Photo: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro
12 servings (serving size: 2 tamales)

The shrimp cook as the tamales steam, so they're tender and perfectly done.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place corn husks in a large bowl; cover with water. Weight husks down with a can; soak 30 minutes. Drain husks.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 450°.

Step 3

Combine cilantro and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Combine cilantro mixture, corn, and shrimp, tossing well to coat.

Step 4

Working with one husk at a time, place about 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 heaping tablespoon shrimp 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.

Step 5

Steam the tamales at 450° for 55 minutes, adding water as necessary to maintain a depth of about 1/2 inch. Let tamales stand 10 minutes. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

HeatherChicago's Review

February 22, 2009
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.

MewKitty's Review

December 18, 2008
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!