*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                           Spicy Mushroom Tamales
 Recipe By     : Cooking Live Show #CL8916
 Serving Size  : 16   Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Cooking Live                     Import
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
      1/2  package       (8-ounce) dried corn husks
      1/2  cup           lard or vegetable shortening -- chilled , (up
                         -- 2/3)
    1      teaspoon      baking powder
    2      cups          coarse-ground masa for tamales or 1 3/4
                         -- cups dried masa harina for
                         tamales mixed
                         with 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water --
                         then allowed to -- cool
      2/3  cups          cool chicken broth -- plus up to 1/3 cup
                         -- for optional
                         -- second beating
                         up to 2 teaspoons salt
    2      medium        large round ripe tomatoes
    3      medium        large fresh poblano chilies
    1      tablespoon    vegetable or olive oil
    1      small         white onion -- sliced
    2                    garlic cloves -- finely chopped
      1/4  teaspoon      dried oregano -- preferably mexican
      1/4  teaspoon      dried thyme
    4      cups          sliced mushrooms (shitakes -- chanterelles or
                         -- any wild mushroom)
                         -- stems
 In a large pot, bring the corn husks to a boil in water to cover, then
 weight them with a plate to keep them submerged and let stand an hour
 or so. With an electric mixer, beat the chilled lard with the baking
 powder until light in texture, about 1 minute. Continue beating as you
 add the masa in three additions. Slowly pour in a generous 1/2 cup of
 the broth, beating all the while. Continue beating for another minute,
 until a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of the batter floats in a cup of cold
 water. Beat in enough additional broth to give the mixture the
 consistency of soft (not runny) cake batter; it should softly hold its
 shape in a spoon. Season with salt, usually 1 scant teaspoon, taste
 and reseason if necessary.
 For the lightest texture tamales, refrigerate the batter for an hour
 or so, then rebeat, adding enough additional liquid to bring the
 mixture to the consistency it had before.
 Preheat broiler and set rack 4 inches from flame. Place tomatoes on
 baking sheet and roast until blackened and blistered on one side,
 about 6 minutes; flip and roast other side. Peel and roughly chop,
 collecting all the juices with the tomatoes. Set aside. Roast the
 chilies directly over a gas flame or under broiler until blackened on
 all sides, about 5 minutes on open flame or 10 minutes for broiler.
 Cover with a kitchen towel and let stand 5 minutes. Peel, pull out the
 stems and seed pod, then rinse briefly to remove bits of skin and
 seeds. Slice into 1/4-inch strips. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat
 the oil over medium high, then add the onion and cook, stirring
 regularly, until nicely browned but still a little crunchy, about 5
 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs, toss a minute longer, then stir in
 the chilies, tomatoes and mushrooms.
 Cook, stirring regularly, until everything is reduced to a thick
 mixture that easily holds it shape in a spoon, about 5 minutes. Season
 with salt, to taste, about 1 teaspoon, and cool.
 Pick out 16 nice corn husks for forming the tamales, then use 2/3 of
 the remaining to line steamer (you'll need one that’s at least 4
 inches deep--a Mexican tamale steamer or vegetable steamer in a deep
 pot); fill the bottom of the steamer with 1 to 2 inches of water. Tear
 16 long, 1/4-inch wide strips of corn husks for tying the tamales.
 One by one form the tamales: Lay the husk in front of you, lightly dry
 it, then spread about a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into a 4-inch
 square, leaving at least a 1 1/2-inch border on the pointy end of the
 husk, a 3/4-inch border along other sides. Spoon a good 2 tablespoons
 of the filling down the center of the batter. Pick up the two long
 sides of the husk and bring them together (this will cause the batter
 to roll around the filling, enclosing it.) Roll the flaps of the husk
 in the same direction around the tamales. If husk is not big enough,
 wrap in another piece as well. Fold up pointed end and secure by tying
 with long strips of husk. Set in steamer folded side down. Cover the
 pot and bring to a boil, steam husks 1 to 1 1/4 hours, making sure the
 water is at a steady boil and never runs out.
 Yield: 16 servings
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