Mark Miller's Black Bean Tamales with Red Chile Crema

Mark Miller's Black Bean Tamales with Red Chile Crema
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Recipe to cook Black Bean Tamales with Roasted Corn Masa and Red Chile Crema. This innovative and contemporary recipe is steeped in tradition.


  • Red Chile Crema:
  • 1 cup heavy cream, preferably unpasteurized
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk, preferably unpasteurized
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic
  • 3 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • Roasted Corn Masa:
  • 1 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels, roasted
  • Black Bean Filling:
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • 14 large dried corn husks, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 1 sprigs of epazote for garnish


  1. To prepare the crema: Heat the cream in a saucepan over low heat to room temperature (70 to 75°F. Transfer the cream to a clean bowl, add the buttermilk, and cover with cheesecloth. Let stand overnight at room temperature. The next day, the crema should have the consistency of loose sour cream. Transfer the crema to a blender, add the garlic and chipotles, and puree. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container. The crema will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
  2. To prepare the masa: Combine the masa harina, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the butter and shortening and beat for 3 minutes, or until thoroughly incorporated. Add the water and beat for 2 minutes more, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Add the roasted corn and beat for 1 minute more. Wrap the masa dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. To prepare the filling: Sauté the onion and garlic in 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Transfer to a blender, add the black beans and vinegar, and purée until smooth. Heat the remaining oil in a heavy sauté pan over low heat, add the purée and fry, stirring constantly, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges of the purée becomes crusty. Fold in the cheese and let cool.
  4. To prepare the tamales: Follow the directions on page 138 of the Red Sage book, or click here for our Tamale Tutorial. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
  5. To serve: Transfer the tamales to serving plates and cut open the top of the tamale wrappers from end to end. Gently push the ends together, as with a baked potato. Drizzle the crema over and around the tamales. Garnish with epazote.
  6. Makes 12 Tamales