‘Tis the season for tamales and these tamales are one of my favorites. I hosted a tamalada this weekend and it was beautiful – a houseful of women talking and laughing in the kitchen is one of my favorite sounds. It was especially special because my mom is in town, and cooking with her brings me so much joy. I’ll share more about my tamalada in an upcoming post. In this blog post I’m sharing this delicious tamal filling recipe and an exciting giveaway to celebrate Noche Buena. Nochebuena means “Good Night” in Spanish and refers to Christmas Eve, the biggest Christmas celebration for most Latinos.
As I have mentioned – tamales come in all shapes, sizes, and fillings, but this combination has to be one of my favorites. First of all, I love anything and everything cheesy and spicy, and these tamales fit that bill. These tamales are filled with roasted green chile and cheese. But it doesn’t end there – the filling is slow simmered in suero (whey) that my mom brought over from Licon Dairy in El Paso, Texas. If you can’t get your hands on suero, buttermilk is a close second. The combination of the suero with green chiles gives this recipe its one-of-a-kind sabor.
The roasted chiles we used are from Pueblo, Colorado and a combination of hot Mosco and Mirasol dynamite roasted chiles. So as you can imagine the chiles are spicy, but the creamy cheese and suero combination tames the heat. Feel free to roast your favorite chiles.
The suero is what makes this recipe uniquely ours and gives the green chile a creamy tang and perfect saltiness. This dish can be served as an appetizer or topping. We often make this dish for Thanksgiving. It tastes delicious over turkey and mashed potatoes.
When assembling these tamales we used the filling cold and then added extra asadero cheese in the tamal, because you can never have too much cheese. The steamer IMUSA provided me, produced a perfectly steamed, cheesy, spicy tamal. Would you like a steamer for yourself? Scroll down to enter the giveaway!
Cheese with Roasted Chile Tamales (Tamales de Rajas Con Queso)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 cups diced, roasted and peeled chiles
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1⁄2 cup suero (whey) or buttermilk
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1⁄2 cups shredded asadero, quesadilla, or Muenster cheese, divided
- 1 batch masa para tamales
- Corn husks (ojas)
- Heat olive oil, add flour and stir for 3 minutes. Add diced green chiles and garlic powder and stir for 5 minutes.
- Add suero, salt, and 1⁄2 cup of shredded cheese, and simmer for 7 minutes, stirring until cheese melts and mixture thickens. Reserve the additional shredded cheese to sprinkle over mixture in each tamal (about 1 tablespoon each). Let mixture cool before filling tamales.
PREPARE OJAS (CORN HUSKS):
- Soak corn husks in water for an hour before using, rinse well with running water to take off any dust or corn husk fibers. To keep corn husks pliable and easy to work with, keep in water while filling tamales. Place a handful of wet corn husks in a colander to drain before using.
- Place the wide end of the husk on the palm of your hand, narrow end is at the top. Starting at the middle of the husk spread 2 tablespoons of the masa with the back of a spoon in a rectangle or oval shape, using a downward motion towards the wide-bottom edge. Do not spread the masa to the ends; leave about a 2-inch border on the left and right sides of the husk.
FILL CORN HUSKS:
- Spoon 1½ tablespoons of your chosen filling down the center of the masa. Fold both sides to the center; finish off by bringing the pointed end of the husk toward the filled end. Make sure it’s a snug closure so the tamal will not open during steaming. Secure by tying a thin strip of corn husk around the tamal. This will keep the tamal from unwrapping during the steaming process, especially if the husk is too thick and will not stay folded.
- Use a deep pot or tamale steamer to steam tamales. If using a tamale steamer fill with water up to the fill line. Set the tamale rack over the water. Place tamales upright, with fold against the sides of the other tamales to keep them from unfolding. Cover pot with a tightly fitting lid. Set heat on high and bring to a boil, about 15 minutes. Lower heat and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours. Keep lid on tightly. To test if done, put one tamal on a plate and take off the corn husk. If it comes off without sticking to the tamal they are done.
TIP:Place a penny at the bottom of the pot, when you hear the penny rattle that means the water level is low and it is time to add more water to the steamer.
I’d love to see what you cook!
Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.
And now to the giveaway. I have partnered with my amigos over at IMUSA to host this fabulous giveaway. How would you like to win all these prizes pictured from IMUSA? Now you can host your own tamalada. Please follow IMUSA on Facebook and Twitter, and share your favorite Noche Buena recipes on social media using #NocheBuenaConIMUSA. Enter the giveaway below through rafflecopter.
IMUSA is giving away a prize package over $200 to ONE Muy Bueno fan. Entries must be posted by Christmas Eve, and one winner will be chosen at random. Good luck! For recipes from IMUSA, click here. Want more details and links on where to find the products in my giveaway? Read below.
- 32-quart Aluminum Steamer
- Electric Mini Chopper Food Processor (1.5 cup)
- 12” Electric Square Skillet
- Lemon Squeezer
- Multicolor Salsa Dish (10 oz.)
- Wood 12” Cooking Paddle
- Wood 12” Serving Spoon
A special thanks to IMUSA for sponsoring this blog post. Opinions are my own.