Seven-Layer Tamales (Tamales de Capitas o Siete Cueros)

Seven-Layer Tamales (Tamales de Capitas o Siete Cueros)
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Seven-Layer Tamales (Tamales de Capitas o Siete Cueros)
Fiamma Piacentini

Seven-Layer Tamales (Tamales de Capitas o Siete Cueros)

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish of stuffed masa (corn dough) which is then steamed in a banana leaf. Try finding banana leaves in the frozen section of the grocery store or at specialty Latin markets; if you can’t find the leaves, use foil as a substitute. This recipe comes from Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carrillo Arronte.

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12
Servings
244
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 5 Oaxacan pasilla or morita chiles, dry-roasted
  • 2 Tablespoons lard or corn oil
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 6 avocado leaves, dry-roasted (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, dry-roasted
  • 3½ Cups cooked black beans, cooking liquid reserved

For the dough

  • 1 Pound 2 ounces masa harina
  • ¼ Cup lard or oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 Tablespoons chicken stock, if needed
  • 10 hoja santas, central stems removed
  • 10 banana leaves

Directions

For the filling

Combine the chiles and enough hot water to cover them in a small bowl, and soak for 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the lard in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes. Put the onion into a food processor or blender, add the avocado leaves if using, garlic, and chiles with the soaking water, and process to a smooth paste. Mix in the black beans gradually, adding some of the cooking liquid if necessary, to return the texture to a smooth paste.

For the dough

Combine the masa harina, lard, and salt in a large bowl and mix well, adding some chicken stock, if necessary.

Lay out a piece of double cheesecloth (muslin) and arrange a layer of hoja santa. Put the dough on top to form a rectangle, then cover with a layer of the bean paste. From one long end, roll the tamale, using the cheesecloth to help form a cylinder, without trapping the cheesecloth inside.

Remove the cheesecloth and carefully cut slices about 1 inch thick, then arrange each slice inside a banana leaf. Close, fold, and put the tamales vertically into a steamer. Cover the tamales with a damp dish towel and the lid so that the steam doesn’t escape. Steam over high heat until the dough can easily be separated from the husk, 1 hour.

Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
4g
6%
Sugar
1g
1%
Saturated Fat
1g
4%
Carbohydrate, by difference
44g
34%
Protein
9g
20%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
2µg
2%
Calcium, Ca
68mg
7%
Choline, total
22mg
5%
Fiber, total dietary
8g
32%
Folate, total
166µg
42%
Iron, Fe
4mg
22%
Magnesium, Mg
76mg
24%
Niacin
4mg
29%
Phosphorus, P
169mg
24%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
177mg
12%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Water
44g
2%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Tamale Shopping Tip

How hot is that chile pepper? Fresh peppers get hotter as they age; they will achieve a more reddish hue and sometimes develop streaks in the skin.

Tamale Cooking Tip

There are 60 varieties of chile peppers, many of which are used in Mexican cooking. Handle them with care. When handling the spicier kinds, gloves are recommended. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes.