No need to wait for the holidays to prepare a fresh pot of steaming tamales. This mini version of a tradtional Mexican tamal is the perfect recipe if you are just wanting to learn a basic and simple method. Gather a few friends and have a tamalada(tamal party) during these nice weather months. This is a meatless version, but can easily be adapted with your favorite meat filling. Another thing that will make this recipe a breeze is purchasing a steamer pot. There are many brands and sizes out there to fit any budget. If you are looking for a more traditional tamal recipe, I have quite a few on site. Just type tamales into search bar and choose your favorite. Make today special and enjoy some tamales this weekend! #foodieforlife #tamaleseveryday #mexicanfood
Cilantro and Cheese Tamal
Mini Tamales Recipe
Prep Time- 2 hours, 30 min.
Cook Time- 1 hour, 30 minutes
6 cups prepared masa for tamales, see link below
2 1/2 cups cilantro sauce
3/4 cup shredded Oaxaca cheese or mozzarella
3/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup diced pickled jalapenos
30 to 40- five inch wide corn husk, plus 1/4 strips of corn husks for ties
For Cilantro Sauce
2 large bunches of cilantro, washed
4 jalapenos or serranos, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic,minced
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons of salt
Juice of 2 large limes
3 cups grapeseed or olive oil
Tips~ This if for a large batch. Cut ingredients by half for a smaller batch.
1. Start by transferring all of the ingredients for the cilantro sauce to a blender, adding just 1 cup of oil to start. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, blend on high until smooth. Gradually add more oil while blending. Taste for salt, set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the masa, 1 1/2 cups of cilantro sauce, Oaxaca cheese, queso fresco, and diced jalapeno. Stir well to combine, cover and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. While the masa is resting, soak your tamal husk very hot water. Use a heavy bowl to keep them submerged in the water.
3. After an hour, drain a little of the water from the husks. Pick out some of the smaller ones and tear into 1/4 strips for ties on the tamales. Remove masa from refrigerator. Take the husk, shake off excess water and using a larger spoon, fill husk with about 3-4 tablespoons of masa, right in the center. Fold sides in, making sure they close securely. Fold pointed side up, and tie with a strip in a knot. Repeat until all the dough has been used.
4. Prepare a large steamer pot. Fill bottom with water and insert steamer. Carefully start layering in the tamale bundles until the pot is filled. Cover with extra corn husk. Bring pot to a rapid boil until they start to steam. Lower heat to just below medium and set timer for 30 minutes. Add more hot water at that time. Repeat this one more time. Remove one tamal from pot and let cool before testing. If the husk pulls away easily, then they are done. If not done steam for another 20 minutes.
5. This batch yields about 35 to 40 mini tamales, but if you wanted you could make them bigger and tie around the middle of tamale to secure. The small ones are great for a party, as an appetizer. Serve with remaining cilantro sauce and your favorite homemade salsa’s.
For a Basic Masa For Tamal Recipe, click onto to picture below to see full recipe. Make sure you double the recipe so you have enough masa.
Chicken Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa pictured above.
No need for spreading the masa. it steams up beautifully!
Tie up on top…..
Or tie on both ends…
For meat filled tamal, mix in the pre-cooked meats of choice to the prepared masa. Follow instructions for cooking as listed.