Christmas in New Mexico is very traditional, combining centuries old customs of the Native Americans with the four hundred year old Spanish traditions. If you haven't experienced Christmas in New Mexico, plan to real soon. From the luminarias lighting home after home, block after block combined with all manner of colorful lighting to the special foods--Christmas here is indeed memorable.
Candlelighted choirs are everywhere. Both secular and religious music are very popular and singing in the plazas, churchs and auditioriums fairly ring with beautiful music.
In addition to the luminarias which are candles nestled in sand in paper sacks to small bonfires made from pinon wood shich scent the air in a very special way. The crisp, clear high altitude air mades for a very special setting.
The culinary traditions are to serve the state cookie, Bizcochitos with hot chocolate after viewing the outdoor lighting and singing. Families vary with their traditions. Many native families serve posole on Christmas eve for dinner, other always serve posole for good luck on New Years. I am including my favorite Posole recipe from our cooking schools.
New Mexico is special year round, we look forward to welcoming you here next year. We have great discounts available until noon Christmas Eve--20% off live or on-line classes, free sneak peeks of our cooking club which you simply must join, 10% off our Oaxaca trip and free shipping on our products and cookbooks offered until the end of the year. Check out our website at www.janebutel.com
Here's my favorite Posole recipe--
Dried Corn with Pork and Red Chiles
You may serve this either as a side dish or main dish. I like to layer toppings such as fresh shredded cabbage, fresh lime juice and fresh chopped onion.
Yield: 15 to 16 servings
1 pound dried posole
1 quart water, or more
2 pounds pork, steak or roast, cut into ½” cubes
1 Tablespoon salt or to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of Mexican oregano
1 Tablespoon cumin, or to taste
¼ cup caribe chile or to taste
1. Simmer the posole in unseasoned water until it becomes soft and the kernels have burst open; it usually requires 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Brown the pork in a cold, well-seasoned frying pan; adding no fat or oil to the pan. Saute until very browned, then add to the posole. Deglaze the frying pan with 1 cup water, stirring to loosen the brownies sticking to the pan. Also add to the posole.
3. Add remaining ingredients, using one-half the cumin and cook the stew for 1 or more hours, to blend the flavors. Just before serving, add the remaining half of cumin. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Ideally, this dish should be started the morning before it is to be served, to allow the flavors to develop.