If you’ve been following our blog all month then you know we’ve been delivering our readers with culinary tips and ideas to make the most of their Mexican themed holiday festivities. With NYE around the corner we thought we’d provide you all within another helping hand, from kitchen to table, to ensure that your New Year’s celebrations (with a Mexican twist) are a success. Below are three popular dishes that will have your guests raving about your year ending/beginning feast.
3 Mexican Dishes That Will Go Great With Your New Year’s Celebrations
1. Arroz con Leche
In a literal sense, arroz con leche translates to “rice with milk”, resulting in a rise pudding. In Mexico, arroz con leche is so much more. This simple yet delectable dessert/dish marks the arrival of many holiday season celebrations and serves as a perfect addition to your New Year’s offering. Follow the directions below (four servings):
- Soak 1 cup of long grain rice, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tbsp of lemon zest and 3 whole cloves in 4 cups of water (in a heavy saucepan) for 1 hour.
- Once soaked, turn the oven to high-heat and bring the mixture to a boil while leaving the suacepan uncovered.
- Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 10 minutes until the water has almost completely evaporated. Be careful not to let the mixture dry out.
- Pour 3 cups of whole milk into the mix, and stir to consistency.
- Beat 1 egg in bowl and add it to the mixture along with 1 tbsp of vanilla extract and 1 12oz can of sweetened condensed milk and cook over medium to low heat. Stir the mixture carefully until it reaches the desired consistency (approximately 30 minutes).
- Remove from heat, leave uncovered, and allow the pudding to cool.
- Garnish with ground cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, and serve.
2. Chile en Nogadas
Chile en Nomads is a festive colored Mexican dish made with Poblano peppers and stuffed with a combination of shredded meats, fruits, and spices and covered with a white walnut (nogada) cream sauce that is decorated with sweet pomegranate seeds and cilantro. The festive coating of white, red, and green is also a direct homage to the Mexican flag.
Follow the directions below for the chiles (four servings):
- Heat (medium) 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan. Add two diced boneless/skinless chicken breasts and cook.
- In a separate pan, roast four large poblano peppers.
- Once the chicken has been cooked to the point that no pink meat exists, add 2 tsp of diced onions and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp of diced apples, apricots, cranberries, pears, and raisins along with 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in 2 tsp of tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of dry white wine and simmer until the chicken is tender. Season and sprinkle with a touch of sugar for sweetness. Remove from the heat.
- Stuff each roasted poblano pepper with an equal serving of the mixture and set aside on a warm pan.
Follow the directions for the sauce (four servings):
- Heat (low-medium) 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a medium sauté pan and add 1 minced shallots, cooking for approximately 3 minutes.
- Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of dry white wine and simmer (medium heat) for approximately 15 minutes until the wine nearly evaporates.
- Add 2 cups of heavy cream and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until half of the cream has been cooked away.
- Stir in 1/3 cup of ground almonds and season.
- Pour an even portion of the sauce over each poblano pepper until covered and decorate with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.
3. Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de Reyes is traditionally served on January 6 (12 days after Christmas) to celebrate the Epiphany (the arrival of the Wise Men or Magi Kings). But given that your gathering may take place closer to New Year’s Eve or Day you can certainly integrate this traditional dish to accommodate your current guests. Rosca de Reyes is a ring (or oval) shaped sweet round bread/cake that is decorated with colorful crystallized and candied fruits. It is also a fun tradition to hide a decorative coin or doll inside as a surprise (let guests know ahead of time). Follow the directions below (eight servings):
- Start by placing 1/4 cup of candied orange peel, 1/4 cup of candied lemon peel, 1/4 of dried sliced figs, and 1/4 of candied cherries into a small bowl and drizzle 2 tbsp of light or spiced rum on top. Let the candied fruit mixture stand for about 45 minutes.
- Stir 1 package (1/4oz) of dry yeast and 1/4 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Let it sit until the yeast begins to foam.
- In another small pot, warm the 1/4 cup of milk over medium heat and add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, and 1 tsp of salt.
- Mix 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 eggs, the yeast mixture, the milk mixture, and the rum-infused candied fruits in a large bowl until the thick dough forms a ball.
- Place the dough mixture onto a lightly-floured surface, kneading it until it becomes consistent and elastic. Ball it up again and place it back into the bowl, covering it with plastic wrap. Set the bowl aside in a warm place for approximately one hour so that the dough can rise.
- After an hour, remove the dough from the bowl, place on a floured surface, and knead and roll it into a long rope. Shape the dough rope into an oval ring. Remember to sneak the decorative coin, doll, or toy into the ring, from its bottom.
- Place aluminum foil on a baking pan, coat it with nonstick cooking spray and proceed to transfer the dough ring onto it.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Beat one egg and 1 tbsp of water into a small bowl and brush the blend into the top of the bread/cake ring.
- Decorate the top of the bread/cake ring with the additional candied fruits (orange, lemon, cherry) and bake for approximately 40 minutes, checking often until the cake evidences a golden surface.
- Cool before serving.
Feliz Año Nuevo!