It is that time of the year when gathering around food is one of the key fun things about Christmas and the holiday season. No matter where you are in the world, yes even in countries where there is no official celebration of Christmas, the vibe around shops, offices, and homes is about eating, gifting and sharing. So yes, this season is delicious, from hot chocolate, cookies, warm wine, turkey, etc. Here we would like to share some hot and tasty Mexican traditional Christmas foods you can include this month in any of your celebrations.
1.Ponche Navideño - Mexican Fruit Punch
This very easy to make yet delicious drink to warm up this winter. Mexican hot fruit punch is made with tejocotes (Mexican hawthorn), which look like crab apples but have large pits and a unique flavor. If you don't find tejocotes you can use other fruits, such as peach, guavas, apples, the drink is flavored with cinnamon and sweetened with piloncillo mexican raw cane sugar in blocks. If you don't find this type of sugar you can use coconut sugar as a healthier substitute. You can add a splash of alcohol rum for example to give a kick but not necessary.
2. Spicy Hot Chocolate
For the Chocolate lovers, why not trying this nice healthy version using some of our Ancho Powder.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk/oat milk also a wonderful alternative, and coconut milk for those coconut lovers)
3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chopped for easier melting.
2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder.
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder or 1 cinnamon stick for better taste
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp of "Chinelos Ancho Chile Powder"
2 tbs of stevia, coconut sugar, agave syrup or to taste
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3. Mexican Turkey
Did you know that Turkey for Thanksgiving and Christmas is originated from Mexico.
Mexico's wild turkeys had been domesticated by pre-Columbian Indian groups long before the Spanish conquistadors arrived. Several archaeological sites provide clues as to precisely how turkeys were reared. One such site is Casas Grandes in the northern state of Chihuahua, an area where modern, large-scale turkey-rearing is an important contributor to the local economy.
How to prepare a delicious Mexican Christmas Style Turkey?
Here our chosen recipe!
1.Preheat oven to 180º C
2. Inject the turkey one day before cooking with white wine leave it in the fridge overnight.
3. Roast tomatoes and chile pods without seeds without burning. Remove the skin of the tomato and blend the two ingredients.
4.Shave the onions and squeeze the garlics.
5. In a pot heat the olive oil and add the onions and squeezed garlics until golden fried.
6. Add the blended tomatoes and chillies sauce and add salt, garlic and chicken stock an let it boil at slow fire.
7. Add the sauce to the turkey, make sure to rub thoroughly all parts of the turkey.
8. Put into oven for 4-5 hours at 180º C temperature.
9. Once out of the oven cut in slices to better serve.
You may set some of the chillie tomato mixture sauce on the side to add more once served.
4.Baked White Rice with Poblano Peppers
As a side dish to the turkey this is one of my grandmothers staple dish.
1 cup of pre cooked rice
1/2 cup of cream
1 cup of poblano peppers cut in strips
Salt pepper and spices up to taste.
1. Cook rice
2.Place cooked rice in a oven tray,
3.Mix cream, salt, pepper, a bit of poblano pepper and blend.
4.Add cream mixture to the rice, add poblano pepper strips and grated cheese on top.
Put into oven 180º C 10 minutes to make cheese melt. You can also do it in the microwave.
Serve with your Turkey Dish.
1. BEANS AND KALE TACOS
Heat oil over a low flame in a medium sized sauté pan. Add the garlic and onions and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until translucent.
For the Hibiscus Filling
Make the filling: Bring 4 cups of water to boil. Add the dried hibiscus, turn the heat off and let it steep for 30 min. to an hour.steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Strain the mixture and save the tea to make agua fresca. Rinse the hibiscus flowers with clean water. Add the strained hibiscus flowers to a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment and pulse until chopped.
In a pan set over medium heat, add oil and chopped onion, when it starts to brown add the hibiscus flowers. Mix constantly so the onion does’t burn. When the hibiscus flowers are starting to brown, add a generous pinch of salt and the serrano peppers (if you don't have serrano peppers, you may add any chili in powder). Let warm and set aside.
Warm your tortillas and add a spoon of the hibiscus flower mix and add guacamole, or simply avocado slices and salsa up to taste.
A typical chili pepper packs more vitamin C than an orange, so if you need your extra C, eat chili peppers. How much vitamin C, you ask? A single 14 gram jalapeno pepper contains 10% of your daily needs. According to Nutrition Data, a single 73 gram chili pepper contains 83% of vitamin C. As a powerful antioxidant, it is very important for wound healing and immune function. According to Bridget Benelam of the British Nutrition Foundation. A red pepper contains twice the Vitamin C of a green one, and ten times the Vitamin A. One cup of raw, chopped red pepper gives 100 to 150 per cent of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and 80 per cent of Vitamin A.
Making the most of peppers
However, in order to benefit from their Vitamin C content, they mainly must be eaten freshly chopped or fry slowly on a low heat.
Vitamin C is destroyed by heat and is also water-soluble so if you boil red peppers, you'll lose a lot in the water. Levels of Vitamin C drop as soon as peppers have been chopped, so it is preferable to cut right just before eating.
To get the most beta-carotene and lycopene in Chiles, is good to cook them in olive oil and add oil to salad dressings. The cooking process enables the body to digest and absorbs these nutrients.
Chiles in general are packed with many other nutrients. They are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and rank in the low range of glycemic index. It is also a good source of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. (Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2895/2.)
Many Historians believe that the taco first came along in the 18th century, created by and for miners, but this myth is soon to be debunked. The word taco comes from the nahuatl “tlahco” which literally means “in the middle”. It is known that in pre-hispanic Mexico, the natives used the corn to make tortillas, and with them, they transported any kind of stew, meat, and dish, into their mouths. There is no exact date as to which the tortilla was invented, but it would be pretty accurate to say that it wasn’t in the 18th century, given the fact that the Spaniards arrived to Mexico in the 16th century. Back in Ancient Mexico, the main source of meat was the Guajolote (Turkey), so perhaps, the first taco ever consumed was a turkey taco, something people don’t consume anymore. Today, tacos are eaten all around the world as fast food, and they have been adapted to each culture, things such as the hard-shelled tortillas have changed how people think about tacos, but never forget, that tacos can date back as around a thousand (probably more) years ago.
How many types of Chiles are there?
Did you know that from the 5 main species of Capsicum Peppers (C. annuum, C. baccatum, C. chinense, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens). Capsicum Annuum L is the most common and important group. The greatest diversity comes from Mexico for being its center of domestication, growing over 140 kinds, and trading 64 types.
The most important types are; the green serrano peppers base of the famous "salsa verde", jalapeño, guajillo and ancho, these ones are mild in heat scale but they are strong in flavour and have the most uses. These four are mainly grown in the center and north of Mexico. Next but not least important are the pasilla, habanero, arbol and manzano (apple pepper). There are many others with unique flavours that make Mexican cuisine so special. Some of the chiles are mainly used in their fresh forms such as jalapeños, serrano, habanero and arbol. While ancho, guajillo, cascabel, mulato and pasilla are dried. Others are smoked dried such as chipotle, morita and mora imparting heat with smoky and tobacco overtones.
The environment where they grow impact directly on their flavour. Diversity in soil, temperature, sun exposure, and in general weather condition determine their quality, how meaty, colourful and tasty they are. That is why Mexico's diverse climates and rich land allows their harvest.
Which one is your favourite?
Source: Mexican Ministry of Agriculture: www.sagarpa.com.mx