The Holiday Season is a time for eating many specialty foods. This is a guide of all the goodies you that will be served in Mexican Homes and restaurants. Many of the recipes you will find in this section, those that are not, will appear in 2018. Happy Holiday, to you and your family from ours!
The combination of colors of the Mexican Christmas Salad (Ensalada de Noche Buena) makes it particularly festive. This salad usually has lettuce and beets, but other ingredients vary according to the place and the chef’s preference, and may include apple, carrot, orange, pineapple, jicama, pecans or peanuts, and pomegranate seeds as a garnish. Mexican Christmas Salad is served at Christmas Eve dinner.
Tamales are cornmeal dumplings which may be prepared with a variety of fillings. They are wrapped in corn husks (or occasionally banana leaves), and steamed. Because tamales are time consuming to prepare, they are a special holiday food – made a few times throughout the year, in large batches. Tamales vary from state to state in Mexico. There are wonderful variations available, keep looking until you find your favorite.
Bacalao (dried salted codfish) starts showing up in markets and grocery stores throughout Mexico as Christmas approaches. This dish of European origin has become a common part of a traditional Mexican Christmas feast. Bacalao a la Vizcaina is a popular recipe in which the cod is stewed with tomatoes, capers, olives, and potatoes, but it may be prepared in a variety of ways. My Aunt makes this for us every year; her recipe is from Spain passed down from my grandmother. It is simple to make and delicious.
A green leaf vegetable with small leaves, this plant resembles rosemary, for which it is named. Romeritosare most often served as romeritos en revoltijo, with shrimp cakes and doused in mole. This Mexican Christmas dish is also served during Lent. This is a favorite of my Cozumel friends; I have not been able to warm up to it.
Pozole is hominy soup made with pork or chicken and seasoned with Chile and garlic. It is served with garnishes of shredded lettuce or cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, avocado, oregano, and lime wedges. It makes a hearty meal and is made in large batches, making it a great party food, which besides being a popular choice for a Christmas dinner, is also served during Mexican Independence Day or Cinco de Mayo parties. If you have not had Pozole, you are missing out. It is a year around favorite in my household.
Pavo (Turkey) is native to Mexico and is another popular choice for a Mexican Christmas Eve dinner. The Christmas turkey may be roasted, or it may be served with mole, a rich sauce made of ground chilies and other ingredients. Do not expect the American version! Mexican turkeys are injected with Coca Cola or wine, seasoned differently and the stuffing is not your typical American stuffing.
Served with a hot drink, Buñuelos make an excellent treat on a cold night. This crispy fried treat is like a sweet tostada which is sprinkled with sugar or doused in syrup. In Oaxaca there are special stands set up at Christmastime selling buñuelos and atole. After enjoying the sweet fritter, you make a wish and throw your clay plate on the ground, where it smashes to bits. This tradition is said to spring from a Pre-Hispanic festivity in which all the dishes were broken at the end of a calendar cycle.
Mexican hot fruit punch (Ponche Navideño) is made with tejocotes (Mexican hawthorn), which look like crab apples but have large pits and a unique flavor. Guavas, apples, and other fruit are added and the drink is flavored with cinnamon and sweetened with piloncillo. This is a wonderfully warming beverage, whether taken with or without piquet (a splash of alcohol).
My thanks to http://gomexico.about.com/od/festivalsholidays/p/christmas.htm for this information