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Mansfield Magazine

Holiday Tamale Pairings You Can Do Yourself (Web Extra)

Nov 10, 2014 10:26AM ● By Kevin
In our November-December edition of Mansfield Magazine, Cookin' With Carol's Carol Ritchie encourages family tradition in making holiday meals. A common tradition in Mexican households during the holiday season is tamale making, which has gained popularity in Texas.

Carol shares recipes and techniques for each step of the tamale-making process. While tamales are generally a standalone meal in Mexico, if you're looking for good pairings with the dish, here are some yummy extras you might find locally.

Do you make tamales each year? Share your favorite techniques, tips and sides in the comments below.

To Drink

Atole is a traditional hot corn and masa beverage in Mexico and Central America. It can be served a number of ways, including a chocolate version. Masa is used to thicken the beverage, while flavor is added through the use of cinnamon and/or brown sugar.

A simple way to make atole as a compliment to your tamales is to throw 1/2 cup of masa, 5 cups of water, a tablespoon of cinnamon and 5 tablespoons of brown sugar cones (piloncillo) in a blender until smooth. Transfer the contents to a saucepan and heat until boiling, then reduce heat to low. Whisk for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in a tablespoon of vanilla extract and serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of Elizabeth on

Another easy beverage to serve with tamales is chocolate caliente (or Mexican hot chocolate). Nestle has a recipe that takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Click here for more details.

Finally, if you're looking for an added kick, horchata can now be made into an alcoholic beverage. The easier alternative to making your own and adding a splash of rum is to buy any one of an array of horchata liqueurs. For under $25 each, Rumchata Cream Liqueur, Chila 'Orchata, and Cruzan Velvet Cinn Horchata are fine choices. Pour over ice and sprinkle some cinnamon on top, or combine with a cake-flavored vodka and enjoy.

To Start

Guacamole is an easy starter. I take five avocados and combine with 1/2 diced red onion, a diced jalepeno pepper, two tablespoons of chopped cilantro, a diced tomato, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of black pepper. Then, I toss with as much lime juice as desired (the more the better) and mix until smooth.


Posole (or, traditionally "pozole") is a hearty soup that goes well with tamales. This can take up to five hours to make, which is perfect for the tamale-making process, which will also take quite some time. Put your posole on in the morning and get an appetite going. The house will smell great in time for you to chow down on the full meal. 

Click here for a recipe from the Food Network.

Fideo is another good complimentary dish to tamales, especially if your tamales are filled with the meats suggested in Carol's recipe. This pasta should be fried over vegetable oil until browned. I always add my spices before the sauces so the noodles can absorb the flavors. So, cumin, garlic salt and chili powder go in next, followed by tomato sauce and water. Boil, then add more tomato sauce and water, cover and cook 10 minutes. A recipe with good measurements similar to the way I've made it in the past can be found at, courtesy of TINYANT1.

On the Side

As suggested by, soft-fried or scrambled eggs are an excellent side for tamales. Adding sliced avocados, tomatoes, onions, pinto beans and sweet green peppers give the dish a nice presentation.

A good black bean salad can be made by combining black beans with chopped onions, cilantro and tomatoes.

Another side salad can be made with avocados and tomatoes topped with oil, lime juice, cumin and chopped cilantro.

Local Fare

Never had tamales before? Want to try them before you make them? Not enough time to make them and craving something good? Below is a list of area restaurants that serve tamales on the menu:







For Carol's recipe, make sure you read the November-December issue of Mansfield Magazine, and then tell us your favorite methods to cook tamales and ways to eat them in the comments below.

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