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Mexicanize Your Christmas With These Classic Dishes!

By Amy Hernandez

The Holidays are upon us, and people all around the country will be celebrating in their own unique way. As a Mexican-American, my Christmas looks different from what is usually depicted in American Media. Sure, we reserve pizza and wings for certain events like the Super Bowl or Fourth of July, but Christmas remains a day when we eat authentic Mexican food. The way it usually goes is we treat ourselves to Mexican dishes we see as more special than the ordinary Mexican meals we eat daily. You probably won't find tacos, tortas, chilaquiles, enchiladas, or similar foods served on Christmas in a Mexican or Mexican-American household because we eat these foods regularly. Instead, you'll find foods that are more time consuming or challenging to prepare. These foods include los tamales, el mole, el pozole, los flanes, and el chocolate caliente (sometimes champurrado).

Mexican food is delicious, and maybe I'm biased because I'm Mexican-American, but regardless I think it's worth trying. Making Mexican food from scratch, however, isn't easy, and I'll tell you why. Mexican moms, abuelitas, and aunts rarely ever use measurements. I don't know if it's a cultural thing, but every time I've asked my mom how to make something, she always mentions what to put in the food, but not how much, and it's annoying! I love my mom, and her food is amazing, but she is not a good teacher. I truly believe this is why many of us from the younger generation feel completely lost when attempting to cook. When I ask my mom why she doesn't just measure stuff and write it down, she tells me no one taught her how to cook and that all one needs to do is watch other people cook and memorize what they do.

Nonetheless, I have good news. I sat down with my mom for this and made sure I got all the ingredients, steps, and measurements. I'm excited to share my mom's recipes, and I hope you all Mexicanize your Christmas with some of these dishes!

Tamales (red sauce)


  • 1 bag of corn husks

  • 1 5lbs container of La Guadalupana pre-mixed dough for tamales (if you live in a place that doesn't sell this product, you're going to need to prepare the dough from scratch yourself)

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • Salt

  • Onion

  • Oil

  • Guajillo Chiles (15)

  • Cloves (3)

  • Black pepper seeds (6)

  • Cumin

  • Garlic


  1. Cook your chicken in a pot with water, 1tbsp of salt, 1 garlic clove, and a small slice of onion for 40-60 minutes

  2. In a blender, blend 15 guajillo chiles, 3 cloves, 6 black pepper seeds, a pinch of cumin, and one garlic clove (make sure to blend it well)

  3. Once your chicken is cooked and cooled down, shred it using your fingers

  4. Fry your sauce in a Teflon frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil

  5. Once the sauce is boiling, add the shredded chicken and remove from heat

  6. Knead your 5lbs La Guadalupana pre-mixed dough for tamales using the leftover chicken broth

  7. Set your tamale steamer pot on medium heat and add water up to the line indicating where the steamer rack will sit

  8. With a spoon, spread about a spoonful of dough onto a corn husk, and add about a spoonful of the chicken in the red sauce

  9. Fold the corn husk by rolling the sides toward the middle and tucking the tail inward

  10. Add your folded tamales into the steamer pot

  11. Tamales will cook for 1 hour on medium heat

Pozole (red)


  • Chicken (whatever pieces you want, but my mom recommends getting a full chicken because this makes it more flavorful)

  • 1 110 oz can of Junita's Mexican Style Hominy (you can also use La Preferida)

  • Bay leaves

  • Oregano

  • Salt

  • Guajillo chiles (7)

  • Garlic

  • Oil

  • Salt

Optional ingredients:

  • Lime

  • Avocado

  • Radishes

  • Cabbage

  • Lettuce


  1. Wash your chicken

  2. Cook it in a pot with water, a slice of onion, and one garlic clove for 1 ½ hours on medium heat

  3. After 1 ½ hours, add the can of hominy, 2 bay leaves, and a pinch of oregano to the pot with the chicken and cook for another half hour on medium heat

  4. In a blender, blend 7 guajillo chiles with a garlic clove

  5. In a Teflon frying pan, fry your blended chile sauce with a tbsp of oil

  6. Once the chile sauce is boiling, add it to the pot with the chicken and hominy

  7. Salt to taste

  8. You can serve pozole with lime, avocado, radishes, cabbage, or lettuce

Mole (red)


  • Chicken (whatever pieces you want)

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Salt

  • Red Mole Teloloapan 17.6 oz container

  • Cloves

  • Black pepper seeds

  • Cumin

  • Oregano

  • Guajillo chiles (8)

  • Oil


  1. Clean your chicken

  2. Cook your chicken in a pot with water, a slice of onion, a garlic clove, and 1 tbsp of salt for 1 ½ hours

  3. Wash 8 guajillo chiles and boil them in a small pot for approximately 5 minutes

  4. In a blender, blend 3 black pepper seeds, a pinch of cumin, a garlic clove, a pinch of oregano, and the 8 boiled guajillo chiles

  5. Take half of the mole sauce in the Teloloapan container and mix it with the sauce you blended in step 4

  6. Take the mixture and fry it in a large Teflon frying pan with 1 tbsp of oil

  7. Once the sauce is boiling, add the shredded chicken and cook for about an hour at medium heat



  • Sugar

  • Sweetened condensed milk (Nestle La Lechera)

  • Evaporated milk (Nestle Carnation Clavel)

  • Vanilla extract

  • Eggs (4)

  • Coffee


  1. Melt 6 tbsp of sugar until liquefied and golden in color

  2. Pour the melted sugar into a 9 inch round aluminum or metal baking dish (make sure to turn the dish to coat the bottom evenly

  3. In a blender, blend 4 eggs, 1 can of condensed milk, 1 can of evaporated milk, ¼ tsp of coffee, and 1 tbsp of vanilla extract

  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and steam for about 40 minutes at low heat (have the lid of your pot slightly open and check after 30 minutes for better results)

  5. Poke the center of the flan with a toothpick, and if it comes out dry, you're all done

Chocolate Caliente


  • Milk (4 cups)

  • 1 Mexican Chocolate tablet (like Chocolate Abuelita)


  1. Heat four cups of milk and 1 chocolate tablet in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat

  2. Whisk constantly until the chocolate is fully dissolved and begins to boil

  3. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Agua de Horchata (rice water)


  • 1 cup of rice

  • Ground cinnamon

  • 1 can of condensed milk

  • 1 can of evaporated milk

  • 1 liter of milk

  • Ice

  • Sugar

  • Water

  • Large pitcher

  • Long spoon


  1. Soak 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water overnight

  2. In a blender, blend the soaked rice with 2 more cups of water and ¼ tbsp of cinnamon

  3. Using a strainer, strain the blended rice water and add to a large pitcher

  4. Add one can of condensed milk to the pitcher

  5. Add one can of evaporated milk

  6. Add one liter of milk

  7. Add 2 liters of water

  8. Add 1 cup of sugar

  9. Add your desired amount of ice

  10. Mix with a long spoon, and enjoy!

Amy Hernandez is an editorial intern dedicated to researching and writing about all things skincare, film, and fashion.

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