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Tamales For Breakfast

Tamale Traditions
When I was a little girl en mi casa, tamales came around only at Christmas time. I understand why! Making tamales is a project that requires preparation and time. It was an all day affair that required lots of hard work, from sunup to sundown. My ama made enough for her large family for Christmas Eve dinner and for sharing with some of the vecinos. Mexican culture and tradition, especially during the holidays to share and have an open table for family and guests. After the traditional tamale dinnerwe always had enough for a delicious breakfast the next day and maybe a quick lunch for a couple of days after. My personal favorite way to eat a leftover tamal was for breakfast. 


A YummyTamal Breakfast:
On Christmas morning my ama would unwrap the tamales, (we usually had green chicken tamales) place them in a skillet with a little vegetable oil and let them simmer to warm them. She  flipped the tamales on the skillet until the they were lightly golden and crispy all around the outside. Meanwhile, she also refried her frijoles de la olla, in a skillet with hot oil. Tasty refried beans require plenty of bean broth so that they won't dry up in the "smashing" process. Hot crispy tamales, refried beans and fried eggs, absolutely delicious! I especially enjoy a bite of my tamale dipped into the yolk. With this breakfast, ama didn’t serve too many tortillas since the tamal served that purpose. Por supuesto that we had our choice of salsa or jalapenos. My preference was a marinated jalapeño with my tamal breakfast. We also enjoyed our a nice hot mug of champurrado, a sweet Mexican tradition. This is a popular holiday hot drink, very cozy in the cold months. The milk based drink is thickened with masa and flavored with la “Abuelita” chocolate, sugar (or piloncillo, raw sugar cane) and cinnamon sticks. Maybe, this hot July afternoon is getting to me, I’m writing about a hot drink! This traditional hot chocolate drink was part of our tamal breakfast. Savory tamales make a great breakfast meal, occasionally we chose a crispy sweet tamale with a cup of coffee, both are delicious and fulfilling. 


If you happen to be one of those people that has a “ stock of tamales” in your freezer and you haven’t had tamales for breakfast, I highly recommend my amas simple presentation: Fried eggs, crispy tamales and refried beans, salsa or jalapeños on the side and family to chat with. Just because it’s summertime, there’s no reason you can’t have a "Christmas in tamale" breakfast. Echale ganas! It's a delicious Mexican tradition.

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