Mexican cuisine is very much alive and thriving in the United States.
In whatever state you are whether, in Texas or California, you would always see restaurants serving various kinds of Mexican food. And most of these restaurants are very popular in whatever city they are in.
It is then not surprising that even at home, Mexican food recipes are the rage these days. There is Mexican food for every season and occasion.
If you’re searching for classic and traditional Mexican dishes to enjoy during the holidays but are unfamiliar with their names, you’re in luck! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most popular Mexican dishes for you to try.
Since the US and Mexico share a border with each other, influences from both sides are very evident.
Historically and culturally, one can easily notice how both territories meet at certain points.
As mentioned, you can outright observe it through food or cuisine.
Thus, it is only logical that there are actual events and celebrations in the US that are dedicated to Mexican heritage.
Apart from Mexican Americans, these holidays are also greatly celebrated by a lot of Americans especially in the Southern States like Texas.
Cinco de Mayo is probably the most popular of these celebrations. In the context of this celebration in the US, this day serves as the commemoration of Mexican culture, traditions, and food. Think of it like St. Patrick’s Day for Irish-Americans.
During this day, a lot of Americans with Mexican heritage celebrate it grandiosely by preparing some of the best Mexican dishes and drinks.
Like in Mexico, Christmas is also widely celebrated in the US. There is a very high probability that some Mexican dishes will find their way on most households’ tables during Christmas Eve.
Moreover, there are also many fiestas and other events across different cities and states celebrating this heritage.
And to help your family celebrate these holidays, here are seven traditional Mexican dishes and food you must try cooking (or ordering)!
A list of traditional Mexican dishes would never be complete without the famous Tamale. You have probably eaten this dish already at least once or twice, or maybe many times.
Tamales is basically a seasoned filling wrapped in masa or dough.
Most of the time, the filling is made of a spiced meaty sauce. But there are already vegetarian versions you can also do. This dish can be likened to how a steamed bun is made.
The major difference is, in Tamales, the wrapping is corn-based dough or masa.
The preparation of making tamales is just easy. The important ingredients are the meat filling (which can either be pork, beef, or chicken in mole sauce), the dough, and the corn husk as the wrapper.
The difficult part is waiting for it to be cooked. On average, you need around 5 hours to steam this dish.
Birria is an authentic Mexican dish that originated from the state of Jalisco.
Traditionally, the Birria stew uses goat or lamb meat but nowadays, beef is widely used as an alternative.
This stew is perfect for cold holidays such as Christmas. Oftentimes, this is also served in celebrations such as weddings.
Sometimes, Birria is also eaten with tacos if you don’t like soup.
The main ingredients include beef or lamb meat, guajillo chili, tomatoes, onions, cumin, coriander, salt, garlic, and lime. The best way to serve Birria is to pair it with rice or beans.
Like Birria, Chile Relleno is also an authentic Mexican dish. It originated from Puebla City. “Stuffed chile” is the direct translation of this food.
Originally, the food is made of poblano peppers. But nowadays, alternative chili peppers can also be used. The stuffing inside these peppers is commonly ground beef or pork seasoned with a lot of spices and then Oaxaca cheese. This is the reason why the dish gives a very flavorful taste.
Chile Relleno is typically cooked by roasting and frying. You may serve it with sauces like salsa Roja or top it with grated cheese.
This dish is very popular in Mexican restaurants across the United States and the world.
You can order it in all seasons but its peak is during August-October where key ingredients like walnut and pomegranates are also in season.
Like Chile Relleno, Chiles en Nogada is also a stuffed dish.
The major difference is that Chiles en Nogada is topped with walnut cream. This walnut-based cream is called Nogada.
Preferably, poblano chiles must be used. The chiles are then roasted and stuffed with seasoned chopped meat with a lot of spices and herbs.
Typically, the meat (either beef or pork) is flavored with chopped potatoes, onion, tomatoes, and candied fruits.
This dish is served with a walnut-based cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and of course, parsley.
To complete this list, we need something sweet and easy to make. And there is probably nothing as sweet and easier to do than champurrado.
Champurrado is a chocolate-based food or beverage that is popular in Mexico and some Asian countries.
This is commonly served during cold seasons like the Christmas holidays but you can always prepare a glass or a bowl whenever you like.
The ingredients you need are Mexican chocolate tablets, milk, pinole, water, a cinnamon stick, water, and of course piloncillo or any sugar available to you.
The best way to drink or eat champurrado is with a piece or two of tamales.
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