They are so good, so delicious and the texture is perfect (adding grits make the dough taste and feel like it was made from hand ground corn flour). The recipe is three parts but is really very simple to make and is not too time consuming when you consider that everything but the dough can be leftovers.
So here is the recipe...
2 cups of leftover grits
4 tablespoons of Sofrito tomato base (found in the Latino section of grocery store)
2 tablespoons of Chili powder (taco season packets work fine as well)
Put leftover grits into tupperware and stir in the Sofrito. You could use any flavor packet you want though like a chili seasoning or taco seasoning. Place in the fridge until ready to make tamales.
2 cups of seasoned leftover grits from Part I
2 cups of Instant Corn Masa Mix (I prefer using Maseca Brand)
2 cups of lukewarm water or chicken broth
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/4 cup of lard or vegetable shortening.
2 cups of chopped or shredded meat: leftover fried chicken, beef, sausage, country ham, pork tenderloin (flavorful meat is best, pot roast is a great one to use)
1. Combine Maseca, baking powder, salt, and leftover grits in a bowl.
2. Add broth or water and work with hands to make a soft moist dough.
3. In a small bowl, beat lard or shortening until fluffy (very important to get air worked in throughly)
4. Combine all the ingredients and beat until the dough has a spongy texture.
Corn Husks for making tamales
Meat and dough mixture from Part II
1. Soak the corn husks in warm water to make them easy to fold.
2. Put a small spoonful of mixture in the center of a corn husk and fold the sides around the mixture creating a happy little tamale.
3. Place tamales in steamer and cover for about 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Serve with fresh lime wedges to add a zesty citrus edge to the dish.
When you make tamales, you can make extra and freeze them for later meals.