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February 1999 Issue
Mexican Treats Revisited
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to the First Anniversary issue of Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair! This month's theme is a revisit to Mexican foods. Among the recipes in my family archives is my recipe for red tamales. These wonderful treats can be served any time of year, but traditionally they are prepared in the winter and around Christmas time. This is probably due to the fact that steaming them will warm up the house with wonderful aromas.

A couple of warnings about tamales: First, this is not a low calorie recipe! This recipe is how my grandmother made them and is authentically Mexican. Secondly, tamales are a lot of work to prepare, but well worth it! I generally plan 2 days for making tamales, one day for the meat and chili, and the second day for preparing the masa, wrapping the tamales and steaming them. I will generally make between 10 to 20 dozen tamales during one weekend of cooking.

Steamed tamales freeze well for future use, providing that they aren't all eaten by friends and relatives! It is customary to give some of your tamales to family members as a special treat for them to enjoy at their leisure.

Besides red tamales, my grandmother also made two other varieties of tamales, one with raisins and cinnamon, and another with corn and green chilies. Recipes for these variations may appear in a future column.

The recipes presented this month are from my yet to be published Mexican cookbook, Cousins Cuisine. Feel free to email me at with your comments and requests. Be well, and good eating!

Now, on to the recipes!

Mexican Treats Revisited
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