Place dried corn husks in a large bowl or pot and cover with boiling water. Place a heavy dish or molecajete over husks to keep them submerged in water overnight or for at least 5 hours.
- Masa: In the bowl of a stand mixer beat masa harina, salt and lard or vegetable shortening until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add warm chicken broth until masa dough comes together to form a smooth dough.
- To Assemble Tamales: Place refried beans and shredded cheese in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Place a handful of husk in a colander, drain and place colander on a plate. Using a large spoon spread masa over corn husk, about 3 tablespoons leaving a 1 inch border on the sides. Spoon filling down the center of masa and top with a potato slice. Fold up the narrowest part of the corn husk then fold in the sides, rolling to close the tamale and place seam side down on baking sheet. Repeat this process until all masa and filling is used. Cover your prepared tamales with a damp paper towel until ready to fill tamale steamer.
- Fill your tamales steamer with 2-3 inches of water and line with any remaining corn husks. Carefully stand tamales in tamale steamer use any additional husks to secure tamales upright. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 21/2 hours, adding additional water if necessary. Check you tamales after 2 hours, they are ready when tamales easily release from husk. Continue to simmer until tamales are fully cooked. Allow to stand 15 – 20 minutes. Serve warm with roasted poblano salsa.
- For the Roasted Poblano Salsa: Preheat broiler. Place poblanos and baking sheet; broil until skin is charred, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet, place in bowl and cover with a towel to steam and cool 10 minutes, then peel off charred skin and remove stem and seeds. On same baking sheet place tomatillos and onion and broil until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer roasted poblanos, charred tomatillos, onions, cilantro, jalapeno and juice lime to a food processor. Puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve with warm tamales.