Is there any way to make tamales a little more elegant, easy to serve and especially easy to prepare? Yes there is!
The first days of November mark Mexico’s Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), a lively and rich tradition in which our departed loved ones are remembered and honored. This day is about remembering that death is not about sadness but it is about celebration. People set up their altars, bring food, alcohol, music and sit around with their families while they share memories and food.
During this time, tamales are one of the most traditional food, so I decided to make an easier and different way to serve them. I have to be honest, me being me, I simply couldn’t stick to the traditional recipe. So I made tamale cupcakes! I truly enjoyed making them as it made me feel connected to my family. I remember having homemade tamales and coffee on cold mornings in my grandmother’s cozy kitchen. Grandma always seemed to know what we needed to start our day, that’s what made my grandma so special and of course, her tamales were amazing. She even made the nixtamal in order to make the masa. That’s a lot of love, work and flavor!
Even though these cupcakes make an excellent Día de Muertos appetizer, I like to make them any time of the year because they are super easy to prepare. You don’t have to spend an afternoon wrapping tamales; and of course they are simple to eat as an “all-in-one” meal. They are seriously tasty!
These cupcake tamales start with a masa base, loaded with chicken in a green chile salsa, and after they are done they are topped with Cacique® Queso Fresco, Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria and chopped fresh cilantro.
Prep it, combine it, bake it, eat it. Simply delicious!
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WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 1/2 cups of corn flour
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Salt to taste
- For the Filling:
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 1/2 pound tomatillos, husked and quartered
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/4 medium yellow onion
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 poblano chile, seeded
- 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To assemble:
- Cacique® Ranchero® Queso Fresco
- Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria
- Coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
HOW TO MAKE IT
- For the crust: Heat the oven to 350F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands until combined. The dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set aside.
- For the Filling: Boil tomatillos, poblano chile, onion and garlic until soft. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until thick. Season to taste. Stir the salsa into the chicken bowl and mix.
- To assemble: Remove the plastic wrap from the bowl of masa. Divide the masa evenly among the wells of a 12-well muffin pan. Using your fingers, press the masa evenly into a thin layer on the bottom and up the sides of each well. Fill each cupcake with the chicken filling. Bake for 35 minutes until the masa crust is golden brown. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes. Top each tamale cupcake with Cacique® Queso Fresco, Cacique® Crema Mexicana Agria and fresh chopped cilantro. Serve warm.