Tamales From Start to Finish-Photo3


Smaller husks will take less masa mixture and filling. If necessary, use a bit of masa to paste together a couple of husks too small to use by themselves. As they are finished, place the tamales on a baking sheet until they are ready to steam. (They can be refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, up to a day, or frozen for one month.)

Have a steamer with a basket or steaming insert ready, or improvise with your own arrangement. A cake rack propped on top of sawed-off tin cans in a large stockpot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid is one possibility. Zarela’s preferred stratagem is to place the tamales directly on the bottom of a large Dutch oven, leaning teepee style against a central prop like a large ball of wadded-up aluminum foil. (Some people use a molcajeta turned upside down in the bottom of the pot or Dutch oven.) In any case, arrange the tamales with their open ends facing upward.