The holidays are here, and if you are a Tex-Mex lover, you are looking forward to some good Tex-Mex food over the holidays. All of us have our own favorite Tex-Mex holiday dishes. But when the weather turns cold, it’s nice to sit down to a meal of something warm and spicy.
Here are a few signs that you are ready for a Tex-Mex Christmas.
- You have a craving for Mexican hot chocolate.
One Christmas favorite is Mexican hot chocolate. This drink uses Mexican chocolate, which gives you a taste of cacao, almonds and cinnamon all in one. Add some milk and a little chili powder or cayenne pepper, and this is a holiday treat few can resist.
- Your mouth waters at the mention of tamales.
Another traditional Tex Mex-Christmas dish is tamales. The shell is made with masa harina, a traditional flour made from specially treated corn. You can fill them with just about anything – pork, chicken, beef, fish, beans, vegetables, or cheese. Add a spicy sauce and you are ready to go.
You can also make sweet tamales, filled with things such as fruit and nuts. Raisins mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg also are used.
Tamales are steamed, so to keep them from falling apart, they are usually wrapped in dried corn husks, available at Mexican markets or large supermarkets.
- You are looking forward to some piping hot menudo.
Menudo is also a traditional Christmas meal, made with tripe, broth, lime, onions, cilantro, oregano, and chili peppers. It is a soup that you allow to simmer a long time then serve with tortillas. Some people believe it can cure a hangover.
- Your sweet tooth is demanding some buñuelos.
For dessert, there are buñuelos. These are a light, fried Christmas cookie. The recipe for making them is fairly simple. It uses eggs, sugar, butter, milk and flour.
- You can’t wait to taste the Christmas ponche.
The Christmas holidays would not be complete without ponche, a traditional Christmas punch. Some make it with piloncillo, a type of unrefined sugar, but brown sugar works also.
You can use a variety of fruits to make the punch – apples, oranges, guavas, raisins, and prunes. You put the fruit in a pot with water and boil then reduce to a simmer, adding sugar and rum. It’s served hot.
We’re closed here Mattito’s on Christmas Day, but if you’d like to enjoy a holiday dinner on any day before or after, visit a location near you. Feliz Navidad!