Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Cotija Cheese and Jalapeño Tamales

I love tamales, so I thought I'd give making them a shot. They were a lot of effort, but they were well worth it!

The tamale dough was made by mixing together:

2 cups of masa flour (finely ground nixtamal, which is corn treated with lime)
1.5 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup salted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

They were filled with:

3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
4 medium jalapeños, seeded and finely diced

They were rolled in:

Fresh corn husks from 4 large ears of corn.

Mix tamale dough thoroughly and spread on corn husks. Rather than purchasing dried husks and soaking them, I bought some fresh ears of sweet corn (which will be used in another dish), cut off both ends and unrolled the green husks.  I discarded the outer tough leaves and anything too small to use. I put the useful ones in a bowl of warm water to keep them from drying out.  Four large ears of corn gave me enough husks for this recipe. I spread the tamale dough from one the closest long edge, leaving about a one inch gap on the far edge and at each end. Sprinkle diced jalapeño and crumbled Cotija on the closer side of tamale dough and roll up. Fold the ends and put in steamer tray. Once you've wrapped all your tamales and packed them into the steamer tray, steam them for 1.5 hours.

Once they are done, unroll and enjoy!

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