Tamales with Corn and Poblano Chiles
30 to 35 dried corn husks
2 T. oil or shortening
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 C.)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, tops removed, seeded and diced
2 C. fresh or drained canned corn kernels
1 1/2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste
Tamale dough (recipe below)
Place corn husks in a large bowl, cover with boiling water, and soak for at least 1 hour.
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Cook onion and garlic until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add poblano chiles and cook 2 minutes longer. Stir in corn kernels and cilantro; cook until moisture has evaporated, about another 3 minutes. Season with salt. Cool thoroughly.
Fold or beat corn mixture into the prepared tamale dough, until evenly distributed. Fill, fold and steam the tamales, using about 1/4 cup of the tamale dough mixture for each husk. Serve with salsa.
Basic Tamale Dough
4 1/2 C. Maseca corn flour
4 to 5 C. warm chicken broth, plus more as needed
1 lb. lard or shortening
2 1/2 T. salt
Place the Maseca corn flour in a large bowl and add 4 cups of warm broth. Beat with a wooden spoon or mix with your hands until dough is smooth. Use a little more broth if necessary, but the mixture should not be loose.
Beat the lard or shortening in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
Begin adding the Maseca mixture a handful at a time. Scrape down the sides of
the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Alternatively, beat in the tamale
mixture using your bare hand as a whipping and folding tool. If the mixture
becomes too stiff to beat, add up to 1 cup tepid chicken or pork broth a little
at a time. When done, the mixture should be very light and delicate, the texture
of buttercream frosting. Beat in the salt.
Filling the Tamales
Place the dried corn husks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes to one hour. Drain and select as many as you can of the larger pieces, but be careful not to open the crinkled leaves of the core that are full of corn silk.
With a spoon, spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Maseca dough mixture across the lower (wide) end of the husk, covering it from side to side and extending it about halfway up toward the narrow tip. For chicken, beef or other filling, place about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of the Maseca mixture. Fold the left third over to the center and then fold the right side over it (figures 1 and , then fold up the narrow end even with the wide end so the tamale is folded roughly in half crosswise (figure . Place the tamales on a baking sheet until ready to steam.
Steaming the Tamales
Arrange the tamales in a steamer, open ends facing up. Place some of the unused corn husks (and/or a wrung- out wet tea towel) over the tamales to help absorb steam. Pour boiling water into the bottom of the steamer to a depth of at least 1 inch. Cover tightly and bring quickly to a full boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain gentle bubbling. Cook for about 1 hour or until husks pull away from filling. Replenish boiling water as needed. Let the tamales stand 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 30 to 35 tamales