How to make it

  • First, cover the dried corn husks with water and soak for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight). Make sure to separate the husks a bit before putting them with water, otherwise they may not get wet. Keep the husks underwater using a bowl or heavy plate.
  • Next, prepare the filling:
  • Soak the dried chiles in warm water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Discard the hard stem and cap, but keep the seeds. Reserve the soaking water to help moisten the sauce during blending.
  • Place the rehydrated chiles In a blender jar, along with the onion, garlic, sesame seeds, tomato paste, molasses, cocoa, and spices. Add about 1/4 cup of the chile soaking water.
  • Process the ingredients into a smooth paste, adding additional water, if necessary, to thin out the sauce enough for the blender to do its work. The paste will be a dark brick red, and will taste spicy and a bit "sharp" from the raw onion and peppers.
  • Melt the lard in a skillet. Add the sauce and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the paste turns a rich brown. This will take about 45 minutes. The volume should be reduced by nearly half, and the heat and sharpness will have mellowed.
  • Thin out the paste with 1 C of chicken broth, stirring until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Stir in the chopped turkey and set aside.
  • Make the dough:
  • Reconstitute the masa harina by adding 1 3/4 C broth to the dry meal. Set aside.
  • Place the lard in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until aerated, 1-2 minutes.
  • Beat in the masa, one fist-sized handful at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally to make sure it is well mixed.
  • Mix in salt to taste (1 tsp is a good starting point).
  • Wrap the tamales:
  • Pick out the largest, most intact corn husks to use for wrapping. (You'll need about 24). Tear up a few of the remaining husks into long thin strips, to use for tying the tamales.
  • Take one wrapper and lay it on a work surface with the narrow end at the top, and the husk curving up toward the sky.
  • Place a large spoonful (about 1/4 C) of dough in the center. Flatten into a rough oval approximately 4 inches long, taking care to leave a wide border on either long side.
  • Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough.
  • Carefully pull the left and right side together, overlapping the edges slightly. Fold up the bottom edge, then fold down the top. Secure the package by tying a strip of corn husk around the whole thing.
  • Repeat until all the dough and filling is used up.
  • Fill a pot 2 inches deep with water. Bring to boil, and reduce the heat to medium. Place the tamales, meat side up, in a steamer basket or rack. Fit in as many as you can - it's ok to stack them, as long as the lid still fits snugly.
  • Steam the tamales, covered, until the dough is firm to touch and peels away easily from the husk. This will take about 45 minutes. You may need to add more water to the pot.
  • Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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  • ttaaccoo 13 years ago
    these sound fabulous! thanks. trish 5555
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