7 Layer Tamales

 From 'Mexico The Cookbook' by Margarita Carrillo Arronte
7 layer tamales Rolling this mixture means that when you cut it open, you can see the titular 7 layers clearly defined. Not only does this look good, it spreads the flavour throughout the whole dish.

  1. For the filling, combine the chillies and enough hot water to cover them in a small bowl, and soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the corn oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the onion into a blender, add the avocado leaves, garlic, and chillies with the soaking water, and process to a smooth paste.
  4. For the dough, combine the masa harina, oil, and salt in a large bowl and mix well; adding some chicken stock if necessary.
  5. Lay out pieces of the muslin and arrange a layer of hoja santa. Put the dough on top to form a rectangle, then cover with a layer of the bean paste.
  6. From one long end, roll the tamal; using the muslin to help for a cylinder, without trapping it inside.
  7. Remove the muslin and carefully cut slices about 1 inch thick, then arrange each slice inside a corn husk.
  8. Close, fold, and put the tamales vertically in a steamer. Cover the tamales with a damp dish towel and the lid to make sure that the steam doesn’t escape. Steam over a high heat for 1 hour, or until the dough can be easily separated from the husk. Let stand for 20 minutes before serving.