Poblano Pepper and Cheese Tamales

Rating: 4.00
(1)
By Dave
June 19, 2022
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A great recipe for tamales that are on the lighter side. Poblano and cheese tamales made with strips of roasted poblano peppers and cheese. Yum!

Poblano Pepper and Cheese Tamales – Tamales on the Lighter Side

There are a million and one ways to make tamales. Sometimes you just want something a bit lighter that won’t make you feel like you ate too much. Give these poblano pepper and cheese tamales a try. The filling is nothing more than roasted poblano chili slices and cheese. They are so good.

Soak the Corn Husks

Dried corn husks are available at most markets. It will seem like you are buying a lifetime supply of corn husks. That’s OK because you will only use about 80% of them. The other 20% will be defective and unusable. Some will be way to small to use, others will be stained with something that likes black spray paint. Throw all of those away.

Pick through the corn husks and find the biggest and cleanest ones. Soak them in cold water for 30 minutes to soften. This step help prevent tearing when you roll up the tamales. Be aware that dried corn husks will float. So you will have to weigh them down with something heavy like a dinner plate or perhaps a ceramic bowl.

Make the Masa Dough

Let’s talk about lard for a moment. Many people are reluctant to cook with lard. In tamales, the lard actually creates little spaces between the ground masa flour that melts and drain away during the steaming process leaving fluffy masa. There is actually very little lard remaining in the final tamales. So don’t be afraid of lard and give it try. This is an authentic way to make the masa dough so generations of tamale makers can’t be wrong. I have tried making tamales with shortening instead of lard and, in my humble opinion, they are not nearly as good as the tamales made with lard. The reason may have something to do with the fact that shortening has a higher melt point than lard, That means more shortening stays in the tamales. Stick with the lard.

In a large bowl, add salt to the masa flour and stir. Then add the water and stir to combine. Finally, add the lard to a stand mixer and, using the paddle attachment, mix at medium speed for 5 minutes. The lard should be light and fluffy. Add the masa flour mixture to the lard and mix at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes. You are now ready to make some tamales.

Masa Flour, Lard and Water
Masa Flour, Lard and Water

Roast the Peppers

Roast the poblano peppers on a grill until blackened on all sides. Remove the peppers and place then in a paper bag. Close the bag and allow the peppers to rest for 10 minutes. This will allow the tough outer skin to soften and make it easy to rinse away under running water. Don’t ever put hot peppers in a plastic bag. I did that once and ruined them all because the bag melted and fused to my gorgeous peppers. Ugh.

After 10 minutes, remove the peppers and rinse them under running water. Gently remove all of the charred skin. Stem and seed the peppers and slice them into 1/8″ slices.

Make the Tamales

Let’s start by saying this step is a ton of fun for kids. They love to get their hands dirty. You did put a drain in the middle of your kitchen floor, didn’t you?

Overlap two corn husks. Spread 1/3 cup of masa on the corn husks into a rectangle, about 4″ by 6″. Just get it close, making tamales are not about being exact. Making tamales is about being hungry.

Overlap the Corn Husks and Add a Scoop of Masa
Overlap the Corn Husks and Add a Scoop of Masa

Spread the masa to the edge of the wide end but only to within about 2″ of the narrow end.

Spread the Masa With a Spatula
Spread the Masa With a Spatula

Add several strips of roasted poblano pepper to the center of the masa. They are not hot so load them up. Add 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

Add Some Grated Cheese
Add Some Grated Cheese

Gently fold both long edges together. Fold the narrow end without masa up and roll the tamale to finish.

Roll it Up and Fold in the End
Roll it Up and Fold in the End

Set Up the Steamer

Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the steamer. Place the tamales in a steamer basket on end, with the folded end down. Cover and steam the tamales for 35 minutes. Make sure that you have a good seal. IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP: Place a dime in the bottom of the steamer. It will rattle as the water boils. Add water if the rattle stops because it means you are about to burn the tamales.

Tamales

Want Something to Go With Those Poblano Pepper & Cheese Tamales?

Watch How to Make Poblano Pepper and Cheese Tamales on YouTube

Tamales

Poblano Pepper and Cheese Tamales

4 from 1 vote
A great recipe for tamales that are on the lighter side. The poblano and cheese tamales are made with strips of roasted poblano peppers and cheese.
Servings 12 servings
Prep Time 2 hrs 45 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins

Equipment

  • Steamer

Ingredients
  

Masa Dough

  • 3 cups masa flour for tamales
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup lard
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 36 corn husks

Poblano Cheese Mixture

  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 cup jack cheese grated

Instructions
 

Masa

  • In a large bowl, add salt to the masa flour and stir. Add the water and stir to combine. Add the lard to a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix at medium speed for 5 minutes. The lard should be light and fluffy. Add the masa flour mixture to the lard and mix at medium speed until well blended, about 5 minutes.
    Masa Flour, Lard and Water

Poblano Cheese Tamales

  • Soak corn husks in water for 30 minutes to soften. Roast poblano peppers on a grill until blackened on all sides. Remove and place in a paper bag. Close the bag and allow the peppers to rest for 10 minutes.
    Roast the Poblano Peppers on a Grill
  • Remove the peppers and rinse under running water. Gently remove all of the charred skin. Stem and seed the peppers then slice into 1/8" slices.
    Cut the Peppers Into Strips
  • Overlap two corn husks. Spread 1/3 cup of masa on the corn husks into a rectangle, about 4" by 6". Spread to the edge of the wide end but only to within about 2" of the narrow end.
    Spread the Masa With a Spatula
  • Add several strips of roasted poblano pepper to the center of the masa. Add 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Gently fold both long edges together. Fold the narrow end without masa up and roll the tamale to finish.
    Add Some Grated Cheese

To Cook the Tamales

  • Add about an inch of water to the bottom of the steamer. Place the tamales in a steamer basket on end, with the folded end down. Cover and steam for 35 minutes. Hint: Place a dime in the bottom of the steamer. It will rattle as the water boils. Add water if the rattle stops.
    Tamales

Video

Notes

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Nutrition

Calories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 11gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 762mgPotassium: 461mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3021IUVitamin C: 39mgCalcium: 242mgIron: 4mg
Calories: 204kcal
Cost: $10
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: tamales

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