- 4 ounces dried corn husks
- 3/4 cup shortening OR lard, chilled
- 1-1/4 teaspoons Fleischmann's® Baking Powder
- 2 cups instant corn masa mix
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon Mazola® Corn Oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 to 2 poblano chilies, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
- 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh tomato
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon leaf oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon leaf thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seed
- 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Fill a stock pot with 6 to 8 cups of water (so that is approximately half full) and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add corn husks and soak for one hour. Note: you may need to weigh husks down with a plate or bowl to keep them submerged.
- Chill shortening or lard a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Beat shortening with baking powder for 1 minute with an electric mixer. Add masa 1/2 cup at a time; beat well after each addition. Add 1 cup broth and salt. The batter should resemble stiff cake batter. Set aside.
- Heat oil over medium high heat in large skillet. Sauté onions until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic powder, poblano chile, mushrooms, tomatoes, 1/4 cup broth, oregano, thyme and cumin. Heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until vegetables are fully cooked and juices are reduced to a light sauce. Stir in cheese. Remove from heat.
To assemble tamales:
- Remove husks from pot one at a time. (You will have extra husks, but not all will be used. Some will tear as they are unfolded; use the nicest, largest husks). Unroll husk on counter, pointed end facing towards you. Place 1/4 cup masa in center of husk; spread into a rectangle towards top, leaving 1-1/2 to 2 inches of the lower part of husk uncovered. Spoon 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable filling in center of masa. Carefully fold husk in half lengthwise, so that opposite ends of the masa meet, encasing the vegetables in the masa. Roll the edges of the husk in the same direction around the tamale. Fold up the pointed end to close the bottom of the tamale. Secure the tamale by tying with a thin strip of husk, catching the folded end and holding it in place. Continue assembling remaining tamales in the same fashion. Note: if extra masa is left over, simply assemble tamales with masa only, or add Monterey Jack cheese.
- Place tamales, standing on folded end, in a vegetable or rice steamer. Fill steamer to the "high" water level. Arrange extra husks in a single layer over tops of tamales before placing lid on steamer. Steam 40 to 50 minutes. Check water level occasionally to ensure steamer does not run empty. To test for doneness, remove one tamale from the center and open. The dough should come away easily from the husks, and the masa should resemble a soft rice.
- Tamales are wonderful eaten right away, straight out of the husks. They also keep very well (about 5 days in the refrigerator), and can be reheated in the microwave or wrap in foil and heat in a 350° F. oven about 15 to 20 minutes. Tamales can also be frozen.
Recipe Note: Tamales can be made with a number of different ingredients - check the refrigerator for leftovers! They are excellent with shredded chicken or pork (you will need about 1 cup of meat). Chicken broth can also be substituted for the vegetable broth.