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Tamales

Makes 18 small tamales

1 bag dried corn husks
1# pork loin
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic

2 cups masa harina
1/2 cup lard
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups cooking liquid (from the pork)
1/4 tsp cumin (or more, to taste)
1/4 tsp chili powder (or more, to taste)

6 oz. Pepper Jack cheese
2 (4 oz.) cans whole green chilis

1. Season pork with salt, pepper and cumin. Place in crock-pot with 2 cups water, onion and garlic and cook until done.

2. Remove pork and when cool enough to handle, using two forks or your hands, shred pork. When liquid has cooled, pour into a blender (with onions and garlic) and puree.

3. Put masa, lard, chili powder and cumin in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined and lard is the size of small peas. Add chili powder and cumin. Add enough of the reserved liquid (about 1-1/2 cups) and mix to make a soft dough.

4. Drain green chilis and place on paper towel to drain. Open each chili and slice into 5 strips.

5. Slice cheese into 2"x1/4" strips.

6. Prepare corn husks by soaking in warm water for 30 minutes. When ready to assemble tamales, remove husks to a paper towel to drain.

7.   Take dough (golf ball sized) and flatten between your hands and place onto a corn husk. Place some meat, cheese and chili strip. Fold one side of dough over, then the other. Bring the small end of the husk up and tie to secure tamale using strips of corn husks or kitchen twine.

8.  Fill steamer with water and place tamales upright into steamer. Bring to a boil and steam for 2 hours, or until dough pulls away from the corn husk.

9. To reheat tamales, wrap in damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes. Serve with rice, beans, and your favorite salsa.
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