the off season: corn tamales

cornMike and I are no strangers to the Sunday taco dinner option.  When we are at a loss for what to make, we end up at tacos.   This time around we fought the urge and decided to try something new.  Mike chose the main, bbq ribs, and I chose the side, tamales.  I’ve had them once before at Mesa Grill in Vegas and they were AMAZING but I suppose it’s expected considering Bobby Flay was behind them.  This was Mike’s 1st tamale experience in both the making + the eating departments.  We had several rookie moments along the way but were satisfied with the yummy results.


Mike googled a recipe, we picked up the ingredients we needed and we were tamale-ing!

Grilled Tamales w/ Poblanos + Fresh Corn
[note: we slightly strayed from the recipe as we didn’t have poblanos]

30 dried large corn husks [3 ounces] | discard damaged husks
1 1/4 pound fresh poblano chiles [about 5]
2 cups corn tortilla flour [or corn flower]
1 cup finely ground cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups water
1 cup + 1 tablespoon lard [we used butter] | melted + cooled + divided
1 med white onion| chopped
1 1/2 cups corn [fr 3 ears]

corn_02corn_03soak husks in hot water in lrg bowl or pot | keep submerged w/ an inverted plate until soft [about 30mins]
rinse husks 1 @ a time under running water | pile on a plate + cover husks w/ dampened cloth

if using poblanos….
while husks soak, roast chiles on their sides on racks of gas burners on med-high turning w/ tongs, until skins are blackened all over [4-8mins] | transfer to a bowl + cover and let stand [10 mins]
peel chillies + stem + seed + devein + coarsely chop

whisk together tortilla/corn flour + cornmeal + baking powder  + 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
stir in water and let stand [5 mins] | Add 1 cup lard/butter + stir vigorously w/ wooden spoon until absorbed
let dough stand until ready to use [dough will stiffen]

cook onion w/ 1/2 teaspoon salt in remaining tablespoon of lard/butter in a large heavy skillet over med heat | stirring occasionally until softened [6mins]
add [chiles +] corn and cook | stirring occasionally until corn is tender [6- 8 mins]
remove fr heat + cool to room temp. [about 30mins] | stir into dough


put 1 husk on work surface spreading it flat [pointed end away fr you]
add 1/4 cup filling in centre | leave 1″ border on both sides
bring wide end of husk to cover then fold in sides
fold pointed end of husk over to form a packet | arrange folded sides down on surface

place tamales in 2 steamer racks [layer like fallen dominos]
set steamer racks atop each other over boiling water to steam [ensure covered tightly] | keep steaming until firm [about 1hr]
replenish water if needed
to check for doneness open 1 tamale | see if filling is firm + separates easily fr husk | if doesn’t, steam 5-10mins longer
remove steamer racks from heat | let tamales stand 10-20 minutes while preparing grill

oil grill rack | grill tamales [covered only if using a gas grill]
turn over once until grill marks appear on corn husks, [4-6mins total]


Here’s to trying something new and adding tamales to our corn repertoire!

-Happy 1st Day of Pre-Season!


4 responses to “the off season: corn tamales

  1. These tamales look so good!! I’m definitively going to try out these bad boys next time I have mehican night!

    • Hi Lauren,

      Yes!, cheese is a must and an extra set of hands to help with finicky corn husks is always a good thing. You definitely need to try making them!


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