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Basic Tamales

24 Dried corn husks
1 c Lard
1 ts Salt 2 1/2 c Masa harina mix
1 1/2 c Warm pork or poultry broth filling (turkey in green mole sauce or pork in red tomato sauce--see recipes)

This is a simplified recipe for tamales but they still should have a fairly authentic taste.

To soak corn husks, cover with warm water; weigh down. Let soak at least 3 hours or overnight.

For tamale dough: Beat lard and salt until fluffy. Slowly beat in masa harina mix alternately with broth until very light and fluffy.

To assemble tamales: Drain corn husks, pat dry. Spread 2 tablespoons dough on center of husks forming a 3 x 2-inch rectangle and spreading copletely to right edge.

Spoon 1 tablespoon filling lengthwise down center of rectangle.

To enclose tamales, turn right side over to center of filling; fold left side over filling, allowing plain part of husk to wrap around filling. Fold top end down over bottom end. Secure ends by tying a string around center of tamale.

To steam tamales, place a rack 2 inches above gently boiling water in steamer or 4-quart dutch oven. Stack tamales, folded side down, on rack. Cover, steam about 2 hours or until done. To test for doneness, remove one tamale from center and one from side of steamer. Open husks; tamales should be firm and come away easily from husk. Makes 24.

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