Tamales are wintertime food in the AmericanSouthwest, and a Christmas Eve must in the Mexican-influencedcuisine so popular there. Days before, families gather roundto fix these delicious bundles with savory fillings for entreesand sweet fillings for dessert.
Recipe: Chicken and PoblanoTamales with Cilantro Crema
1 (8-ounce) package dried corn husks2 cups hot water2 MAGGI Chicken Flavor Bouillon Tablets,crushed (or 2 teaspoons granulated)2 cups instant corn masa mix for tamales2/3 cup vegetable shortening1 teaspoon baking powder1 1/4 teaspoons salt – divided use3 cups shredded cooked chicken1 (7.6-ounce) can NESTL MediaCrema – divided use3 roasted, peeled and deveined poblanochiles, finely chopped1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Place corn husks in a large stock pot.Add enough water to cover completely. Bring to a boil over highheat. Remove from heat; let stand with a heavy bowl or plateon top of the husks to keep them covered in water.
Combine water and bouillon in a mediumsize bowl or measuring cup; stir until bouillon is completelydissolved.
Mix bouillon mixture and corn masa mixin a large bowl with a fork to form wet, but not runny, dough;set aside.
Blend shortening, baking powder and 1teaspoon salt with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for1 minute or until light and fluffy. Continue beating on mediumspeed while slowly adding the blended corn masa mix. Beat for5 to 7 minutes. The mixture should be light and spongy. The batteris ready when a 1/2 teaspoon of the dough will float brieflyin a cup of cold water. Refrigerate mixture.
Mix chicken, 1/2 cup media crema and chilesin a large bowl.
Drain corn husks. Spread out one of thecorn husks with the pointed end towards you. Spoon 3 tablespoonsof masa in a rectangle on the corn husk, leaving a 1-inch borderon the sides. Place 2 tablespoons chicken mixture down the center.Pick up one side of the corn husk and fold it over the otherside; repeat with the other side. Fold up the ends and turn overto keep tamales from unfolding.
Fill tamale steamer with 2 to 3 inchesof water. Cover the steamer basket with a layer of corn husks.Stand tamales in the steamer. Use extra corn husks to fill aroundthe tamales to keep them in place and to cover the top of thetamales. Bring to a boil; cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduceheat to medium; cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Refill steamer periodicallywith water so tamales dont burn. Tamales are ready whenthe masa does not stick to the corn husk when unrolled. Let standfor 10 minutes before serving.
Place remaining media crema, cilantroand remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in blender; cover. Blend untilsmooth. Serve at room temperature with the tamales.
Cooks Tip: 1 1/2 cups bottled orcanned green salsa can be used in place of poblano chiles.
Recipe and photograph are the propertyof Nestl ® and Meals.com, used with permission.
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