These are the steps you want to follow in the preparation of tamales:
1) Soak corn husks.
2) Prepare filling.
3) Prepare masa.
4) Assemble your tamales.
5) Steam your tamales according to the recipe.
6) Let cool for about 15-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Before making tamales, you need to prepare the corn husks for wrapping your tamales. Soak corn husks in hot water for at least 30 minutes. While husks are soaking you can start preparing your fillings and masa. After 30 minutes of soaking the corn husks, rinse them to remove any debris and the corn silks. Let them drain in a colander vertically so they are not wet when you assemble your tamales; damp is okay. To avoid letting the dried corn husks dry again before use, cover with a damp towel.
To makes ties from the corn husks, tear a few of the soaked and washed husks down the length of the husk into strips approximately ¼ inch wide; if they are too short, tie two of them together.
Try to use the large corn husks so you will have more room for spreading your masa. There are two textures to the corn husks, a smooth side and a rough side. When spreading your masa on to your corn husk, use the smooth side, not the rough side of the husk. This will keep the masa from sticking to your husk and will peel smoothly.
Adapted from Tamales 101
½ cup olive oil 2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 large onions, chopped 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and minced
10 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp ground cumin 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp Fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme 3 (28-ounce) cans tomato purée
1-2 cups vegetable stock
OR can use canned Chili Sauce or Enchilada Sauce in place of this Veggie Sauce.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and thyme. Sauté until the onions are soft and the aroma of cumin and thyme is strong. Be careful not to burn the spices. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, salt, and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes mores, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and the bell pepper are soft. Add the tomato purée, stir, decrease the heat to medium, and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes until the flavors are blended. Add the vegetable stock if you prefer a thinner sauce. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature before using. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. This recipe
makes approximately 8 cups.