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Old 21-12-2003, 05:15 PM
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Default Tamales filled with Poblanos and Cheese

I haven't yet made tamales with poblanos and cheese but I am going to try
them this year.

Tamales Filled with Poblanos and Cheese

Adapted from From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients by Diana

This type was the very first tamale I tasted in Mexico, and it has become a
favorite. I always prefer a cheese, bean, or vegetable filling; meat, with
few exceptions, always seems so worn-ragged with the cooking. These tamales
are eaten just as they a no adornments!

Although the proportion of lard in the masa seems high, don't worry: it is
absorbed by the husk and transpires into the water. Of course, if you must
use vegetable shortening, try at least adding a small proportion of lard for
flavor. Unless you are a glutton for punishment or you need a tough arm
exercise, use an electric mixer for this masa. Some cooks add baking powder,
but if the masa is sufficiently beaten, no leavening agent is necessary. To
test this, put ia small dollop of the dough onto the surface of a glass of
water. It should remain floating on top. If it sinks, continue beating and
test again.

Once cooked, any leftovers should be kept no longer than two days in the
refrigerator as they tend to dry out. This tamale freezes very successfully
for about three months. When reheating, do not defrost; put them still
frozen into a hot steamer for 15 to 20 minutes, or reheat in their husks,
covered, on a comal over medium heat, turning them from time to time until
well heated through and spongy to the touch, about 10 minutes.

Most Mexican cooks make much more substantial tamales (of this kind) than I
like, with rather thick masa. I put a very thin layer of the masa over the
husk, remembering that it expands quite a bit in cooking. I use a U.S.-type
husk and do not close it completely at the top. If you do try to bend the
top over, the tamale won't expand as much and be as porous.

Makes about 36 tamales

About 40 dried corn husks, soaked and shaken dry

The Masa:

* 12 ounces pork lard
* 1 1/2 pounds Harina para Tamales (see below)
* About 2 cups lukewarm chicken broth
* Sea salt to taste (you need plenty)

The Filling:

* 2 cups reduced Salsa Verde
* 2 1/4 cups chile poblano strips
* 1 pound Mexican Chihuahua, or Manchego, or Muenster, cut into small
bars about 1/2 inch square and 2 1/2 inches long

Have ready a prepared tamale steamer.

Put the lard into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat at high speed until
very white and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Gradually add the tamale flour
alternately with the broth, beating very thoroughly after each addition. Add
salt to taste and test the masa by floating a bit on a glass of water.

Put the prepared steamer over medium heat. Give the husks an extra shaking
to dispel excess water.

Spread a large tablespoonful of the masa in a very thin layer over the top
part of the husk and down about 3 inches. Put 1¼ tablespoons of sauce down
the middle of the masa, two chile strips, and a piece of cheese. Fold the
edges of the husk over so that the dough covers the filling (or almost; it
may be unorthodox but I like a little bit of filling to show through the
masa) and fold the spare part of the husk toward the back. Set the prepared
tamales on a tray while you assemble the rest. Work as fast as you can so
that the sauce is not absorbed by the masa.

By this time the water in the bottom section of the steamer should be
boiling. Stack the tamales firmly but not too tightly, to allow for
expansion in the top of the steamer. Cover with more husks, or a piece of
thick toweling, and a tightly fitting lid and cook the tamales over a brisk
heat for about 1¼ hours. To test for doneness, remove one of the tamales and
tap lightly; it should feel spongy and resilient, and when opened up the
dough should separate easily from the husk. Even thoroughly cooked, the masa
will be slightly textured.


Mexican cooks are very inventive when it comes to improvising ways of
steaming tamales: recycled capacious square cans, earthenware ollas, even
old galvanized buckets with some thick twigs or bits of wire in the bottom,
holding a bed of corn husk or banana leaves above the water level and on
which to support the tamales. And they all work! However, commercial tamale
steamers are cheap enough and now widely available.

The steamers consist of four parts: the main container and its lid, a rack
to hold the tamales just above the waterline, and a divider for holding the
tamales upright. These steamers are very practical and you can buy them in
varying sizes.


