A couple of these meatless, sweet-savory tamales make a nice entrée with a salad or black beans, or serve one tamale as an appetizer. To make these tamales vegetarian, prepare the Basic Masa Dough with vegetable shortening instead of lard.
Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine raisins and next 7 ingredients (through cream cheese), stirring well to combine. Working with one husk at a time, place 3 tablespoons Basic Masa Dough in the center of husk about 1/2 inch from top of husk; press dough into a 4-inch-long by 3-inch-wide rectangle. Spoon about 1 tablespoon cheese mixture down one side of dough. Using the corn husk as your guide, fold husk over tamale, being sure to cover filling with dough; fold over 1 more time. Fold bottom end of husk under. Place tamale, seam side down, on the rack of a broiler pan lined with a damp towel. Repeat procedure with remaining husks, Basic Masa Dough, and filling. Cover filled tamales with another damp towel. Pour 2 cups hot water in the bottom of a broiler pan; top with prepared rack.
Steam tamales at 450° for 55 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a depth of about 1/2 inch. Let tamales stand 10 minutes.
Love this reciepe. I admit I was sceptical as I am a total purist when it comes to tamales, but these were delicious. They were even a hit with my traditonal tamale loving husband. Definity a must try if you are making tamales.
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