When the holidays come around, there’s no doubt that we know how to celebrate best! For cocinero casero Jose, the holidays are a time to test his skills in the kitchen and gather with his brother and friends. Growing up it was tradition to cook tamales with his mom, which is something Jose honors and keeps alive every holiday season to this day.
Similar to Jose, Sargento values family recipes and traditions. As a third-generation family-owned company, Jose trusts Sargento for all his cheesy family recipes, which is why he decided to use Sargento® cheese for his savory holiday recipe: Tamales filled with both Sargento® Block Fiesta(™) Pepper Jack Natural Cheese and Pickled Jalapeño and Refried Beans.
Check out the full recipe below to see how Jose makes these tamales his way!
- 4lbs of masa
- 3 cups of pork lard (melted and cooled down)
- 30 pieces of corn husk
- 2 cans of pinto beans
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil
- Pickled jalapeños
- 1 block of Sargento® Fiesta(™) Pepper Jack Natural Cheese
- First, you’re going to go through the corn husks and remove debris. Separate the larger usable husks from the smaller pieces and save the smaller pieces for later.
- Place husks in a large bowl and cover them with warm water. Set a heavy item on top of the husks to keep them submerged for 1 hour.
- Next, refry your beans. Add them onto a medium-heated skillet with the oil and mash them.
- Take your Sargento® Block Fiesta(™) Pepper Jack Natural Cheese and cut it into strips.
- In a big bowl mix the masa and the lard until it is well incorporated.
- Remove the husks from the water and pat dry.
- Lay a husk on a flat surface and spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons of dough on the smooth side of the husk. When spreading the dough, leave a space of about 4 inches from the narrow end of the husk and about 2 inches from the broad end.
- Spread a couple of spoonfuls of beans down the center of the dough, and a strip of cheese over the beans.
- Locate the long side of the husk with a 2-inch space that doesn’t have any masa. Fold that over, slightly overlapping the other side, so the edges of the dough meet. Press gently. Fold the broad end over the top and the longer narrow end over the broad end.
- Create strips of husk by tearing 1/4-inch lengths of some of the smaller husks. Use these to tie across the middle of the tamal to hold the flaps down.
- Repeat the process but only using cheese and jalapeño.
- Set the tamales upright in a steamer. Keep a small amount of boiling water on the bottom of the pot and use a colander or mesh of some sort to keep the tamales away from the water.
- Cover the pot with a lid and steam for 90 minutes. Do not let the water boil up completely.
For us, food is about creating memories with the people you love. And Sargento, a third-generation family-owned company, understands the importance of this.
Try this tamale recipe and check out Jose’s socials for more cheesy creations.