Tamale Dough (Masa)
Anna Zepaltas recommends real lard--pure rendered pig fat--for making authentic masa. "Go to any Mexican restaurant and ask if you can buy theirs," she says. "They may not be advertising it, but they'll probably sell it. Or try to get it at your butcher shop." She sometimes makes masa with half lard and half butter. It's not traditional, she admits, but the flavor is superb.