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These tamales are one of our family favorites. Making tamales is a Christmas eve tradition that we started many years ago when I saw a tamale recipe in the magazine “Arizona Highways” sometime around 1994. Sometimes the corn husks can be hard to find, so when I find them I stock up a bit.

Ingredients
4 guajillo chiles
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
2 cups cooked and drained black beans (cook in vegetable broth for extra flavor)
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb queso anejo (aged Mexican cheese)
Masa
Crema
Cooked Tomatillo Salsa
Dried corn husks (soaked to soften)

Directions

  1. Discard stems and seeds from chiles. Soak chiles in hot water until softened, about 1 hour. Drain off all but 1/2 cup water and puree with garlic and salt.
  2. Mash together beans, lime juice, and cilantro in a bowl. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add mashed beans and pureed chiles, and cook, stirring several times, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. To make tamales, spread some masa on a corn husk. Spread a layer of bean past down the middle of the masa, and place a strip of queso anejo on top. Roll bean and cheese into the middle of the tamale, wrap and tie with corn husk strip or twine.
  4. Place tamales upright in a steamer lined with some corn husks. Steam until masa is firm and separates easily from husks, about 1 hour. Serve with crema and tomatillo salsa.

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