© Constantine William Spyrou
Mexican food is definitely one of my favorites to eat on a regular basis. It's got heat (a favorite for me) and plenty of citrus and cilantro, which are some of my favorite flavors. One of my favorite Mexican dishes has to be the tamale. The dense but delicious corn masa with whatever flavorings are inside just go together very well and make an amazing meal.
This dish is a cross between this amazing Mexican staple and another favorite of mine from Mexican restaurants: the chile relleno. Traditionally, chile rellenos are cheese-stuffed poblano chiles covered with a frothy egg white batter and deep fried. While this tamale won't have the deep fried crunch aspect, it has all of the great flavors of the chile relleno inside the tamale. With this made from scratch masa recipe, it will be great!
Recipe will make probably around 10 tamales.
For the Masa/Corn Husks:
10 corn husks soaked in warm water until needed
6 cups water
5 tablespoons vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Mexican Oregano (you can use other Oregano, but it is much milder than the Mexican.)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups organic field corn (Co-ops carry these, there's also a retail brand called Azure Standard that's best)
2 tablespoons food quality cal lime (Mexican food stores and markets will carry this)
For the Filling:
4 poblano chilies
1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
Salt and pepper to season
1. Rinse the corn. In a pot, gently heat the water and stir in the cal lime until all of it is dissolved.
2. Add the corn, and bring the water to a boil slowly. Once it's at a boil, turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit overnight.
3. Drain the corn, and soak in fresh water. Rub the corn while rinsing it and pouring off any skins that come off for about 5-6 minutes. You don't need all of the skins to come off, so don't worry if that doesn't happen.
4. Place into the food processor, and add the Mexican oregano, chili powder, black pepper, vegetable stock, and salt. Pulse the mixture until it is smooth and shapeable. Set the masa aside.
5. Turn a burner onto high heat. Place the poblanos on the heat one at a time until blackened on all sides. Take them off the heat, and remove the skins using a plastic bag and rubbing technique. Finely dice up the poblanos, and mix in the jack cheese and the eggs in a bowl until combined well. Season and mix one more time.
6. Take the corn husks and flatten them out. Place a healthy spoonful of your poblano mixture into the center, and spread it evenly across the corn husk. Fold and wrap the husk into a oblong shape, and tie it with extra strips of wet corn husk or wet string.
7. When all of the tamales are made, place them in a steamer (or a pot with a small amount of water that is separate from the tamales at a boil) and steam for about an hour. They should come out with tender but firm masa and melted jack cheese.
The masa recipe is complex and takes a long time, but having your own fresh masa is worth it and can be used to make tortillas, pupusas, and many more great Mexican dishes!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know what you think and what you would change. If you make the recipe, let me know how it turns out! Enjoy! =)