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Every year around this time I try to come up with a new holiday recipe that can serve as a vegetarian entrée or a side dish. This year I made a Mexican Nogada sauce, which originated in my family’s hometown of Puebla, Mexico, and paired it with corn and cheese tamales and chile roasted vegetables.



Tamales with Roasted Vegetables

This is a wonderful meal for entertaining. It can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated before serving. The flavors here are soft and subtle, without the usual intense heat associated with Mexican cuisine. Serve the dish with some fresh Pico De Gallo, guacamole and chips and you have a gorgeous vegetarian meal!

Nogoda Sauce
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons jalapenos, minced
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add half of the jalapenos and pulse a few times. Taste for desired amount of heat and add more chiles accordingly. Chill.



Corn and Cheese Tamales
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 10 tamales
  • 12-14 corn husks
  • 2 cups sweet corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 10 rectangular pieces
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup Bob's Red Mill masa harina
  • ¼ cup Bob's Red Mill stone ground cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons - ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Optional: 2 heaping tablespoons mild diced green chiles
  1. Place the corn husks in a large bowl of hot water to soften.
  2. Using a food processor, mix the corn meal, masa harina, baking powder, salt and cayenne.
  3. Add the butter and corn and process until the dough is smooth.
  4. Pour in milk and mix, forming a soft masa.
  5. Stir in green chiles.
  6. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes.
  7. To assemble, drain the husks and cut or pull 2 of the corn husks into ¼ inch strips to use as ties.
  8. Using 1 corn husk, fold husk in half lengthwise, then pinch the ends together and tie each end with 1 husk strip, as if it were a candy wrapper. Repeat 10 times.
  9. Using a spoon or a small ice-cream scoop, place 2 tablespoons of dough into the cornhusk wrapper.
  10. Tuck a knob of cheese into the center of the masa, pull the husk closed, and set aside.
  11. Repeat until you have filled all of the husks.
  12. In a large pot with a steaming rack (a vegetable steam rack works well), boil an inch or two of water. Carefully place the tamales on the rack, cover the pot and steam the tamales for 20 minutes. Be sure to check the water level in the pot and add more water as necessary. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat but keep the pot covered so the tamales stay warm.

Chile Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Trim and half the Brussels sprouts.
  3. In a large pot of boiling water, parboil the Brussels sprouts for 5–7 minutes.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Cut the acorn squash in half cross-wise, scoop out seeds.
  6. Cut each squash ring in half and place in a large bowl.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss.
  8. Place on a sheet pan, sprinkle with chile powder, season with some salt and roast for 10 minutes.
  9. Place the onions and Brussels sprouts in the bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  10. Place on the sheet pan with the squash and roast for 10 minutes until the sprouts are tender. Shut the heat off and keep the veggies in the warm oven until your ready to serve.
I usually leave the skin on the squash, however, depending on how fresh the squash is, the skin can be very tough. The skin can be removed before or after roasting if desired.

Place the veggies on a warm platter and then arrange the tamales on top of the veggies. Garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve with the Nogado Sauce.


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