Tamale instructions

Yield: 50 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 packs Dried cornhusks
\N \N Warm water

Contributed to the echo by: Leti Labell Prepare the corn husks: First go through the corn husks, separating them, and removing pieces of cornsilk (and also dirt, etc.) that you find. Then place them in a large bowl and cover with tap water. (I put several plates on top of the corn husks to hold them down, because they have a tendency to float.) Let them soak for at least half an hour. Rinse the corn husks several times, to clean them. Then drain them well. Next, dry off the corn husks. While you do this, you can separate them into piles: big husks, medium, and too little to be worth using. At this time, you can also prepare some thin strips of corn husk, that you will use to tie the tamales together. (This is where you you the little pieces too small to make a tamale.) (I found that the pieces weren't long enogh to tie around the tamales, so I tied two shorter pieces of thin husk together. More on this later.) Make the tamales: Hold a large corn husk in your hand, with the narrow end pointing to the right.

Take a spoonful of dough (I used a serving spoon, about 2 Tbs or so) and spread it on the corn husk, about 1-½ inches from the wide end, and about 4 inches from the narrow end. Spread the dough right up to the edge of the corn husk on one side, leaving enough of a flap to wrap around the tamale. (If the husk isn't wide enough for you to be able to wrap it around, you'll use another husk - more on this later.) Next, spread a spoonful (again, about 2 Tbs) of filling down the middle of the dough. Roll the sides of the corn husk in toward the center, bringing the edges of the dough together, enclosing the filling. Wrap the rest of the corn husk around to the back. If there is not enough husk to wrap around to the back, place another corn husk around the tamale, to hold the edge closed. Now, wrap the top (broad end) edge down, and flip the bottom part (the narrow end) up, so that it covers the edge of the broad end. Then, using the thin strips of corn husk, tie across the middle to hold the top and bottom flaps in place. Steaming the tamales: Stand the tamales on end in a steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you could put the tamales in a metal collander, and place the collander in a large pot. Just be sure that the tamales do not touch the water below. Bring the water to a brisk boil, and steam the tamales for at least an hour. I did it for an hour and 15 minutes. You can test one to see if they are done: the dough will easily separate from the husk. Just be careful - don't burn yourself on the steam! You can reheat tamales in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. (Don't try to re-steam them.) If you freeze them, you can reheat them by putting the frozen tamales in a casserole dish, covering with foil, and heating in a 350 oven for 30-35 minutes. This was a lot of work, but it was well worth it!

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