Mexican Street Corn Tamales

Tender masa dough with smoky corn queso filling and chipotle crema.

Tamales and street corn combined together to make one tasty Mexican treat!

Tamales are not that difficult to make, but they are time-consuming. This recipe is for about 20 tamales, which is not that many, considering how much time goes into making them. The recipe can easily be doubled and any leftovers frozen to enjoy at a later date.

So, what type of masa should you use to make the tamales, fresh, harina, or harina for tamal? If you can find fresh masa, definitely use it. Substitute 4 cups of fresh masa for the 3 1/2 cups harina mixed with water. But for those who do not have this option, either of the dried masa will make delicious tamales. The difference between the two is the grind of the flour. The tamal harina is a courser grind and will have more texture in the finished tamale.

Here are a couple of tips for making foolproof tamales. One, beat the dough until a dollop floats in water to ensure it will be tender and fluffy. Two, leave a space at the top of the tamale and don’t wrap them too tightly when forming. The dough expands during cooking and can overflow into the pot. And lastly, don’t overpack the steamer pot. The steam needs to be able to circulate around the tamales for even cooking.

Mexican Street Corn Tamales

Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course, Snack
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 20

Ingredients

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups dried masa harina
  • 2 1/4 cups hot water
  • 10 ounces butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup corn stock or vegetable stock
  • 26-30 corn husks

Corn Filling

  • 3/4 cup onion diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels 2 ears
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup poblano peppers diced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco more for garnish
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp oil

Chipotle Crema

  • 1 cup crema or sour cream
  • 2 each chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

Dough

  • Place the corn husks in a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Weigh down the husks to keep them submerged. Cover the bowl and allow to hydrate for 1-24 hours. Drain 10 minutes before filling.
  • Mix the masa harina with the hot water and set aside to cool. Cream the butter, salt, and baking powder in a mixer. Add the masa in three additions, scraping the sides between each addition. On low speed add the stock. When the stock has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until a small dollop floats in cold water. 10 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Lay the corn husks on a countertop. Spread 1/4 cup of the dough in a 4×4 inch square in the top center of the husk. Leave a 1/2 inch space from the dough to the top edge of the husk. Place 1/8 cup filling in the center of the dough. Fold the edges together to touch and loosely wrap the husk. Fold up the bottom portion of the husk. Tear a husk into strips and tie the tamales to secure the husks.
  • Place the tamales in a steamer pot. Steam over medium heat for 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove from the pot and serve with chipotle crema, cilantro, and queso fresco.

Corn Filling

  • Cut the corn off the ears. Place the ears in a small pot and cover with 2-3 cups water and simmer for 1 hour. Set aside and cool completely before adding to the dough.
  • Heat a large skillet with oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add the poblano, corn, garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook the mixture until veggies are tender. Remove from heat and cool. Mix in the queso fresco and cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chipotle Crema

  • Puree the chipotle peppers in adobo with the lime juice. Mix the puree into the crema and season with salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3 Comments

  1. I’ve wanted to try making tamales for a long time. I do believe I’ll give it a shot after reading this recipe! Thanks

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