Fresh banana leaves or dried corn husks
4 oz. stone-ground corn grits
2 cups poultry stock
3½ oz. masa harina
4 oz. dry-rendered lard
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
12 oz. combination of goat cheese and a hard cheese with good melting properties (like sheep’s milk gouda)
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup epazote, finely chopped
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
Sea salt & fresh ground black
pepper, to taste
If using banana leaves, remove hard stem and pass quickly over a flame until softened. If using corn husks, soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes.
Place grits in a blender and pulverize thoroughly. Transfer to a medium bowl. In a pan, bring one and a quarter cups of stock to a boil, and pour over grits. Let stand 10 minutes, then stir in masa harina. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature. Beat lard with electric mixer until very light, about one minute. Add half of the prepared corn mash, mix thoroughly. Alternate splashes of the remaining 3/4 cup of broth with additions of remaining corn mash, reaching consistency of a thick cake batter. Add baking powder and salt and beat one more minute until very light. Now it’s ready to use.
Grate cheeses, and mix in cilantro, epazote, onion, salt, and pepper. Spread about a quarter cup of masa dough on the middle of a leaf or husk, leaving a wide border. Spoon a line of filling down the middle of the dough. Wrap dough around filling and then fold leaf to seal. Tie with a strip of leaf, leaving room for expansion. Steam for at least one hour, leaves/husks will peel away easily. Let stand for a few minutes to firm. Remove husks and bathe tamales in mole.