Tamales Recipe

From Dorothy McNett's Recipe Book.

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From Dorothy McNett's recipes at www.dorothymcnett.com. This makes about 15-20 tamales, depending on the size.

1 recipe masa dough
your favorite filling (beans, beef, chicken, pork mixtures)
cornhusks, soaked 2 hours and then drained and dried

Soak the corn husks at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. Prepare filling and let it cool. Prepare masa and cover with towel. Pat the corn husks dry and arrange them on the counter before spreading with the dough. For each tamal select a wide, pliable husk and place 2-3 tablespoons or more of the dough (depending on size of husk and desired size of the tamales when finished) in the center. Spread dough on the smooth side of the husk in a rectangle, about 4 by 5 inches for main dish tamales, smaller for appetizer sized ones. Spoon about 2-4 tablespoons filling into the center of the masa. Fold the right edge of the corn husk to the center, then fold the left edge over it so that the dough meets in the center. Fold the bottom end to the middle, and finally fold the pointed end. Turn the tamales over to hold the husks in place. You may wish to tie them with strips of corn husks or twine. Place a layer of unused flat corn husks in the basket of a vegetable or pasta steamer to act as a little cushion. Stack the tamales folded sides down over the cushion of husks. In the bottom of the steamer, heat about 2 inches of water and bring to boil. Insert the basket into the steamer. Do not let the water touch the tamales, just the steam. Place a layer of corn husks over the stack of tamales. Cover the steamer and keeping the water gently simmering, cook about 40-45 minutes or until the dough is firm and no longer doughy. (Big, thick masa tamales will take up to 60 minutes or more.)

Recipe created 1998-11-03.

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