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Green Chile Cheese Tamales

Submitted by: | Source: Cooking Light Mexican

Green Chile Cheese Tamales

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2010-08-07 Other

All it takes is a great cheese and a great salsa to make a terrific tamale. We like our green tomatillo salsa uncooked for the best bite. Queso fresco, meaning literally "fresh cheese," is a soft, crumbly fresh cow's milk cheese used to garnish many Mexican dishes. Also known as queso blanco, it can be found in Latin markets. Mild feta cheese may be substituted. Panela is a fresh Mexican cheese with a soft, slightly spongy texture. Look for it in Mexican markets and well-stocked food stores. Depending upon the recipe, Monterey jack, fresh mozzarella, dry cottage cheese, farmer cheese, or dry ricotta can be substituted. Poblano chiles are moderately mild, dark green chiles that resemble a tapered, triangular bell pepper. Large and broad in shape, these fresh chiles are up to 5 inches (13 cm) long and 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide.

  • Servings: Makes about 12 tamales
  • Prep Time: 40 Minutes
  • Cook Time: Add enough water to large pot to come 1 inch up sides. Cover bottom of steamer basket with remaining corn husks.
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 50 Minutes

Ingredients:

1× 8-oz pkg Dried Corn Husks
1 lb Mexican Cheese, such as ranchero, queso fresco, panela, or manchego, cut into ½" cubes, (about 3 cups)
4 Poblano Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, cut into ½" strips
1½ cups Green Salsa (see Recipe)
1 cup Canned Reduced-sodium Chicken Broth, room temperature
1½ tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 lb Cold Prepared Ground Masa, for tamales
½ cup Solid Vegetable Shortening or Cold Lard
Twelve 6" Square Foil Sheets
Sour Cream
Other Necessary Recipes:
Green Salsa
Active Time:
10 Minutes
Total Time:
10 Minutes
Yield:
Makes About 2 Cups., serves 16
Bottled Green Salsa Can’t Compare To Freshly Made. Whether You Use It As a Dip, on empanadas or tacos, or cooked in soups or stews, its piquant character perfectly perks up rich flavors.
Recipe Ingredients
¾ lb Tomatillos, husked and quartered
2 Serrano Chili Peppers, coarsely chopped
¼ Small Yellow Onion, sliced
⅓ cup Water
1 tsp Salt, or as needed
⅓ cup Coarsely Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Directions
In a Blender or Food Processor Fitted With The Metal Blade, combine the tomatillos, chilies, onion and water; process briefly until chunky. add the 1 teaspoon salt and the cilantro and purée until no large chunks remain, about 2 minutes longer.
Taste & Add More Salt, if needed. pour into a bowl and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Serving Size = 2 Tablespoons

Directions:

TO PREPARE THE TAMALES:

Soak dried corn husks in hot water 2 hours or overnight. Drain on paper towels. Combine cheese, chiles and 1/2 cup salsa in medium bowl. Set cheese mixture aside.

Combine 1/2 cup salsa, chicken broth, salt and baking soda in 2-cup glass measuring cup. Set broth mixture aside. Using electric mixer, beat cold masa in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Gradually beat in broth mixture. With mixer on high speed, beat shortening or lard 1 tablespoon at a time into masa, beating well after each addition. Continue beating and scraping down sides of bowl until mixture is light and fluffy, about 15 minutes total. Test for lightness by dropping 1 tablespoon masa into cold water: If it floats, masa is light enough to use. If not, continue beating at high speed a few minutes longer.

TO WRAP THE TAMALES:

Spread 1 or 2 whole husks lengthwise on counter with narrow end pointing away from you. Spread about 2 1/2 tablespoons masa mixture over 3-by-2-inch area of husk. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon cheese mixture. Fold sides over, then fold in ends to enclose filling completely. Place folded tamale on foil square and fold foil to enclose tamale. Repeat with remaining husks, filling and foil squares.

TO COOK THE TAMALES:

Add enough water to large pot to come 1 inch up sides. Cover bottom of steamer basket with remaining corn husks. Arrange tamales upright and in layers in steamer basket. Cover pot and bring water to boil. When water begins to boil, place steamer basket with tamales into pot. Reduce heat to low. Cover and steam tamales until husks just pull away from masa without sticking, checking water level occasionally, about 1 hour. Remove basket from pot and let rest 10 minutes. (Cold tamales can be reheated in a steamer over simmering water for 30 minutes. They’re delicious for breakfast the next day, topped with a fried egg.)

Transfer tamales to platter and serve hot with remaining salsa verde and sour cream.

NOTE:

If you cannot find masa for tamales at a Latin American market, mix 1 3/4 cup dry masa harina with 1 cup warm water and then chill.