(Family Features) As you gather with loved ones for the holidays, you can enhance the magic of the season by adding Chispa - a special spark - to your dinner table. It's as easy as adding classic Mexican dishes to your menu.
The key to adding this special spark is using authentic Mexican ingredients, which you can find in recipes like Chorizo and Oaxaca Tamales and Oaxaca, Potato and Chorizo Empanadas. These flavorful dishes feature delicious additions from Cacique, one of the country's top authentic Hispanic food brands, that the whole family will love.
When planning your flavor-fueled festivities, consider these must-have ingredients.
* Chorizo: Whether pork, beef or soy, chorizo adds the spices and hearty flavors of Mexican cuisine to any recipe.
* Oaxaca: Similar in flavor to mozzarella but even meltier, you can enjoy this buttery cheese in many dishes.
* Crema Mexicana: With a neutral, fresh-tasting flavor and silky, pourable texture, this everyday table cream is used for balancing spicy dishes.
Find more delicious additions to your holiday menu at CaciqueFoods.com.
Chorizo and Oaxaca Tamales
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
40 dried corn husks
3 packages Cacique Pork, Beef or Soy Chorizo
1 medium onion (about 1 cup), minced
8 pounds basic tamale dough, at room temperature
3 packages (10 ounces each) Cacique Oaxaca Cheese, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Cacique Crema Mexicana, for serving
Cacique Homestyle Mild Salsa, for serving
In large bowl, cover corn husks with boiling water and soak at least 1 hour. Remove excess water and pat each husk dry.
In large skillet, cook chorizo according to package instructions. Add onions; saute over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
To make tamales:
Prepare one husk at a time by placing husk on open palm, smearing 3 tablespoons tamale dough on husk from side to side and to bottom, leaving 3 inches of top untouched for folding. Place 1 tablespoon chorizo mixture in center and top with one strip of Oaxaca. Fold 1/3 of husk to left and 1/3 to right, overlapping; pinch bottom to seal and gently fold over top to create small rectangle.
Add adequate room temperature water to tamale steamer and set steamer grate. Place formed tamales, vertically and upside down, tightly packed. Once first layer of tightly packed tamales is complete, begin second layer of tamales horizontally.
Cover and steam over medium-high heat 45 minutes-1 hour. Check water level at 45 minutes. If water is low, gently add hot water to side of pot.
Remove one tamale to check doneness. Tamale is cooked when dough separates from husk when unwrapping. Serve hot with crema and salsa.
Oaxaca, Potato and Chorizo Empanadas
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 24 empanadas
1 stick, plus 6 tablespoons, cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 egg, at room temperature, whisked
1 package Cacique Pork Chorizo
2 russet potatoes, cubed
5 ounces Cacique Oaxaca Cheese, cubed
1 egg, well-beaten, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To make dough:
Use pastry cutter or fork to cut butter into flour until it forms crumbly consistency. Sprinkle in salt and stir. Pour in warm water and egg; stir until clumpy dough forms. Knead dough about 5 minutes. Cut dough into 24 pieces and, using hands, roll each piece into ball. With rolling pin, roll balls evenly into 5-6-inch circles.
To make filling:
In pan over medium heat, cook chorizo, stirring until it crumbles. Add cubed potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft then uncover and cook 5-10 minutes until liquid evaporates.
Fill empanadas by placing 2-3 tablespoons chorizo and potato mixture with 2-3 Oaxaca cubes in each dough circle. With finger, run egg wash across one side of circles. Fold over and seal edges by pressing down with fork or create folds and pinch to seal filling inside. Brush tops with egg wash.
Prepare parchment-lined baking sheets and place empanadas on sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden-brown.