Tamales With Cheese and Chiles

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Recipe for fresh Tamales made with cheese and poblano chiles.
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • Serves1 doz Medium tamales


    • 1/2 8 oz package corn husks
    • Prepare Husks
    • Tamale Dough
    • 1 pound (about 2 cups) fresh masa for tamales or (use Maseca masa for tamales, follow instructions on the bag)
    • 1/2 stick unsalted butter cut into 1/2" pieces (soften slightly)
    • 1/4 cup good-quality, fresh lard, cut into 1/2" pieces
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • Filling
    • 6 ounces Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese cut into 3" long sticks
    • 6 chiles poblano or jalapeno, roasted, seeded, and sliced


Tamale Dough

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse several times to lightly incorporate ingredients then run for about 1 minute till the mixture is light and all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Assemble as shown and place in a steamer lined with corn husks. Place in a prepared steamer and steam for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The only way to know if the tamale is done is to open one and check it. The tamale is cooked when the dough pulls away from the corn husk.


Tamales are easy to assemble and can be folder in various ways. We illustrate one method below.

Use about 3 tablespoons of dough for each tamale. Spread the dough onto the husk then top with 1 stick of cheese and chiles per your liking.

folding a tamale
Fold the long sides so that they meet in the middle over the dough, then fold the tamale in half lengthwise to encase the filling.

tamale wrapped and tied
Bring the two long sides together, fold up the two ends and tie.


tamales with 2 ties

Here are examples of two other folding methods with one tie or a long tamale with 2 ties. The example on the left leaves the top open so you must place these tamales upright in your steamer. Otherwise the tamales can be layed flat in the steamer.

Additional Notes

Simmer the husks in enough water to cover them for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and place a plate on top of the husks to keep them submerged. Soak 1 hour. Before using, drain, shake off excess water. Sort them and select the largest ones for the tamales and use the smaller ones for lining the steamer and for making ties.
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