I didn't make the tamales. I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea of using lard in a light recipe. However, I did take the cilantro pesto recipe and combine it with shrimp. This pesto is fabulous!!! It's simple but super flavorful. I've made it 4 times and used it not only as a marinade but as a sauce. This is a keeper I will use over and over.
This was my first attempt at making tamales, and it actually went very well. I made Christmas dinner for a group of 9 and included this recipe, pinto beans, a fruit salad, and a Chimayo cocktail recipe also from Cooking Light (see my review of that). Stuffing the cornhusks was a little challenging, as some of my husks were quite small and didn't have much room to fold over easily. I didn't fill the tamale with quite enough shrimp filler, as I was afraid I'd run out (so I ended up with excess!). The steaming in the oven went well, although I was probably too cautious in checking the water level, as I feared it'd get too dry. I cooked the tamales longer than the recipe said to cook for fear they'd be too wet, and I think they were actually a smidgen too dry (so the recipe is probably very accurate in its 55-minute recommendation). The tamales were very attractive upon completion, the dough stuck together well, and the overall taste was good. And, most important, my guests seemed to enjoy them! I hope to try some more tamales soon since I now have the courage and a better clue of how to do it! Thanks, Cooking Light!