Tamales de Rajas
Soft, fluffy and flavorful
tamales de rajas
are made with roasted poblanos and melty cheese. Naturally gluten free, those tamales will become one of your favorite Mexican recipes!
(or vegetable oil)
(or chicken stock)
dried corn husks
(read note 1)
For the filling
(read note 2)
(cut into pieces, read note 3.)
(read note 4)
For toppings (optional)
Place corn husks into a large bowl and cover with warm water. Soak while you continue with the recipe (read note 1).
Prepare your steamer or a large stock pot with a steamer basket. Fill the pot with water just before it touch the basket.
Roast green peppers
Roast the peppers using your favorite method (in the stove, grill, or oven). Place them in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.
Let peppers to rest for 15 minutes then peel them, discard the stem, open them and discard the seeds.
Cut peppers into strips and set aside.
Make the dough
Melt the lard in a pan and allow it to cool down without solidifying.
Place corn masa harina in a large bowl. Add salt, baking soda and baking powder.
Pour in the water while mixing with your hands little by little until you will have a soft dough (about 3 minutes).
Add lard to the dough and mix to combine until you'll have a slightly sticky dough. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.
Make the tamales
Drain the corn husks and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.
Place 2-3 spoonfuls of tamales dough in the middle of a husk and, using the back of a spoon, spread it in the middle.
Add one tablespoon of molcajete salsa in the middle, then a few strips of roasted peppers.
Finish with some bites of cheese.
Fold the right side of the corn husk to the center of the tamal and then repeat with the left side.
Take the narrow end of the husk and fold it towards the center.
Place the tamal in the steamer standing up with the open side up.
*Use some aluminum foil to fill some gaps and help tamales to stand up.
Repeat the steps until all ingredients are gone and the steamer is filled up.
Bring the water in the steamer to a boil, cover the pot and cook the tamales for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking occasionally and adding more water when is needed.
Use aluminum foil if you can't find corn husks where you live, but be aware that by doing so you're missing the wonderful taste from steamed husks.
Poblano peppers can be substituted with green bell peppers, Anaheim, or Italian peppers.
You can sub Oaxaca cheese with mozzarella, monterey jack, queso fresco, ranchero cheese, fontina, feta, etc.
Salsa for filling is optional, omit if you want your tamales to not have spicy. However, you can also use your favorite spicy salsa, either homemade or store-bought.
Want to make them vegetarian? Replace the lard with olive oil or avocado oil, and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
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