Thursday, December 24, 2009

Family Traditions: Christmas Tamales

While I don't think that I would label myself as traditional, there are some traditions that I cling to with joy!  Oh Tamale Night how I love thee!  My father in-law is from New Mexico and once a year we get together and celebrate the flavors of the southwest.


Here is the recipe for Christmas tamales:

18 dried corn husks
1 cup masa Harina
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup shoe peg corn, cooked and drained (um...we use frozen corn)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup green chile chopped (we use the canned kind)
1/4 cup chopped pimentos
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped

Soak dried corn husks in warm water for an hour before using: drain and trim square.  Mix rest of ingredients together and blend well.  The dough will be sticky.  Divide dough equally and place in the center of each corn husk.  Fold the two sides of the husk into the middle, then fold in the top and bottom.

Stand tamales, on end, on a rack in a steamer, over approximately an inch of hot water. Cover and steam over medium heat for 1 hour, adding more water if neccessary.  For steaming without a steamer check out this link.

Yield: 18 tamales

He looks indifferent but he was having a great time, I promise!

Que rico!

Please believe me when I tell you that nothing finishes off a meal like this Two-Layer Key Lime Pie.  It is the type of recipe that makes you want to throw your arms around the person who gave it to you every time you make it.  It is truly the best key lime pie you will ever eat.

Yes, this pie is a little time consuming; make and bake the crust, whisk and bake the first layer, then mix and chill the second layer.  However, when you finally get to cut into this stunning desert it will have been well worth the wait.

In the end, no matter what your faith, the Holidays are about being with the ones you love and remembering what life is truly about.  Say it with tamales or a really great pie but ultimately it is all about LOVE.

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