With the rush of the holiday season, I find myself craving warm tamales but I have little time for such a labor-intensive task. As you probably know, this very popular party food for the Christmas holidays can take days to assemble.
So instead, I whip up a Tamal de Cazuela. This easy Mexican casserole is brimming with the flavor of freshly made tamales but takes minimal effort. This dish is perfect for a family gathering!
ALL THE HOLIDAY FLAVOR IN HALF THE TIME
Cut your kitchen time in half by picking up a pre-made roast chicken and preparing the salsa verde the day before. A tasty cornmeal-based dish that can be pulled together any day of the week, Tamal de Cazuela will satisfy any tamale loving addict!
Read Related: Tamale Secrets From the Experts
TAMAL DE CAZUELA
3 cups masa harina for tamales (maseca)
1¾ cups hot water
¾ cup vegetable shortening
1½ TSP baking powder
1½ cups chicken broth
½ pound tomatillos
½ medium onion, cut in half
1 garlic clove, skin on
Handful of cilantro
1½ cup shredded cooked chicken
• Preheat oven to 400°.
• Grease a 10 inch pie plate. Set aside.
For the Filling:
- Place the tomatillos, onion and garlic on a baking sheet.
- Place under broiler, until charred. 5 to 7 minutes.
- Be sure to watch the garlic, it will char quickly.
- Allow to cool, remove skin from garlic.
- Place tomatillos, onion, garlic and cilantro into a blender and puree until smooth.
- Season to taste.
- Combine with the shredded chicken, about 2 cups of the salsa verde.
For the Masa:
- Combine masa harina with hot water and mix well to reconstitute.
- Beat the shortening with the baking powder in a large bowl until light, about 2 minutes.
- Continue to beat as you add masa in cup by cup, mix until all is well incorporated.
- With mixer running slowly add chicken broth and beat until masa dough is well combined. Season with salt to taste.
- Spread half the masa on the greased 10 inch pie plate.
- Add the filling and then spoon remaining batter to cover the filling.
- Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until top is golden brown.
- Allow tamal de cazuel to stand a few minutes and cut into wedges.
- Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado and remaining salsa verde.
This can be made a day ahead.