i have made tamales many times. this is the first time i am using unusual wild mushrooms because i recently gained access to a stand up comedian who forges them. i bought 4 kinds from him. chanterelle, giant oyster, yellow foots & hedgehogs. i am thrilled because i’m a tad obsessed with mushrooms. my entire kitchen is themed in them from the walls to my pantry jars. i also have several mushroom tattoos on my chest & neck, with more coming in the future. i really want to learn how to forge for them myself & dave will be taking people once the weather gets nice. yay!

first i made the masa

cream 2/3 cup shortening/lard
add 2 cups masa harina, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
add 2 cups soaking liquid from a handful of dried porcini & chanterelle mushrooms. chop the shrooms & add. put in fridge.

for the inside, i saut√©ed the chopped shrooms (you can use any kind) in butter with some salt. i added the zest of one lime & a bunch of chopped cilantro. i broiled 3 bunches of ceballitos (baby onions) & sliced some empanada cheese. soak the corn husks in warm water a few minutes, rinse, spread a thin coat of masa & add your filling. fold & use a thin strip of husk to tie around to hold them together. this is a meticulous process so if you aren’t into spending a long time in the kitchen, this definitely is NOT for you.

then all you have to do is stack them well in a giant steamer, cover with a wet towel & cover on top of that. steam for at least an hour. then let them sit to coagulate. serve with salsa negra-spicy black pasilla chili salsa, which teams quite well with the shrooms. instead of making the salsa from scratch, i knew i could not improve on the fresh salsa made by my local taqueria down the street.