We are jonesing for New Mexico right now. Exactly 53 weeks ago, we got married in Taos. Happily, it is hatch green chile season, so we are self-soothing with green chiles.
Tamales originated as early as 8000 to 5000 BC. Even before the Aztecs and Mayans, the Olmeca and the Totleca before them, made tamales for hunting trips and long travels as well as for feeding their armies. Tamales were also considered sacred as it is the food of the gods. As such, they featured prominently in the rituals and festivals of these people of corn.
I have never made tamales from scratch, but it is something that I want to try soon. For this recipe, I purchased frozen tamales with chicken and chipotle filling and I steamed them myself at home.
The real trick to this recipe was developing a green chile sauce that has lots of green chile tang but is not unbearably hot. The right mix for us may not be the same for you, so be judicious about the heat of the chiles you choose and adjust it according to your taste.
6 T butter
16 oz medium Hatch green chiles
8 T flour
4 and 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
Chihuahua, Cheddar or Moneterey Jack Cheese (or a combination!)
Saute onions in butter until translucent and soft. Add flour and stir. Add chicken broth, salt, and green chiles green chiles. Cook until thickened and add cream. Process through food processor until very smooth and place back on the burner over very low heat, only to keep warm.
Serve in large, wide, deep plates. Ladle green chile sauce onto the plate and place tamales in the sauce. Top with sour cream and cheese to taste and serve hot.