Tamales take a LOT of time to make, so in Texas they’re a “special occasion” food–perfect for Christmas!
Typically the meat is seasoned and cooked in preparation, then the whole family or a group of women get together for a tamale-making party.
You may be familiar with the kind that’s stuffed with pork or seasoned chicken, but sweet tamales are an extra-special treat.
Here are two “How-To” videos. The first will give you a quick overview. The second one is longer and more in depth, in case you want to try making this Christmas Eve meal for yourself.
If you’d like to try making sweet tamales, I found a lovely recipe here.
Honestly, I’ve only been to one tamales party–a fun experience, but one I filed under “This Activity Is For Experts. Don’t Try It On Your Own!” 😉 Fortunately you can usually find tamales for sale at your grocery or from a local vendor at holiday time. Unfortunately, they can be a bit pricey, so I’ll include this simple idea for stretching them to feed a family.
1 dozen tamales, unwrapped
1 can chili with beans
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
Crumble six tamales in a 9″x 9″ casserole dish. Top with half the chili. Repeat, and top with cheese. Heat and eat!