The last of the tamales get unwrapped on February 2nd in my home as we celebrate Candlemas Day. Dia de La Candelaria as it is referred to in Spanish speaking countries. For us, Dia de la Candelaria is just that one last day we get to hold on to the holidays. Our Christmas decorations are put away right after and we prepare ourselves for Lent and the Easter celebration.
Because those who find the baby figurine in the kings cake during Epiphany usually must host a feast on Candelmas Day, tamales are served. Of course, the holiday has a deeper meaning. It celebrates three occasions according to Christian belief: the presentation of the child Jesus; Jesus’ first entry into the temple; and Catholics celebrate the Virgin Mary’s purification.
For me, this holiday is also another reason for family to gather and just keep celebrating around a traditional feast. Because we tipically won’t enjoy tamales for about nine more month’s, these tangy pork chile verde tamales are a great way to bid an “until next time” to one of the most popular Mexican foods of the year.
- 30 corn husks for tamales
- 9 ounces (about 8) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 2 serrano chiles
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon Maggi Chicken Flavor Bouillon, divided
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 pound pork loin, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon Nescafe Clasico Coffee Granules
- ¼ cup Carnation Evaporated Milk Low Fat
- 5 cups (2 1/2 pounds) prepared masa for tamales
- Soak corn husks in hot water for at least 1 hour.
- Combine tomatillos, chiles and enough water to cover in a 3-quart stock pot. Heat over medium-high heat for 12 to 15 minutes or until tomatillos begin to darken. Remove from heat and drain.
- Place cooked tomatillos, chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic and ½ teaspoon bouillon in a blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork cubes; season with coffee granules and remaining ½ teaspoon bouillon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
- Add half of the tomatillo salsa to pork. Stir in evaporated milk; cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool.
- Place 1 corn husk on a flat surface, pointy side down. Spread ¼ cup masa over husk; top with 1 ½ tablespoons pork mixture.
- Fold sides over filling. Fold pointy side under.
- Repeat with remaining husks and pork mixture.
- Fill a large, deep pot with 2 to 3 inches of water. Cover the bottom and sides with a layer of corn husks. Stand tamales in the pot with open side up. If pot is too big, put a mug or small bowl inside to ensure tamales stay upright.
- Cover tamales with remaining husks and damp towel; cover with lid. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium, adding water as needed. Steam for 80 minutes or until masa pulls away from husk.
- Serve with remaining tomatillo salsa.
- Tip: Remove serrano chile seeds if you prefer a milder version of this recipe.
Recipe developed for Nestle.