In years past, I’ve never second guessed eating turkey for Thanksgiving and again a month later for Christmas. But this year, the idea of turkey again so quickly (especially considering how quickly life is going by right now), just doesn’t seem appealing. So in the spirit of alternative and still delicious meals, I’m sharing a little New Mexican tradition. In New Mexico, where we used to live, Mexican Christmas Dinner is a popular trend to vary your holiday dinners!
In New Mexico there are a lot of people who do a traditional New Mexican dinner for Christmas, instead of a turkey and its perspective sides. So when Jenna of Dearest Love asked me to team up for this month’s Tour de Table, we decided this would be the perfect Christmas meal to introduce you to! In October, Jenna introduce her Tour de Table series where she features a different country’s food by sharing three or four items that would make the perfect meal to learn the cuisine of said country.
Jenna visited a few weekends ago and we had the most fun time getting to cook all of this yummy food together. And yes, it was all for just us two! This Mexican fiesta includes Easy Guacamole, Cranberry Sangaritas, Skillet Burritos and Mexican rice. While this may seem a bit complicated, each recipe is super easy to make and they all use similar ingredients (except the sangaritas of course!)
Mexican food has always been one of my favorites, so getting to create a feast with the core ingredients of tomatoes, green chiles, and jalapeños was definitely a great experience for me. Mexican food is so simple and really easy to make at home, once you learn the basics of it! Basically, when it doubt, add more spiciness! Or maybe that’s just the New Mexican in me.
Christmas Mexican Dinner Recipes
Mexican Arancini with Avocado Cilantro Dipping Sauce from Cake ‘n Knife
Curry Chicken Enchiladas from Cake ‘n Knife
Homemade Enchilada Sauce from A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Grilled Mexican Corn from Feast + West
Chili Lime Margarita from Cake ‘n Knife
Tequila Lime Pulled Pork Tacos from Cake ‘n Knife
Chipotle Lime Spicy Beer Can Chicken from The Speckled Palate
Chorizo Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Dates from Feast + West
Busy Girl’s Guacamole from Gold & Bloom
Pork Carnitas Enchiladas from The Speckled Palate
Sweet and Spicy Chocolate Cupcakes from The Speckled Palate
Prickly Pear Margarita from A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Mexican Mule from Feast + West
Ground Beef Tostadas from A Joyfully Mad Kitchen
Cranberry Sangaritas from Gold & Bloom
Holiday Apple Cider Pulled Pork Tacos from Feast + West
Christmas Mexican Dinner Essentials
This Mexican rice recipe comes from my grandmother in Arizona. She has made this for us countless times and once I got married I finally asked for the recipe so I could master it on my own. It’s so easy, y’all and this is restaurant quality Mexican rice.
If you love Mexican food but want that restaurant quality food at home, this Traditional Mexican Rice is for you! This recipe is easy to make and bakes in the oven, which locks in the flavor and moisture that makes this recipe so delicious. You’ll never go back to eating Mexican rice any other way!
- 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 medium white onion, peeled, quartered (root end cut off)
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and ribs removed
- 1 jalapeño, diced with seeds
- 2 cups long grain white rice
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a food processor, puree tomatoes, onion, and two jalapeños (ribs and seeds removed) until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup, measure 2 cups and discard any extra.
- Dice the remaining jalapeño, including the ribs and seeds and set aside.
- Place the rice in a large fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 90 seconds. Shake the rice vigorously in the strainer to remove all excess water.
- Heat oil in an ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium high heat. Drop a few grains of rice into the oil, if the rice sizzles, the oil is ready. Add the rice and fry, stirring frequently, until the rice is light golden and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 90 seconds. Stir in the pureed tomato mixture, remaining jalapeño, chicken broth, tomato paste, and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pan and transfer to oven. Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring well after 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately.
Rice can also be frozen up to 6 months! Just allow to thaw and then reheat.
To make this vegetarian, simply substitute vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.