Chile and cheese tamal (rajas con queso)with the colors of the Mexican flag(bandera Mexicana)! Today, September 15th, in honor of Mexico’s Independence Day, I am sharing this tasty tamal de rajas con queso with you all. Viva Mexico!!
Besides Pork Tamales, This Chile and Cheese Tamal is my favorite!
I crave this chile and cheese tamal! What are some of your favorite tamales??
Keep It Simple!
As you scroll down through the photos, I will take you step by step on how I prepared these delicious tamales! The photos are not fancy or styled, just real as I was working that day.
Make Sure The Salsa Is Ready!
Some people prefer to enjoy there tamales with no salsa garnish. I respect that, but mom always prepared her signature tomatillo chile de arbol salsa when it was tamal season. Like tacos, the salsa can be red or green to suit your taste. A good and well seasoned tamal should stand on it’s own without the salsa, but I love salsa! Lol!
Tamal De Rajas Con Queso! September!
- Large Steamer Pot
- 5 lbs masa preparada, prepared masa from the market or tortilla factory
- 3/4 c pork lard
- 3/4 c chicken broth
- Salt or chicken bouillon, to taste
- 1 large white onion sliced into strips
- 4 large cloves of garlic minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 10-12 large red jalapeños sliced into thin strips
- 5 large poblano peppers, previously roasted, peeled and sliced into thin strips see notes for roasting method
You Also Need
- 35 oz queso fresco or queso panela
- 1 large bag of corn husk, 50 count
- This was my experience with that particular prepared masa. I can't say that they will all be that way though. This is why I prefer to prepare my own masa using masa harina.
- Transfer the prepared masa to the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix in the lard, chicken broth and salt to taste. Start speed on low and then gradually turn speed up to medium. Continue mixing the masa for at least 10 minutes or until it looks fluffy. It should be easy to spread. Cover and set aside.
- I a large pot, at medium heat, pour in 2 tablespoons of avocado or olive oil.
- Add the onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper and saute for 3-5 minutes. Mix in the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the red jalapeños and saute for a few more minutes. Finally fold in the roasted poblano strips. Stir well to combine. Cook for another few minutes. Taste for salt.
- Transfer to shallow baking dish to cool.
- Slice the cheese into long sticks, about 3 inches long, enough for 30-33 tamales
- When ready, set out all of your ingredients with the softened corn husk nearby. You also need a dish or baking sheet to hold the filled tamales.
- Take a husk and shake off excess water, Ideally I like the husk to only be 4 inches wide across the palm of my hand. It works better for me, but do what works best for you.
- Take about 1/4 c of masa with a spoon and spread a thin layer across the bottom half of the corn husk. Add 1 piece of cheese and some of the rajas mixture. Fold in the sides of the tamal to cover filling. Then fold flap down and turn tamal open side up in your hand. Spoon in a little masa into the end of tamal.
- Place filled tamal in pan or baking sheet until ready to steam. Depending on how big you prepare the tamales, this recipe can yield 33 tamales.
- Fill bottom of steamer pot to level indicated on pot. If using the pennys, add two to the botton of pot into water. Add insert and place a few soft corn husk at the bottom of insert.
- Carefully arrange your filled tamales, open side up in pot. You want them to stand up straight, if possible. Don't overcrowd the pot. My pot fits about 20 medium tamales comfortably. Every pot will be different.
- Place pot on burner and begin heating on high. Cover tamales with a few more soft corn husk. Then place a dampened clean kitchen towel on top. Cover with lid.
- Once the the tamales come up to temperature and begin to steam rapidly, turn heat down to medium. Fill a sauce pan with water on the back burner and heat to low. Set timer for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, I carefully remove the lid and towl from the top of tamales. Pour in about 1 cup of water down one side of pot, avoiding water from touching tops of tamales. Place the towel and lid back in place. Set timer for 45 minutes once again.
- Once timer goes off, carefully take out one tester tamal and transfer to a plate. Let it cool for 5 minutes or so before attempting to peel corn husk away. If it comes away easily, then the tamales are ready. If its too sticky, then the tamales need to cook a little longer. I start checking every 15 minutes after that point.
- Once tamales are cooked through, remove pot from heat and leave tamales in pot. They will stay warm for quite a while. If you want to cool them faster, lay them out on large baking sheet. Store in airtight containers or storage bags refrigerated for 5-7 days. Uncooked tamales can be frozen. Cooked tamales prepared with real masa like this hold up better in the freezer than the ones prepared with masa harina masa.
Great receta & great photos!! Tamales are super intimidating for me; mostly just because of the steamer pot. Your great pics and easy to understand instructions & tips (pennies!? no, I didn’t know!) make me feel like I can do it!!!! Thanks Sonia for all the wonderful the recipes, tips and detailed how-to’s! Love your blog so much. ❤️
Thank you so much Stella! I confess that I am a detail oriented person(Virgo), Lol!