bean and cheese tamales

Bean and Cheese Tamales

I love Mexican food, so no month of beans would be complete without featuring at least a couple of Mexican dishes.  Today’s post is about bean and cheese tamales.   I was concerned that these might not be very well received, but I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised.

Making Tamales is not for the faint of heart.  Everyone I talked to, and every blog I read, had different opinions regarding the correct way to make tamales.  I am by no means an expert on making tamales.  In fact, my tamale recipe needs some fine tuning,  so I am not publishing a recipe.  Instead, I will be directing you to different websites from which I gleaned information that I found useful in my bean tamale experiment.   If I ever master making these tamales, I will post a recipe with detailed instructions.

Years ago, I knew an elderly lady who made tamales from Maseca (the dry flour that can be purchased in the baking or international aisle of most grocery stores).  She was adamant that in order to have good flavored tamales, you had to add seasonings to the masa.  She used chicken stock to add depth of flavor to her chicken tamales, and she made some delicious tamales.  (She used Maseca because there was no place to buy hominy or get fresh masa where she lived.)

My first attempt at making tamales without the assistance of an experienced tamale cook turned into a complete disaster.  I didn’t realize that the masa would continue to expand during the steaming process, so when I assembled the tamales, I put the masa on as thick as I wanted it to be in the final product.  The tamales were mostly masa.  It was a good thing that the masa was well seasoned.cut bean and cheese tamale

I was a traditionalist and purchased dried corn husks for my tamales.  Some people simply use parchment paper.

Here are three excellent recipes for making Bean and Cheese Tamales: has an excellent recipe for Bean and Cheese Tamales.

If you are looking for bean tamales without cheese, but with a rich flavor from homemade chili sauce, check out Adan’s Blog and his recipe for Tamales De Frijol.

Sandra Lee, at Food Network, uses parchment paper instead of corn husks for her bean and cheese tamales.  She also uses black beans instead of pintos for the filling.  Beginning with canned black beans is a huge time saver.

I found this video for making bean and cheese tamales very educational.Tamales filled with beans and cheese

Day four of thirty days of beans has been successfully completed, but Sue Chef is pointing out that I don’t have a recipe, so I need to blog extra.  I tried.  We had tamales.  They just need some fine tuning.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

4 thoughts on “Bean and Cheese Tamales

  1. Your post about tamales reminds me of a fundraiser. The lady who showed us how to make them would say (when adding the meat), “Just a ‘leetle’ bit.” Never forgot that.

    1. Someone should have been saying that to me about the masa. I think there’s supposed to be a balance between meat and masa. I don’t think my balance was right.

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