Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hot Poblano Tamales w/ Poblano cream*

I love tamales. Who doesn't? It's kind of the one hearty food I can eat without missing the meat. There is definitely a technique to them, but they aren't the hardest thing in the world to make at home and still be HEALTHY. It's important to note here that any tamale you eat in a restaurant and/or that are prepared in the home contain LARD. Yeah, I said it. Lard. I don't even know where you can buy that, it's so foreign to me. I use vegetable oil in mine because the mono fats are OK! and there aren't the trans and saturated fats to worry about.

I get my husks from a Latin market and I don't think I've ever seen them at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's so I don't have any recommendations if you don't live near a Latin market (other than the innernet, of course).

How to Make? (Made about 10)

  1. Soak your husks in hot water for 30 minutes to rehydrate them.
  2. 1 cup corn tortilla flour, 1/2 cup cornmeal, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add 1 - 1.5 cups of water and stir well. It will thicken. Start off slowly with the water because I've used this recipe twice and the water amount varied. Your mixture should be relatively thick and not runny.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of canola/veggie oil and mix REALLY well


  1. You pick YOUR filling. It just needs to be in small bits so you can fill your tamale. It can't be like a hot dog, you would want to dice the hotdog. I'm not suggesting you use hotdog but now that I think about that it kind of sounds good. But I digress ...
  2. I used 2 roasted poblanos, a jalapeno, 2 shaved corn cobs, and a small white onion.
  3. Whatever your filling tastes like is what your tamale tastes like. Other than yummy corn goodness, the bulk of the flavor will be the stuffing so add salt/pepper/cumin/onion powder, etc. Whatever seasoning combo you like. You could use NO seasoning at all and be all purist about it.
  4. Cook it all together in a pan w/ a little oil until it's soft and yummy.


  1. Hold the husk in your left hand, pointy side away from you, spoon a glob of the dough in the wide part of the husk. It will EXPAND so smear sparingly.
  2. With your right hand, add a little cheese and your filling in a line up the middle of the dough.
  3. Then take the right side of the husk and fold it over, slightly tucking on the left.
  4. Fold the left side over and then fold the empty pointy part over.
  5. When you STEAM these, the open side is going to be facing up so the stuff doesn't spill out.
  6. Don't waste your time roping them up with twine, it's unnecessary for this small scale.
OK now hopefully you have a proper steamer. I don't (I know) so I did something stupid that I won't go into but, hey, at least my tamales got steamed. They need to sit upright in a fashion that will keep them upright.

STEAM FOR ONE HOUR. The dough should be fluffy and pull away from the husk nicely.

That's really it. You can top with whatever the heck you want but they're so good by themselves. I made a poblano cream in my food processor since I had a jalapeno and poblano left over.

*gluten free

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