What We Had for Christmas Dinner
When we take our family Christmas trips, we try to cook a Christmas dinner that reflects to some degree the region we are visiting. Since we rent a house, it’s no problem to cook for ourselves.
We do a little research to figure out the menu. In the case of Los Angeles, we decided on tamales as our main dish. We did not try to make our own tamales, though. Instead, we bought them cold at Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales in a part of Los Angeles called Pacoima. We drove over there after visiting the Huntington Library in Pasadena (there will be a separate post on that visit soon).
For some reason, we thought these two places were close to each other, maybe because they both begin with “P”. (We are not very strong on LA geography.) They are not at all close, nor does Pacoima bear any resemblance to Pasadena. But Me Gusta was a good place to get tamales.
We got a dozen tamales: red pork, green pork, peppers and cheese, and corn. They were all very good, though the corn tamale is basically corn meal stuffed with sweet corn kernels. My favorite was peppers and cheese. The tamales come wrapped in corn husks and should be steamed to reheat. They kept just fine in the fridge for a couple of days.
Though the tamales came from a store, other foods we prepared ourselves. Danny made a green tomatillo salsa. This required roasting tomatillos, onion, hot peppers, and garlic in the oven. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes when you remove the outer husk.
Then you mash them up together in a food processor, adding some cilantro and fresh lime juice. Delicious, but be careful how much hot pepper you put in there. In our case, two peppers was too many.
Danny also made a brown chile-chocolate mole from paste bought at the Grand Central Market downtown.
Finally, we made a tres leches cake for desert. This is just a regular white cake, with a mixture of whole milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk poured on top. UPDATE: Judy tells me it’s NOT a regular white cake, so just look at the recipe. Here’s the recipe we used.
So here’s our dinner table about mid-way through our meal. We are pretty informal about these holiday dinners. Did I mention the huge steamed artichokes? We bought those at the farmers’ market. We ended up having tamales for breakfast and afternoon snacks the following day.
So how was your Christmas dinner?
Next post: Watts Towers.