I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend. It’s been a busy time at the market; preparing delicious food and baked goods for our customers to enjoy with family and friends. Of course, I’ve been working the same agenda on the home-front given our plans to host a party of 12 for dinner on Christmas Eve (with no oven and an electric burner, mind you).
How’d we do it? TAMALES. Tamales are a traditionally festive food. They really are quite simple to prepare, it just takes some attention to process, a little time, and some special ingredients. In my opinion, they are always worth the effort.
One key to a great tamale is a flavorful masa (or dough). Masa de harina is the powdery corn flour used to make the dough for tamales. In my recipe, I use paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder to add tasty goodness to my dough. I also skip the lard (traditional fat/binder) and use corn oil as a substitute (without sacrificing taste or texture in my opinion).
In addition to the tamales, I served Green Chili Stew, cilantro rice, and Jicama, Radish, and Pepita Salad. Much of it could be prepped ahead of time. In fact, all I had to do when I got home from work was make the rice and toss the salad together. The whole dinner was a hit. It can be done!
For Christmas morning, I made a batch if Birchermusli, which is our tradition. This healthy recipe for Swiss-style oatmeal calls for soaking the oats overnight in milk (reduced fat is fine) and then adding shredded apple, almonds, lemon juice, honey, and dried fruit. It’s delicious! It’s one of those dishes, along with grilled turkey and tamales, that makes me wonder why I relegate them to the holidays – they ought to be enjoyed year-round!