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Chicken filling:

5 Chicken thighs (or 1/2 breasts to lighten it up)
1 small onion
1 celery stalk
1 tsp oregano
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ head garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chopped basil
salt & pepper to taste

Cheese filling:

Monterrey Jack Cheese
4 Pasillo chiles (large green)

Shrimp filling:

1 lb shelled and de-veined shrimp
1 handful dried Guajillo chiles
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste


½ bag masa
1½ tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1½ tbsp cumin
3 ears of corn
1/4 cup EVOO
chicken broth

Tomatillo Sauce:

10 tomatillos
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 pinch ground cloves
salt and pepper


Chicken filling:

Boil chickens in pot w/ water to cover for 25 mins with small onion. Remove from pot and shred chicken by hand into bowl. Chop up celery, garlic, basil, and onion. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Save chicken broth for masa.

Cheese filling:

Char pasillo chiles over open flame to blacken and blister. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat. Remove skin after 5-10 mins. Slice cheese into 1 x 3 x ¼ inch pieces. Set aside.

Shrimp filling:

Go through the shrimp and make sure they are clean.  Cut them into 3/4″ pieces if they are large.  Set aside.

Soak the guajillo chiles in water to reconstitute them for 2 hours.  Remove them from the water and add them to a food processor or blender along with the garlic clove, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Add some of the guajillo chile sauce to the chopped up shrimp, enough to heavily coat.


Place cornhusks in water. Mix all ingredients on low mixer. Take the ears of corn and roast them over a flame or on the bbq, enough to darken the corn and bring out the flavor.  Cut the kernels off the cob and throw into the mixer.  After mixed, knead at medium for 15 mins until masa dough is smooth. Spread masa mixture thinly and evenly on inside of cornhusk, covering half the length of each husk. Fill with tamale filling and fold. Get a large stockpot with lid, a stainless steel fan-like vegetable steamer, and a damp kitchen towel. Fill pot with water up to rack. Cover rack with tamale husks. Spread tamales around. Cover top with cornhusks and a cloth and close lid. Bring to rapid boil, reduce heat, and steam for at least 30 minutes. To test doneness, open husk. Tamale should be firm. Masa should not adhere to the husk. When cooked, remove all tamales. Ready to eat!


Parboil (partially cook) tomatillos with onion. Char the peppers & sweat to remove skin. Throw all ingredients in blender and pulse until coarse.


As you can see, I’ve lightened up the tamales by eliminating any animal fats or shortening in the masa.

George Christidis