Christmas dinner in Central America has much in common with other Latin American countries, especially its love for all kinds of tamales. A few that come to mind are the famous Venezuelan hallacas, nacatamales from Nicaragua, and Peruvian tamales, among many others.
I've prepared this no-fuss recipe for baked tamales especially for you all; they're easy to make, simply delicioso and offer plenty for everyone. In this version, I've used my sister Belinda's favorite filling alongside a pudding-like tamale dough (masa) that turns out wonderfully.
In a typical Nicaraguan Christmas dinner, tradition calls for serving these tamales with a variety of breads, so make sure to have various types of rolls on hand. A light, fresh salad also makes a good accompaniment for this succulent dish.
To simplify your holiday preparations, try making the tamale filling the day before so your last-minute preparation will only consist of layering and baking the dish. 'Masa harina' is a special flour used for making tortillas, but it's also available specifically for tamales. This particular blend comes already seasoned, but any other will also give you spectacular results.
Of course, depending on where you are, you can add local ingredients from your country to customize this dish for your Christmas dinner. Why not try seasoning the tamale dough with Salvadorean recaudo? This sabroso mix of seasonings will completely change the character of these tamales and will give them a unique flavor.
With all the time you've saved by not wrapping dozens of tamales, you can serve yourself a lovely glass of wine and put your feet up before dinner starts. Don’t forget a few slices of cucumber for the eyes and a honey mask for the face–relax for a bit and you’ll look radiant when your guests arrive!