Place the dried corn husks in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes to one hour.
Drain and select as many as you can of the larger pieces, but be careful
not to open the crinkled leaves of the core that are full of corn silk.
With a spoon, spread 1/4 to 1/3 cup of Masa dough mixture across the lower
(wide) end of the husk, covering it from side to side and extending it about
halfway up toward the narrow tip.
For chicken, beef or other filling, place about 1 heaping tablespoon of
filling in the center of the Masa mixture.
Fold the left third over to the center and then fold the right side over
it, then fold up the narrow end even with the wide end so the tamale is folded
roughly in half crosswise. Place the tamales on a baking sheet until ready to
Steaming the Tamales
Arrange the tamales in a steamer,
open ends facing up. Place some of the unused corn husks (and/or a wrung-out
wet tea towel) over the tamales to help absorb steam. Pour boiling water into
the bottom of the steamer to a depth of at least 1 inch. Cover tightly and bring
quickly to a full boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain gentle bubbling.
Cook for about 1 hour or until husks pull away from filling. Replenish boiling
water as needed.