Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales (Vegetarian)

If you like a lot of flavors and a little "kick", Jalapeño and cheese tamales are the favorites of lots of tamale lovers, and they could be your new favorite.

Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales

Tamales at Christmastime is a tradition that unites different cultures across the United States, alongside other Christmas classics such as ham, Christmas cookies, and hot apple cider. 

I always make a large batch of tamales to gift to family and freeze for later. They make the perfect lunch or dinner.

With this delicious and simple recipe, you will enjoy one of the most delicious traditions of Latin America. Tamales with Cheese and Jalapeño.

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Ingredients for Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales
  • Pickled Jalapeños, drained and rinsed
  • Cheese: Monterey Jack or Oaxaca cheese cut into strips

  • Masa
  • Maseca cornflour
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Garlic Powder (optional)
  • Vegetable broth or water

  • Wrap
  • 1 bag 12 - 15 oz Corn Husks ( approx. 30)

  • Step-by-step Instructions:
       Soaking the Corn Husk 
      •  In a large pot, I place corn husks in hot water with something heavy on top to keep corn husk underwater for at least 2 hours. Corn husks can be bought at most stores in the Hispanic/ethnic aisle in most grocery stores. If you can't find them, you can buy them here online.

        Making the Masa (tamale dough) 
        • Mix Maseca Tamal or Masa Harina, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl. 
        • Add enough vegetable broth/or water and mix thoroughly with your hands or spoon to make a soft moist dough.
        •  In a standup mixer, mix the vegetable shortening with the paddle or whipping attachment until light and fluffy.
          Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales
        • Add the masa and continue beating until the batter becomes smooth and slightly sticky. Drop a pea-size piece of tamale masa(dough) into cold water, if the dough floats...your dough is ready.

      • Gather all your tamale ingredients, tamale pot, and spoon ( I use a plastic putty knife) or tamale spreader. 

      • Cover the mixing bowl with a damp paper towel, to keep the dough from drying out.

        • Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales

        • Spread masa on tamale husk, and place 2 cheese strips and 2 jalapeño slices. (you can use 1 jalapeño slice for a milder tamale). 
        • Fold the sides over towards the center, place in a pot with a steamer insert and cook for approximately 1 hour with 1 inch of water, always keep at least 1 inch of water on the bottom for steaming. 
        • Let tamales sit for at least 15 minutes for tamales to firm up when done cooking.

        • Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales
          Serve with salsa, Mexican rice, and refried beans.

        Jalapeño and Cheese Tamales

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        Jalapeno and Cheese Tamales

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