(Family Features) As you gather with loved ones for the holidays, you can enhance the magic of the season by adding Chispa – a special spark – to your dinner table. It’s as easy as adding classic Mexican dishes to your menu.
The key to adding this special spark is using authentic Mexican ingredients, which you can find in recipes like Chorizo and Oaxaca Tamales and Oaxaca, Potato and Chorizo Empanadas. These flavorful dishes feature delicious additions from Cacique, one of the country’s top authentic Hispanic food brands, that the whole family will love.
When planning your flavor-fueled festivities, consider these must-have ingredients.
- Chorizo: Whether pork, beef or soy, chorizo adds the spices and hearty flavors of Mexican cuisine to any recipe.
- Oaxaca: Similar in flavor to mozzarella but even meltier, you can enjoy this buttery cheese in many dishes.
- Crema Mexicana: With a neutral, fresh-tasting flavor and silky, pourable texture, this everyday table cream is used for balancing spicy dishes.
Find more delicious additions to your holiday menu at CaciqueFoods.com.
Chorizo and Oaxaca Tamales
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 40 dried corn husks
- 3 packages Cacique Pork, Beef or Soy Chorizo
- 1 medium onion (about 1 cup), minced
- 8 pounds basic tamale dough, at room temperature
- 3 packages (10 ounces each) Cacique Oaxaca Cheese, cut into 1/2-inch strips
- tamale steamer
- Cacique Crema Mexicana, for serving
- Cacique Homestyle Mild Salsa, for serving
- In large bowl, cover corn husks with boiling water and soak at least 1 hour. Remove excess water and pat each husk dry.
- In large skillet, cook chorizo according to package instructions. Add onions; saute over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
- To make tamales: Prepare one husk at a time by placing husk on open palm, smearing 3 tablespoons tamale dough on husk from side to side and to bottom, leaving 3 inches of top untouched for folding. Place 1 tablespoon chorizo mixture in center and top with one strip of Oaxaca. Fold 1/3 of husk to left and 1/3 to right, overlapping; pinch bottom to seal and gently fold over top to create small rectangle.
- Add adequate room temperature water to tamale steamer and set steamer grate. Place formed tamales, vertically and upside down, tightly packed. Once first layer of tightly packed tamales is complete, begin second layer of tamales horizontally.
- Cover and steam over medium-high heat 45 minutes-1 hour. Check water level at 45 minutes. If water is low, gently add hot water to side of pot.
- Remove one tamale to check doneness. Tamale is cooked when dough separates from husk when unwrapping. Serve hot with crema and salsa.
Oaxaca, Potato and Chorizo Empanadas
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 empanadas
- 1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 egg, at room temperature, whisked
- 1 package Cacique Pork Chorizo
- 2 russet potatoes, cubed
- 5 ounces Cacique Oaxaca Cheese, cubed
- 1 egg, well-beaten, for egg wash
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make dough: Use pastry cutter or fork to cut butter into flour until it forms crumbly consistency. Sprinkle in salt and stir. Pour in warm water and egg; stir until clumpy dough forms. Knead dough about 5 minutes. Cut dough into 24 pieces and, using hands, roll each piece into ball. With rolling pin, roll balls evenly into 5-6-inch circles.
- To make filling: In pan over medium heat, cook chorizo, stirring until it crumbles. Add cubed potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft then uncover and cook 5-10 minutes until liquid evaporates.
- Fill empanadas by placing 2-3 tablespoons chorizo and potato mixture with 2-3 Oaxaca cubes in each dough circle. With finger, run egg wash across one side of circles. Fold over and seal edges by pressing down with fork or create folds and pinch to seal filling inside. Brush tops with egg wash.
- Prepare parchment-lined baking sheets and place empanadas on sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden-brown.
Food, family and holiday traditions
(Family Features) A tamalada, or tamale-making party, is a Mexican holiday tradition that occurs during Las Posadas and combines two of the season’s most important ingredients – quality family time and flavorful food.
Consider these tips from Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics to help make your tamalada fun and easy.
- Food: Before your tamalada, prepare the ingredients that require extra time and work. For example, if you are using roasted chilies, roast them the day before and have them peeled, seeded and cut up for seamless assembly the next day.
- Family: When hosting a tamalada, have food or snacks ready to share with your guests. Making dozens of tamales can take most of the day, so you’ll want to keep your helpers well-fed.
- Flavor: Add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to your masa when making tamales. Not only can the sauce add smoky flavor, but it also gives the dough an appetizing golden color. You can also mix the sauce into your filling for a brighter flavor and a kick of heat.
Find more flavorful recipes at Tabasco.com.
Zucchini and Corn Tamales
Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Garza of Qué Mami Organics
Yield: 16 tamales
- 30 large, softened corn husks
- 3 cups masa harina (corn flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 1/3 cups vegetable broth, warmed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 3 cups zucchini, cubed small
- 1 tomato, cubed small
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup sweet white corn
- 4 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
- 5 ounces Qué Mami Organics Red Enchilada Sauce
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Tabasco Pepper Sauce
- 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 1/2-ounce strips
- To prep husks: Soak corn husks in hot water. Place heavy pot on top of husks to keep submerged at least 1 hour. Once pliable, rinse each corn husk.
- To make dough: In large bowl, mix corn flour, baking powder and sea salt. Using hands, mix in warm vegetable broth to make firm dough. In mixer, cream butter and shortening until fluffy then add dough in small amounts until well mixed. Continue mixing at low-medium speed 5 minutes, scraping dough off sides of bowl. Reserve dough.
- To make filling: In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil; saute red onion and garlic until translucent. Add zucchini and mix 1 minute. Add tomato, dried oregano and sea salt; continue mixing 1 minute. Add corn and chopped cilantro. Stir and continue cooking about 2 minutes more; zucchini should be cooked but al dente. Remove filling to heat-resistant bowl.
- In small bowl, combine enchilada sauce and Tabasco pepper sauce. Add half of sauce mixture to filling; mix well. Reserve remaining sauce.
- To assemble tamales, spread 2 tablespoons dough onto wide end of each corn husk. Dough should extend across corn husks, except 1 inch on sides and about 3 inches from narrow end.
- Scoop about 1 tablespoon zucchini and corn filling into middle of dough. Add 1 teaspoon reserved sauce over filling and one strip cheese on top. Fold right side of corn husk over filling and seal closed with dough. Fold over left side of corn husk tightly and fold narrow end of corn husk up. Cut strips from extra corn husks and tie around each tamale to secure.
- Place tamales vertically, filling-side up, in steam pot with enough water to steam 40-45 minutes. Cover tamales with extra corn husks to trap in steam; place lid on pot. Tamales are ready when masa dough separates easily from husks. Add water to pot, as necessary, for longer steaming.
- Let tamales rest 10 minutes before unwrapping. Remove corn husks before serving.