Corn, Cheese and Chili Tamales With Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

"My favoite Tamales . . . and worth every minute of the time it takes to prepare! Recipes comes for September 2001 issue of Cooking Light. Prep time includes soaking time."
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Ready In:
3hrs 45mins
18 tamales




  • Salsa:

  • Cook tomatillos, onion, garlic and chilies in heavy large skilllet over high heat until charred in spots but still firm, turning occsionally, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer to food processor or blender.
  • Using on/off setting, chop coarsely.
  • Add all remaining ingredients.
  • Blend to course puree.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and Chill (can be made up to 24 hours ahead).
  • Tamales:

  • Selecting 18-20 large clean husks, place in large bowl and fill with warm water.
  • Weight husks down with saucer and soak until soft, separating occasionally, about 2 hours.
  • Form 36 ties by tearing several husks into 1/2 in wide strips.
  • Char chilies directly over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides.
  • Place in medium bowls, cover tightly with plastic.
  • Let stand 10 minutes.
  • Peel, seed and chop chilies, set aside.
  • To make dough, blend Masa Harina, butter, sugar and 1 teaspoon salt in processor until coarse meal forms.
  • Add broth and blend in (mixture will be crumbly).
  • Transfer masa mixture to large bowl.
  • In food processor blend 2 1/2 cups corn, 1 cup cheese, baking powder, pepper and 1 1/4 teaspoon salt until coarse puree forms.
  • Stir puree into masa mixture until blended.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups corn to masa mixture.
  • For each tamale, open 1 large softened husk. Place 1/3 cup tamale dough in center of husk.
  • Make depression in center of dough and fill with 1 tablespoon chilies and 1 tablespoon shredded cheese.
  • Using moistened fingertips, press dough over filling to cover and shape into 3 inch long log placed parallel to long edge of husk.
  • Fold 1 long side of husk over filling and roll up to enclose.
  • Tie ends of filled husks tightly with husk strips.
  • Add water to large pot containing steamer insert to reach bottom of insert.
  • Layer tamales in steamer insert.
  • Bring water to boil and cover pot.
  • Steam until tamales are firm (about 1 hour).
  • Be sure to maintain water level in pot, adding adding boiling water to pot as needed.
  • Remove steamer insert when adding water to pot.
  • May be made 1 day in advance, cooling slightly before refrigerating.
  • Before serving resteam for approximately 45 minutes to heat thoroughly).

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  1. I found this on Epicurious and it is delicious. Didn't think it was hard, just a lot of steps. Turned out beautifully and very filling. Made half of the recipe and we still have leftovers. YUM.
  2. i have made these twice. i stuck to the recipe almost exactly (which is unlike me). everyone loves them. the butter and cheese give so much better flavor to a tamale than lard (especially for us vegetarians).
  3. This was delicious! I only made the tamales, not the salsa. The only complaint I have is that the tamales came out a bit salty, so I would decrease the amount of salt I use next time.


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