As I said the other day when I shared Pork Vindaloo. I have two favorite cultural cuisines, Mexican and Indian.
I still don’t know which came first my love for Mexican food or my love for my man, followed by learning about the traditional foods from his relatives. =D
I know when Rick and I got married everything was too spicy, I hated the powerful flavor of cilantro, and I didn’t like avocados.
When you look at it that way, I guess my love of Mexican food must have come in later, over the years of our marriage.
Now, many things are still too spicy for me;
I can’t add enough cilantro to some things, and the guacamole I used to scoop off my food and gladly give to my man, is now “my precious.” I can’t imagine not loving these things now.
Accepting New Traditions
Along with learning to like new flavors, this white American girl has exchanged Christmas turkey, ham or rib roast for a traditional Mexican Christmas.
Three days were spent tamale making Christmas week. One day preparing all the yummy fillings; red chile pork, picadillo, and green chile chicken. Another day to turn 80 lbs. of masa, plus fillings into corn husk filled tamales; a whole refrigerator filled with them.
This included two more varieties – green chile stuffed with cheese, and sweet tamales made by combining masa with brown sugar, pineapple, and raisins.
Lastly, and most importantly is Christmas Day, which is spent steaming hundreds of tamales in huge pots for all the family to enjoy as breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. It’s a lot of work, but this tradition is well worth all the time.
As many family members as can make it, come together after weeks, even months apart to make the tamales, but we also gather to tease, gossip, and share our news and memories. This year, happy news, one of the “tamalinas” (female maker of tamales) was carrying a future generation due next June, I counted 4 generations around the table making tamales for Christmas 2015. Plus, a potential future member of the family came with my oldest son to enjoy the fun of tamale making and meet the family for the first time.
These were happy days.
Ahh, the wonder of reminiscing.
The following recipe, my boys have always called Aztec Soup.
It’s a warm quickly made chicken soup with added homemade salsa that always brings joy to my family. Usually I double the batch in hope of leftovers. But there rarely is.
- 1 lb. Chicken, cooked and shredded
(or simmer chicken tenders in the broth until cooked and then shred.)
- 32 oz. Chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup cilantro
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 tablespoon Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Optional Garnishes: We prefer to add all of them. =D
- Avocado or guacamole
- shredded cheese
- tortilla chips
- sour cream
- Combine chicken, broth and salt in pot.
- Process or blend the cilantro, tomatoes, onion, and chipotle pepper just until finely chopped.
3. Add to pot and bring just to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer on low for 5 minutes to heat through.