I spent my morning at an amazing tamalada…a tamale making get together that I was lucky enough to be invited to for the second time. It’s a holiday highlight for me because I love the idea of sharing cultural traditions. Be it lighting the menorah and frying latkes, cracking crab on Christmas eve, or making tamales then gathering later to eat them, it’s hard to imagine the holidays without these delicious memories. The NY Times has an article about just this, each memory paired with its own decorated cookie…pretty darn cute.
If you want to throw your own Mexican themed holiday party, but don’t have eight friends to help you make tamales, the NY Times has you covered with these Tacos. You can choose from Tacos with Mushrooms, Cabbage, and Chipotle Ranchera Salsa, Tacos with Turkey Picadillo and Cabbage, Cauliflower and Red Onion Tacos with Cotija, and Tacos with Roasted Veggies and Chickpeas. All are pretty healthy, as far as Mexican food goes, and you could easily set up a taco bar so people can mix and match all their favorites. Just seek out the best tortillas you can find. I prefer corn for my tacos, and in San Francisco that means a trip to La Palma. Their house made tortillas as the best, still warm when you buy them and way less expensive than the sub-par supermarket brands. Throw in a pitcher of margaritas and you’ve got my kind of party.
From Mexican tradition to Chinese, how about BBQ Ribs on Christmas? Jenn Harris, of the LA Times, writes a beautiful story about her Chinese grandmother and their non-traditional holiday dinner. I love the idea of these simple BBQ Pork Ribs. Not sure I could be convinced to make them on Christmas but, they’re so easy I’d be happy to do them any other night of the week.
Since we’re into the eight nights of Hanukkah, latkes are likely frying everywhere. In The Washington Post I found this recipe for Indian Inspired Latkes. A little jalapeno, some Indian-inspired spices, and some chickpea flour give these potato pancakes a whole new twist. And remember, to keep them from sticking to your pan be sure your oil is nice and hot (not smoking but definitely hot).
Hope you get inspired to try some new traditions for your own holiday meals. Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!