Great ingredients = Great tamales
Tamales are fun to make, but they are a bit labor intensive. If you're going to spend the time, you want to make the best tamales you can. This is where top-notch ingredients make the difference.
7-8 lb Pork Shoulder Roast - buy a good quality roast and trim as much of the exterior fat off as you can.
1 Whole Chicken - don't forget to remove the giblets from the cavity.
2lbs. Corn Masa - this usually comes in a 4lb bag, so you'll have enough for two batches.
1 to 2 packages Corn Husks - the amount depends on how large you like your tamales. We like ours small, so we get a couple of packages. Be sure your husks don't have any black mold on them, and don't use any substitute for real corn husks.
2 1/2 C. Corn Oil - oils don't last forever. If you don't remember when you bought it, it's probably time to get a new bottle.
3/8 C. Garlic Powder - here's another place you might want to buy a new bottle rather than using that one that's been at the back of your spice cabinet for years.
5/8 C. Chili Powder - chili powder is actually a mixture of many ingredients, not just ground chiles. This is an ingredient where buying the best will result in a better tamale.
1 Tbsp. Whole Cumin Seed - if you have a means of grinding the cumin, buy an extra amount of whole seeds.
3 Tbsp. Ground Cumin - fresh ground spices are always the best, but a little jar of ground will do the trick.
3 Tbsp. Paprika - hot, sweet, or smoky...here's a place where you can add your own interpretation.
5 Tbsp. Salt - we always use a good kosher salt.
1 Tbsp. Ground Pepper - again, fresh ground is always the best.