Corn, Mushroom, and Green Chile Tamales

This chile pepper is often mislabeled ‘Pasilla’, which is a different pepper entirely.It is one of the most popular chiles in Mexico and has won the appreciation of many a chef worldwide because of the superior flavor it has over regular bell peppers.

They have a tough outer skin that usually requires roasting and peeling before use. These very large chile peppers are most popular in chiles rellenos recipes, but cooking with these as a substitute for bell peppers in any recipe will enhance the flavor.

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Large pot of boiling water for soaking the corn husks
2 dozen corn husks
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. ground cumin
1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
2 cups diced fresh button mushrooms (2 – 4 large mushrooms)
½ cup chopped roasted, peeled green and/or red chile
½ tsp. oregano

2 cup masa harina
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup canola oil
2 cup vegetable broth, chicken broth or water


Yields: 16 – 18 tamales

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the corn husks. Cover and let re-hydrate until ready to use.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion, garlic, and cumin and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the corn and mushrooms. Sauté for another 2 minutes (or until the mushrooms start to release their water).

Add the green chile and oregano. Cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the masa and salt. Stir to combine.

To the masa, add the canola oil and broth. Using a rubber spatula, mix to combine ingredients. Add the vegetables and stir until vegetables are incorporated into the masa batter. The batter should be the thickness of a thick quick bread batter. Add a little water if you think it’s too thick.

Transfer a few of the husks from the water to a plate or bowl. Take one of the smaller, thinner husks and pull lengthwise into long thin strips that will be used for tying up the tamale ends.

Spread about ½ cup masa/veggie mix down the middle of a corn husk, wrap the husk around the batter, and tie each end with one of the corn husk strips (picture right) OR spread about ½ cup masa/veggie mix down the top, middle half of a corn husk, wrap the husk around the batter, fold one end up, and tie around the middle of the tamales with one of the corn husk strips (see pictures below). Continue to assemble the tamales until all of the masa/veggie batter mixture has been used.

Place the tamales in a steamer and steam, covered, on the stovetop or grill for an hour. (See Kitchen Notes) Remove cover and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove one and test for doneness. If the tamale pulls away from the husk, it’s done. If not, steam for another 15 minutes and let rest again. Leave wrapped until ready to eat.