Tamales With Cheese, Olives and Chilies

READY IN: 1hr 30mins
YIELD: 12 tamales




  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then turn off the heat, Add the corn husks to the pot and weight them down with a plate to completely submerge them. Let them soak for 1 hours.
  • If using fresh, store bought "masa", cream the shortening and salt in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add "masa" and 1/3-1/2 c water gradually to the mixer until all the "masa" is used. Whip until fairly light and fluffy. Test the masa by taking a small ball and placing it in a glass or water, if it floats it is ready. If necessary add water in small increments.
  • ----if using dried masa harina, cream the shortening and salt, Add the masa harina and broth slowly. Whip until masa is light and fluffy. Test in a glass of water to make sure it is ready.
  • Drain the corn husks and pick 12 of the nicest, largest ones. Stread a husk in a cutting board with the large end facing the top of the board.
  • Pat the husk dry with a paper towel and place one heaping tablespoon of masa right in the center. Using your fingers or the back of a spook spread the masa almost all the way to the sides of the husk and near the top.
  • Leave most of the lower half of the husk uncovered. Place a couple of the cheese slices, chili strips and 2 or 3 olives in a vertical line down the center of the masa.
  • Fold the sides of the husk toward each other and over lap them. Fold the empty half of the husk up against the rest of the filled roll.
  • Pinch the open top of the husk close and lay the tamale flap side down in a steamer basket. Repeat with the remaining ingredients and make sure the tops of the tamales are pointed upward.
  • Steam the tamales for 20-30 minutes or until the masa is fairly firm inside the husk.
  • Tip:
  • To Roast chilies, either set them directly on top of a gas burner, turning them frequently, until the chilies are black or cut them in half and broil them for 5-7 minutes or until black. Place the chiles in a paper bag to steam for 15-20 minutes then peel the chilies. The black skin should come off easily.