As I was suffering through my food blogging slump, my sister suggested that I make tamales. I had wanted to make tamales in the past, but was bogged down by the idea of sourcing the ingredients, namely the corn husks. Plus, I had enough ideas that it didn't seem worth the hassle. But, because I was running low on inspiration these days, I bit the bullet and found some corn husks online and masa harina para tamales at a new grocery store nearby (which is humongous and frankly too intimidating for weekly grocery shopping but certainly worth the trip for sourcing the ingredients that my local market doesn't have).
Anyway, the results were fabulous and I'm so glad I went through the effort. I'm excited to make my way through the few we have leftover. I'm also doubly glad that I have some corn husks leftover to make another batch once I've finished gobbling my way through the current one.
2 to 3 dozen corn husks, soaked in lukewarm water for 2 hours
2½ cups masa harina para tamales
2 cups + 1 cup chicken stock (or juices from carnitas)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 cup lard or shortening
1 tablespoon baking powder
4 poblano peppers
1 lb. carnitas (about 3 cups shredded)
1 cup guajillo chili salsa
2 cups grated cotija cheese
Add the masa harina to a bowl with salt and pepper and stir. Slowly pour in the stock (or carnitas juices), stirring constantly to evenly incorporate the liquid. The end result should be a crumbly dough. Set aside.
black beans, tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, and platanos maduros.