Bean and Cheese Tamales
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Recipe courtesy of Sandra Lee

Bean and Cheese Tamales

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 55 min
  • Prep: 45 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 8 tamales



  1. Put the oil into a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove half and reserve it for the tamale dough.
  2. To the pan with the remaining onions add the beans, hot sauce, chili powder and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. (Reserve 1 cup for the Round 2 Recipe, Bean and Cheese Chalupas.)
  3. In a large bowl combine the cornmeal, 1 teaspoon of salt and the baking powder. Cut the butter into the cornmeal using a fork or a pastry blender. Add the broth, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. Mix in the reserved cooked onions and garlic
  4. Cut parchment paper into 8 (8 by 8-inch) squares. Spread 1/3 cup of the tamale dough onto the center of the paper and lightly press it into a circle. Put a heaping tablespoon of the beans on top with a tablespoon of cheese. Bring the 2 corners of the paper at the ends of the rectangle up to encase the beans and cheese with the tamale dough. Fold the corners together a couple of times. Fold the other sides over to cover the seam and turn right side up. Continue this process with the remaining dough and filling.
  5. Put a steamer basket into a large pot and add enough water to come just below the basket. Cover the pot and put it over medium-low heat to bring the water to a simmer. Put the tamales in the steamer basket. Cover and steam the tamales until the dough is cooked through, about 1 hour, Check after 30 minutes, you may need to add more water to the pot. Remove the tamales from paper wrapping and serve warm.