Enjoying A Festive Christmas Tamale-Making Party

It’s a no-brainer that the holiday season is a great time to enjoyably connect with family and friends. And sharing good times together around food is pretty much a favorite holiday tradition practiced around the world. From roasted turkey to baked ham, everyone enjoys the tastes of the season. One particularly flavorful Christmastime tradition which is seeing more popularity year by year comes straight from “south of the border”- Traditional Mexican tamale feasts. Whether you reside in the Southwest of the U.S.A. or live in Columbus, Ohio…it’s easy and fun to host a tamale wingding.

But, how does one go about throwing together a terrific Mexican-themed festive tamale-making party?

Firstly, make a list of the all the ingredients that you need for the gathering and make sure your kitchen is suitably prepared for cooking with others. Have in place a steamer, various mixing bowls, white kitchen towels, and a good set of tongs and measuring spoons.

Here are the ingredients and recipe for a traditional tamalade fiesta:

Up to 2 days before your guests arrive, simmer your pork, beef, or chicken with fresh garlic, onion, and mild chili spices. This allows the juices of the meats to marinate and tenderize.
Make sure you have more than adequate amount of corn husks and soak them the night before your party gets started.

Put yourself into the holiday spirit by popping a festive spirit-lifting CD in the stereo, like your favorite Mariachi band on CD or Los Lobos.

Decorate your tablescape with an array of colorful plates, dishes, and napkins. But keep it simple. Your guests will appreciate an unpretentious dining experience just as much as an elaborate one.

A half-hour before the gathering, whip the masa harina with butter, lard, or shortening.

When the party gets started, serve your guests salsa with tortilla chips, a bowl of fresh fruit, fresh guacamole, and tantalizing margaritas or delicious non-alcoholic cinnamon sprinkled frothy horchatas.

After everyone is filled up on enough picante sauce and finished with their first-round of drinks, the host or hostess can initiate the tamale-making process.

Organize yourselves into three groups, have some of your guests help prepare the corn husks, while others place the filling into each cornmeal treat.

Don’t be shy about instructing your guests during the entire tamale-cooking process– remember it’s your house and your kitchen that is being utilized for entertaining.

Here’s a simple, easy-does-it recipe outline of necessary items for creating crowd-pleasing fabulous tamales:

40 cornhusks.
Instant corn mesa mix
8lb. pork butt/ shoulder roast, boneless skinless chicken breast, or beef flank steak
box of sugar
jar of cinnamon
3 jars of chili sauce
kosher salt
healthy brand of lard or softened butter
1 box of baking powder
4 onions
5 garlic cloves
2 cans of chicken broth

After soaking the corn husks, Mix the cooked, shredded pork, chicken, or beef with the chili sauce. Mix the baking powder, salt, and Instant corn mesa mix together to create a spongy, soft dough in a separate mixing bowl. Assemble each tamale by placing a hefty spoonful of the corn mixture inside each open corn husk. Then placing the meat mixture inside the center of the cornmeal spread. Gently fold over each corn husk and wrap them, tying each one with a piece of unused husk. Place tamales in a large capacity steamer with about an inch of water at the bottom of pot. Cook on low to medium for 45- 120 minutes, or until tamales are done.