Going to give tamales a try and the recipe (Alton Brown) calls for masa harina. The only thing I could find at the grocery store is Harina de maiz (corn masa mix). Is this the same thing?
Also, I've made tamales 2 other times -- once they came out great; the other, not so good. I used shortening both times. The recipe calls for lard (of course), but I don't think my store carries it. I've seen threads where people have said they used butter or oil instead. If I can't get my hands on some lard in the next day or so, what's the best alternative?