Cook's Note: You can substitute queso fresco with any cheese you like, such as smooth goat cheese
, etc. You can stuff tamales with almost anything, pork
, ground meat, etc.
For the stuffing: In a large skillet, saute the onions
in the oil over medium-high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue sauteing until the moisture releases and completely evaporates, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese and herbs
and set aside.
For the masa: Combine the masa harina with the stock and salt. Work in the lard until you get a spreadable consistency. If necessary, add a bit more stock
To assemble the tamales: Drain
and pat dry the corn husks. Spread the masa about 1/8-inch thick on each corn husk with your fingers, leaving about 1/2-inch border along the sides and a 2-inch border along the top and bottom of the husks. The key to good tamales is to spread the masa thinly. Then, use about 2 tablespoons/30 ml of the mushroom stuffing per tamale. Top with 2 to 3 poblano strips. Fold the sides until they just overlap, fold the narrow end under and place the tamales folded-side down in the steamer.
To cook, steam the tamales
, covered, in a bamboo steamer over simmering water until the masa is no longer sticky, about 1 hour. (The tamales can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.)
Serve the tamales garnished with salsa
, crumbled queso fresco