Tamales and Bunuelos For the Holidays

Written by Brenda Ruedas, Staff writer




Thanksgiving and Christmas are almost here and it is the most exciting time of the year. During these holidays we all gather with our families and friends to celebrate. Of course, many families gather around and cook special meals for everyone to enjoy.

For this reason, I’m going to share two of my favorite recipes that is a tradition in my family during this time of year.

Two traditional meals that are always on my families table during the holiday season are tamales and for dessert some sweet bunuelos.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with tamales, they are a dish made of masa (a starchy dough, corn-based), which is steamed or boiled in a leaf wrapper. The wrapping is discarded before eating. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables or chilies and both the filling and the cooking liquid are seasoned.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with bunuelos, they are flour tortillas fried and sprinkles with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.

These two traditional Mexican dishes are very significant because my aunt would always make them every Thanksgiving and Christamas to gather all my family together. Unfortunately, in 2006 I lost my grandma to cancer and cooking tamales and bunuelos during this time of year reminds my family and I of the great moments we all shared with my grandma.

With this in mind, I’m willing to share the recipe to cook these two traditional Mexican foods that are very meaningful to me and I hope everyone enjoys.
Recipe for the tamales:
To cook 30-40 tamales you will need:
• 3-4 LBS of fresh corn masa
• 750 grams Lard
• Corn husks
• Salt
• Chicken broth if needed
For Filling:
• 1 whole chicken
• whole black pepper to taste
• 1 Garlic
• 2 Bay leaves
• ½ Small onion
• salt
Red Salsa for tamales
• 20 Guajillo chili or Mirasol chili
• 1 LB of tomatillos
• 1 Garlic clove
• salt to taste
• whole black pepper to taste
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ tablespoon lard
Green salsa for tamales:
• 1LB green tomatoes
• 6 plus more Jalapeno peppers depending how much you want to use
• 1 Garlic clove
• salt
• wholeblack pepper
• ½ tablespoon lard
Now to start the tamales:
• Grab one of the corn husks and start placing the masa on it in a nice layer
• Add some of the chicken in then pour some red or green sauce depending on which one preferred.
• Then wrap the corn husks
• Add plenty of water into the steam and place your tamales let them cook for about an hour and thirty minutes.

Recipe for bunuelos:
• Add oil preferably Mazola
• Combine with 1 ½ cups of flour, baking powder, and salt
• Add all this into an egg mixture and make sure to beat all this very well
• Then turn the dough onto a floured board and make sure the dough is completely smooth
• Next shape the onto 16 balls then start to roll each in a circle 5 inches in diameter
• Heat them in oil, in a fry pan to 350 degrees
• Once they start turning gold brown place them into a paper towel then start to sprinkle sugar and cinnamon into each one of them.

Well I hope this gave ideas on creating special dishes for everyone to enjoy during these holidays in company of family and friends.

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