|Goat cheese tamale with fig-lemon salsa|
Here's one of the tamale recipes I made for Christmas: a moderately aged goat cheese wrapped in a porcini masa. The recipe is based on one from Tamales by Mark Miller, Stephen Pyles and John Sedlar. It's served with a tasty fig-lemon salsa. In the original recipe, the goat cheese is paired with a black olive masa (which sounds like another stellar combination) but I wanted to try the porcini one. It's not a powerful mushroom flavor, just an undercurrent of earthy nuttiness.
Wrapping tamales takes a bit of time and practice and it's nice to have extra hands to make the work go quickly. This recipe makes 8 tamales, so you won't be stuck wrapping forever even if you make them on your own. They are worth the effort.
This recipe calls for an aged goat cheese. I used a ripe Humboldt Fog® from Cypress Grove Chevre in Northern California. It's an earthy pungent cheese. You could use a milder goat cheese, one that isn't aged but it can be very sticky to work with. Also, the aged goat is the perfect counterpoint to the sweet fig salsa.