Corn husks (found at almost any store)

Soak your corn husks. Find a large stockpot or pan big enough to fit the corn husks, then fill it with very warm water and a lid. The corn husks will float to the top, so you may need to add something to weigh them down a bit so that they are submerged. They will need to soak for about 30 minutes, or until softened.

Tamale dough

2 cups corn masa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 Tablespoons honey

1-2 cups chicken or beef broth

Mix all together until a sticky paste forms. Set aside.

Tamale Filling

1 pound hamburger

3 cloves garlic

1/2 onion, chopped

1/4 cup chilies in adobo 

1/2 jar salsa

1/2 can diced tomatoes

(You can pulse onion, chiles, salsa, and tomatoes together so kids don't see chunks of vegetables)

1 can refried beans

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 can corn

1/2 cup sour cream (unless dairy free)

1 cup cheese (unless dairy free)

Mix all above ingredients together.

  1. Lay the soaked corn husk on a flat surface. A simple plate or cutting board will do.
  2. Spread your masa on the corn husk. About 1/4 cup (or a little more) will do. Use a spoon or your fingers to spread it out into a rectangle large enough to enclose your filling. (I keep a little bowl of water nearby to dip my fingers regularly, which helps the masa from sticking to them.)
  3. Add your filling/sauce to the center of the masa. Tamales use surprisingly little filling — just a tablespoon or two will do. Add it to the center of your masa.
  4. Fold the corn husk in half vertically. Then very carefully, fold the corn husk in half so that the masa wraps completely around the filling, maybe using your fingers to pinch it together just a little bit.
  5. Wrap the corn husk into a little burrito. Continue folding the corn husk completely over to one side so that it is a burrito/cylinder shape.
  6. Fold the top (skinny) end down to enclose one end of the tamale. One end of the tamale will be exposed, and the other will be folded over. 
  7. Tie the tamale together. I like to shred a few corn husks into long skinny strips to tie the tamales together (this is a perfect use for the husks that are too skinny!). But you can also use baking string.
  8. Bake at 350° next to an oven safe bowl of water (make sure bowl doesn't run out of water so that it doesn't break). Bake until heated through. (you can also steam them in a stockpot if desired) Enjoy. 

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