Quinoa Tamales With Mushrooms and Chihuahua Cheese 

October 27, 2014
By Adam Lehrman

This Quinoa Tamales recipe comes courtesy of Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort’s Executive Chef, Jan Osipowicz.

If you’ve ever made tamales before, or are aware of the process, you’ll know that it’s elaborate and time consuming. It is also well worth the effort. But, if this recipe proves too much work, these tamales will be available during the resort’s Thanksgiving buffet.

Quinoa Tamale setup (Photo credit: Kristin Tovar)
Quinoa Tamale setup (Photo credit: Kristin Tovar)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 40 corn husks
  • 1 cup standard white quinoa
  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • ½  tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 4 cups Masa Harina
  • 3 pints of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbs Baking Powder
  • 2.5 cups canola/olive oil blend (75/25)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups herb mushroom duxelles (see below)
  • 4 cups shredded Chihuahua Cheese
  • 32 oz. charred tomato sauce (see below)

Plate Garnish (optional)

  • 2 cups of  spiced or plain pecans
  • 10 each roasted Roma Tomatoes
  • Mix Micro- Greens or Baby greens of your choice
Preparing to fill Quinoa Tamales with Mushroom Duxelle mixture. (Photo credit: Kristin Tovar)
Preparing to fill Quinoa Tamales with Mushroom Duxelle mixture. (Photo credit: Kristin Tovar)

Here’s the preparation for the tamales:

  1. Soak the corn husks in warm water for 20 minutes, or until soft. Allow to cool and tear 2 pieces of 1/4-inch strips off of each of the corn husks, along the grain. Set aside.
  2. Place both quinoa in colander and rinse twice under cold water thoroughly.
  3. Place quinoa into ½ gallon pot or sauce pan, add water and cook over low heat in a covered saucepan for about 20 minutes or until all the water absorbs. Allow to cool.
  4. While the corn husks are soaking, In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, baking powder and salt; stir into the vegetable stock, canola oil blend, cooked quinoa to form a spongy dough. Add more stock or water if necessary.
  5. Lay the corn husks flat, add about 1/2 cup of masa/quinoa mixture on each corn husk.
  6. Spread the masa/quinoa mixture out over the corn husks to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.
  7. Place 1.5 tablespoon of the mushroom duxelles filling into the center and top with ½ Tbs chihuahua cheese
  8. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in a perforated hotel pan within 1” space between all tamales. Place the entire pan in the steamer and steam for approximately 40 minutes.
  9. Remove tamales from the steamer and place in the serving platter OR remove corn husk slice in 2-3 pieces and serve on a plate as a appetizer or an entrée with charred tomato sauce or tomatillo salsa. Optional: kick it up a Healthier version with addition of baby mix greens or micro greens

This recipe yield approximately 45 4oz tamales.

Mushroom Duxelles recipe and directions:

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound wild mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
  • 3/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add both mushrooms and saute for 6 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic and continue to saute for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the duxelle from the pan and cool completely. Use for stuffing tamales, chicken beef steak and/or vegetable strudels.

Charred Tomato Sauce: yield 1qt.

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 4 -5 large ripe vine or ripe large Roma tomatoes (20-24 oz. total)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped canned chipotle chile (about 1 small)
  • 2 Tbs tomato puree
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2-3 leaves of fresh basil (lightly steamed – 6 seconds)

Heat a large cast-iron skillet, without any oil, on high heat. When the pan is very hot (about 3 to 4 minutes; a drop of water will sizzle away instantly), put in the garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Stirring every few minutes, cook the onion and garlic until they brown on all sides and become fragrant, about 10 minutes. (The garlic may be removed earlier.)

Move the tomatoes around with tongs until they blacken and most of the skin is blistered. Remove charred tomatoes and pull the skin off, remove the cores and stem, and cut the tomatoes in half crosswise; gently squeeze out their seeds. Reserve the rest vegetable (onion, garlic)

Put the garlic, onion, tomatoes, vegetable stock, canned tomato puree and chipotle chile , olive oil and basil in a blender and purée to a smooth sauce, about 2.5 minutes (You should have about 4 cups sauce, 32oz)

Adjust seasoning and serve over tamales or on the side. Enjoy!

Quinoa Tamales, ready to serve.
Quinoa Tamales, ready to serve.

Don’t feel like cooking on Thanksgiving? Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort is featuring a holiday buffet on Thanksgiving Day from 1 to 6 pm. Offerings include a selection of fresh seasonal salads, domestic and regional cheese and sausage boards, artisan breads, and fresh fruits, pepita-crusted corvina, quinoa tamales, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and a variety of savory vegetable sides. Carving stations will feature roasted beef steam ship, traditional roasted turkey, and garlic and peppercorn crusted pork. Dessert includes an assortment of pies and cakes served with coffee and tea. For more information or to make a reservation, call 520-544-1244 or visit hiltonelconquistador.com/holidays to email your reservation request.

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