I always associate this method of preparing dried corn with the spongy white
(masa) tamales typical of Mexico City and part of the central Bajio area.
You can buy this textured flour of white (cachuazintle) corn in some stores
where they still grind chiles and spices or in local neighborhood markets,
but I have not seen it commercially packed for some years now. Do not
confuse it with the flour sold for tortillas (like Maseca, Minsa, or Quaker
Masa Harine).

To prepare this "flour" use the wide, white corn used for pozole and prepare
it as if for tortilla masa. After soaking all night, rub it well of all the
skins and rinse in several waters until it is absolutely white, except for
the pedicels. Set the corn out in one layer on trays in the sun - it will
take about two days depending on the intensity of the sun - or dry for
several hours in a very low oven until dried and almost brittle but not
toasted. Then grind (dry) in a grain mill to a fine, but slightly textured
consistency, and sift in a medium strainer to remove all the tough pieces of
pedical. Depending on the efficiency of your machine, principally the
strength of the motor, you will probably have to grind and sift a second or
even third time until all the pieces of corn are evenly ground. This is a
lesson in patience.

Two pounds of dried corn will yield about 1½ pounds when sifted. This flour
can be refrigerated for 1 month, frozen for 6.


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Old 12-01-2004, 03:21 PM
Mr. Wizard
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Default Tamales filled with Poblanos and Cheese

I make a Tamale similar to this but I fill it with,
2 1/2 cups Chopped Poblanos.
1/2 cup Chunky Walnut Butter.
1/2 cup Roasted Pinions smashed in a mortar and pestle.
2/3 cup Finely Grated Parmesan.
1/2 cup Finely chopped Epazote in 1/4 cup Olive Oil.

I also put a 1.5 teaspoons Cayenne in the Masa.

Mix the first four for filling after preparing them separately.
Spoon filling on the Masa,
brush a little of Epazote mix on top of that and fold.
You will have some of the Epazote mix left over.
Use it in some rice.

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Old 12-01-2004, 05:59 PM
Rich McCormack
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Default Tamales filled with Poblanos and Cheese

"Mr. Wizard" wrote:

I make a Tamale similar to this but I fill it with,

Recipe snipped to avoid redundancy...

Never saw the original post by Linda, so I had to re-subscribe
to view it...SBC doesn't "waste" a lotta resources on newsgroups
as there's no money in it.

I also make a tamal that's similar. I posted a recipe to the
NG a couple years ago. The filling is about the same...roasted
green chiles and cheese, but the masa differs in that it includes
pureed whole kernel corn. I made 'em for a San Diego area hotluck
2 or 3 years ago using Big Jim green chiles I picked up in Hatch,
NM on our way back to sunny SoCal from Texas. As the hotluck hosts
are vegetarian, I used vegetable shortening in the masa. When
I make 'em for myself I use lard, though not quite as much.

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Old 12-01-2004, 08:45 PM
Rich McCormack
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Default Tamales filled with Poblanos and Cheese

Steve Wertz wrote:

On Mon, 12 Jan 2004 17:59:21 GMT, Rich McCormack

Never saw the original post by Linda, so I had to re-subscribe
to view it...SBC doesn't "waste" a lotta resources on newsgroups
as there's no money in it.

My ISP filtered it because it was an attachment of unknown origin.
When I specifically requested that Message-ID, it opened the
attachment, it was opened using Outlook Express and displayed as an
email message. Really werid way to post, and a gurantee most poeple
will not open nor see it.

I assumed it was an SBC problem...perhaps not.

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Old 12-01-2004, 09:20 PM
The Ranger
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Default Tamales filled with Poblanos and Cheese

Rich McCormack wrote in message
Never saw the original post by Linda,

My ISP filtered it because it was an attachment of
unknown origin.

I assumed it was an SBC problem...perhaps not.

Hmmmm... I received it [the original message] through the German 'server
back on Dec 21 as a text-only message (no attachments or HTML). The
filtering mechanisms in place with that service are pretty restrictive
(thankfully) on what they allow through to the 'groups; no attachments or
HTML -- usually.

ObTamaleRecipe: Similar to SteveW's but with adobo-from-a-jar.

The Ranger

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