Recipe: El Cholo green corn tamales

Green corn tamales with rice and beans from El Cholo in Irvine.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

DEAR SOS: To me, the green corn tamales served at El Cholo in Los Angeles render other tamales inedible. Can you persuade El Cholo to release the recipe? --Tony

Dear Tony: El Cholo chef Roberto Juarez sent us the recipe, which we first printed in 1991.

El Cholo green corn tamales

Servings: 24 tamales

12 ears yellow corn

1/4 pound cornmeal

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup half and half or whipping cream


12 (1-ounce) strips Cheddar cheese, halved

1 (12-ounce) can green chiles, cut into strips

1. Cut both ends of ears of corn. Remove husks, reserving for wrapping. Cut corn kernels off cob. Grind kernels with cornmeal in food processor. Set aside.

2. Beat shortening and butter in mixing bowl until creamy. Add sugar, half and half and season to taste with salt. Add corn mixture and mix well.

3. For each tamale, overlap 2 corn husks lengthwise. Spread 1/4-cup layer of corn mixture onto husks to within 1 inch of edges. Place 1 cheese strip and 1 chile strip over filling. Top with 2 tablespoons corn mixture. Bring edges of corn husks over filling to cover completely.

4. Place husks on square of parchment paper. Fold ends of corn husks, then fold sides of parchment over tamale and fold up ends. Tie string around ends to hold in place. Continue until all tamales are prepared. Place tamales on steamer rack and steam 1 inch over simmering water about 35 to 45 minutes.

Each tamale contains about: 149 calories; 292 mg sodium; 21 grams cholesterol; 8 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; .4 grams fiber.

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