Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cranberry Turkey Tamales

One of our family traditions on Christmas Eve is a Mexican Buffet and one of the main dishes is always Tamales.  I love to make Tamales and this year I have developed a Savory and a Sweet Tamale for our Christmas Eve Buffet. Today I am presenting the Savory Cranberry Turkey Tamale that will be on our Christmas Eve Buffet. The Sweet Tamale  is (Pomegranate Dessert Tamale with Flan Sauce Link) and just in time for Christmas Eve.

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Cranberry Turkey Tamale

Cranberry Turkey Tamale
Miz Helen's Kitchen
The Tamale
 Basic Tamale Dough
Miz Helen's Kitchen
Makes 12 Tamale
2 cups Masa Harina
2 cups Boiling Water
11 tablespoons vegetable shortening or Lard chilled
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock, chilled

The Filling
4 Pasilla chiles seeds and stems removed
3 cups cooked Turkey chopped
1 cup dried Cranberries chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2  cup sharp Cheddar Cheese grated
1/2  cup Pepper Jack Cheese grated

16 Corn Husk

The Tamale Dough
In a mixer with paddle attachment mix the Masa Harina, cumin, and Cayenne pepper
  • Add the boiling water in a steady stream to the mixing bowl while the mixer is on medium speed. Continue to mix until the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix  for five minutes.
  • Transfer the dough ball to a clean bowl and refrigerate the dough for one hour.
  • Returning the dough to the mixer, beat the dough on medium to high for five more minutes.
  • With the mixer running add the vegetable shortening 2 tablespoons at a time and mix well with each addition until the entire shortening amount has been added and the mixture is smooth.
  • Combine the salt baking powder and chilled Chicken stock, slowing adding the mixture to the dough while the mixer is running. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Mix The Masa

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Let The Tamale Dough Chill

The Corn Husk
Miz Helen's Kitchen
  • Rinse the Corn Husk
  • Soak the Corn Husk in warm water about 30 minutes.
  • Take the Corn Husk from the water and place it on a towel then  pat the Husk dry.
  • Tear enough stripes of Husk to tie the Tamale 
Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

 Soak The Husk

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Pat The Husk Dry

The Filling
  •  Season the turkey with the salt, pepper, cumin, Chipotle powder, and chili powder and set aside
  • Soak the Passila Chile's in a warm bowl with 2 cups hot water and let the chile's soak for 30 minutes.
  • Add the soaked chile's and the water into a blender and blend until the mix is liquid and thick and let the mixture rest for 10 minutes
  • Season the turkey with the salt, pepper, cumin, Chipotle powder, and chili powder
  • In a large hot skillet add the Passila Chile Sauce and the minced garlic  bring to simmer, do not boil.
  • Add the seasoned Turkey and Cranberries
  • Cook on low for 15 minutes

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

 Chop The Turkey and Cranberries

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

 The Chili Sauce

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Prepare The Filling

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Layer The Dough and Filling

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Layer on The Cheese

Assemble The Tamale
Miz Helen's Kitchen
  • Spread the dry Corn Husk with a fairly thin layer of the masa dough
  • Place about 3 tablespoons of the filling down the center of the masa dough and layer the cheese on top

  • Roll the Tamale
  • Tie the Tamale
 Cooking the Tamale
Miz Helen's Kitchen
  • Steam the Tamale in a steamer for 1 hour. Make sure the lid to your steamer is tight. Some people like to wrap their Tamales in a towel to steam, but if your lid fits right you won't have to wrap them.
  • Remove the Tamale and let them dry on a  cookie sheet for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage

 Steam The Tamale

Cranberry Turkey Tamales at Miz Helen's Country Cottage


 This is the Savory Christmas Eve Tamale 2010, if you would care to check out that recipe Corn and Black Bean Tamale with Cranberry Orange Sauce (Link)   I am so excited that you stopped by today to have these great Cranberry Turkey Tamales with us. Your visit is always so important to me and I look forward to seeing you again real soon. 
Peace and Joy


  1. This is such a lovely custom you have and the tamales look bery appetizing. I can't wait for the sweet ones!

  2. It's strange you mentioned having these on Christmas Eve. A few years ago, Mom was busy getting everything ready for our big Christmas Day dinner and sent my brother and I to the store to buy something for dinner that night that was quick and easy. We ended up making tacos that night.

    Knowing we would have ham and turkey leftovers for days, we enjoyed the spiciness of those tacos even more. We have since made it a tradtion that every Christmas Eve, he and I make tacos.

    I think we need to just come to your house instead. Those tamales look delicious!

  3. A labor of love! My husband loves good tamales and yours definitely qualify as not only good, but awesome! Great recipe!

  4. I MUST make these IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!

  5. Miz Helen,
    Your tamales sound good. A neat tradition. Pat

  6. Miz Helen, the tamales sound so wonderful!! In all my years of cooking, I have never made them. You must have a wonderful Christmas Eve buffet...yum!!

  7. This sounds absolutely delicious and could possibly influence me to try tamales again. They are labor intensive, aren't they?

  8. This is Incredibly helpful. I can't wait to try making tamales. Thank you!

  9. I look forward to you linking up at Must Try Monday each week. You are inspiring me to be more adventurous in the kitchen!

  10. Delicious Tamales, I heard lot about them, but not tried yet. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  11. We do the same thing for Christmas Eve. This year we're doing turkey green chile enchiladas and carne adovada finishing with dessert tamales. I love making tamales and your cranberry turkey tamales look absolutely delicious! Happy Holidays!

  12. What a fantastic recipe! I love the combination of flavors! Thank you for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop.

  13. wow!!This looks delicious!!Actually this is a new recipe for me,I love the way of using corn husk...
    Thanks a lot for linking with Midweek Fiesta Hope to see you on next week too….
    Have a nice day & Wish you a Merry Christmas!!

  14. Now that is a labor of love! I made tamales earlier this year, and they were very time consuming but oh so good. I really like the idea of the turkey and cranberries. WOW! What a great combo!

  15. Hi Helen~ ~ ~I'm here from FF and so glad to see your wonderful recipe. I adore tamales but have only ever bought them out. Looks like I can handle this so I may give it a whirl. Thanks
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  16. I hope you had a lovely Christmas Miz Helen! Thank you for sharing these wonderful tamales with the Hearth and Soul hop. I really like the idea of turkey and cranberry. Also I've always been intimidated by the idea of making tamales but your post is so clear and the explanations are so good, I think I could feel confident attempting it now!

  17. I am highlighting your creative tamales on my Hearth and Soul post tonight. Thanks again for sharing it with the Hop.


Your visit has been very special. I look forward to your comments, they are like opening little gifts. Thank you for stopping by and hurry back!
Miz Helen