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Yield: 28 tamales


  • 28 dried corn husks (3 to 4 ounces) or fourteen 9-inch pieces of foil
  • 1 cup  chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup  canned cream-style corn
  • 1/3 cup  milk
  • 2 cups  masa harina
  • 3 medium poblano chiles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1 cup  finely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon  finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 pound  peeled and deveined uncooked shrimp, chopped
  • 1/2 cup  lard, butter or shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon  sugar
  • 1 cup  coarsely grated Chihuahua*, Muenster or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup  coarsely grated Queso Fresco** or crumbled mild feta cheese
  • Guacamole (see main menu page), optional


1. Cover corn husks with hot tap water in a shallow baking dish.

2. Bring chicken broth, creamed corn and milk just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add broth mixture to masa harina in a medium bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon, until well blended; cool.

3. Heat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil. Arrange poblanos and bell pepper on prepared pan and broil 4 inches from heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning until skins are evenly charred. Wrap in foil and let stand 15 minutes. Peel, seed and dice chile and bell pepper; transfer to a medium bowl.

4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to medium and cook 1 minute more. Cool, then combine with chile, bell pepper and uncooked shrimp.

5. Beat lard, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large mixer bowl, until smooth. Gradually beat in masa harina mixture by spoonfuls, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat 5 to 8 minutes more, until mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in shrimp mixture and cheese (mixture will be stiff).

6. Drain and rinse corn husks; keep covered with a damp towel (or follow foil directions below). Flatten one husk on work surface (overlapping two husks if small). Spoon 1/4 cup filling in center of husk. Spread into a 3-inch long log. Roll up lengthwise. Secure each end with string. Repeat with remaining husks and filling.

To prepare tamales with foil::

7. Cut each foil piece in half to make two 6x9-inch rectangles. Spread 1/4 cup filling in center of each rectangle. Fold all sides in to form 2x3-1/2-inch packets. (Can be made ahead. Place tamales in resealable plastic storage bags and freeze up to 1 month.)

8. Place steamer rack in Dutch oven over 1 inch of water. Arrange tamales (unthawed if frozen) in rack. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and steam 30 minutes. Serve with Guacamole, if desired.


Masa Harina:
  • A variety of flour made from specially processed corn. Used in tamales or to thicken sauces. Can be found in the baking section of most supermarkets.


Chile Poblano:
  • Mild to medium-hot fresh chile. Popular for stuffing; usually roasted.


  • Available in most Hispanic markets.


  • Available from Mozzarella Company, 800-798-2954.

Nutrition Facts

  • cal.(kcal)110,
  • Fat, total(g)7,
  • chol.(mg)22,
  • sat. fat(g)3,
  • carb.(g)10,
  • fiber(g)1,
  • pro.(g)4,
  • sodium(mg)173,
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet