Cheese with Roasted Chile Tamales: Tamales de Queso con Rajas

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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2 bags corn husks, separated and cleaned


8 cups dry masa flour (coarse grade)

1 1/2 cups shortening, heated

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup chili powder

1 to 2 quarts chicken broth, heated

1 1/2 pounds mild Cheddar, grated

1 1/2 pounds Monterey jack, grated

1 pound container Asiago spread

1 1/2 pounds jalapenos, roasted and peeled

1 1/2 pounds Anaheim chiles, roasted and peeled


Special equipment:
A very large steamer (like a canning pot)
  1. Place corn husks in clean kitchen sink with plug to hold water, pour very hot water over husks and let soak. Take husks out of water and allow to drain in dish drainer (try to stand them straight up so that the water will drain easier).
  2. For the Masa: Place all dry ingredients in mixer and blend. Pour hot shortening into dry ingredients slowly and blend until evenly distributed about 2 minutes. Pour 1 quart of the hot chicken broth into mixture slowly so as not to splash. Mix on medium until incorporated. Slowly add additional broth to mixture until it is a slightly thicker consistency of hummus (spreadable). Mix on high for about 5 minutes to make it light and fluffy. Stir in the chiles.
  3. Mix all the cheese together and then make logs the size of a frankfurter, about 5 inches long and 3/4-inch thick. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Take masa and husks to your area to begin spreading the masa. Take a husk and make sure that you have the smooth, shiny side up and put about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the masa and spread it with a metal spatula across the center of the husk and then down to about a 1/4-inch from the end and you should have at least 2-inches from the top. Chef's Note: I normally stack a few then I put a cheese log in and roll them up and place them in the steamer.
  5. When you have completed all of the stuffing and rolling, place them in the steamer and put on the stove top. Bring the steamer to a rolling boil and turn down to a medium boil and let cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours till done.
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