The good: despite a few substitutions this recipe held up (fresh serrano and jalapeno peppers instead of dried, chicken instead of pork, shortening instead of lard, and the addition of cumin).
The bad: Don't listen to the reviewer who said coffee filters work as wrappers. I did (thinking that I could get rid of a huge coffee filter surplus) and suffered for it. Using coffee filters is a TERRIBLE idea!! Here are the problems that I had:
1. The filters are not as waterproof as corn husks, so when you steam the tamales the fat in them will liquefy and leak out. When the water in my steamer cooled there was 1/2 inch of fat on top of the water for a double batch of tamales. This also means that the surface of the tamales will feel greasy and grease will get all over your steamer.
2. The coffee filters bond to the masa so when you want to eat them you end up peeling off the outer layer of masa. If you try to avoid this by removing the wrapping while tamales are cold it is impossible to remove without leaving paper on the tamale.
3. Because the coffee filters bond to the masa the normal test of doneness (seeing if the masa is still sticking) is useless. This means that you need to take a tamale out and actually eat it to figure out if it is done or not.
Despite the fact that my tamales are probably now low fat they are still pretty tasty. They were better after sitting overnight because the flavors melded together.
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The good: despite a few substitutions this recipe held up (fresh serrano and jalapeno peppers...