Anatomy of a Dinner Party: a day in the life of a hospitalityaholic

What To Cook For New Year’s

Written by Patti on December 27th, 2011

Good Morning Darlings!

I am plum full up from the weekend. Scores of tamales, Frangelico cake, cheese dip, guacamole, salsa, enchiladas, more chips. And a marathon of Being Human yesterday on the couch. Dang, that show is good.

Anyhoo. I promised that today I would share my Christmas recipes that will translate perfectly for New Year’s (either Eve or Day). I made all the tamales. And while they are time consuming (get a few of your besties to help out), they are well worth the time. Tip – let them set up after steaming, or else you will think you have failed. This dish is going to make everyone so happy!

Pork Tamales
Adapted from

3 1/2 lbs pork shoulder or 3 1/2 lbs pork butt, trimmed of fat and cut up
10 cups water
1 medium onions, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups Sofrito
3/4 cup shortening
6 cups masa harina
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
50 dried corn husks ( about 8 inches long)

In a 5 qt Dutch oven, bring pork, water, onion, garlic and 1 1/2 salt to boil.
Simmer covered, about 2 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from broth and allow both meat and broth to cool. (Chilling the broth will allow you to easily remove the fat if you desire to do so).
Shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding fat.
Strain the broth and reserve 6 cups.

Shredded pork. Yum!

In a large sauce pan, heat the sofrito and add meat; simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
To make masa beat shortening on medium speed in a large bowl for 1 minute.
In a separate bowl, stir together masa harina, baking powder and 2 teaspoons salt.
Alternately add masa harina mixture and broth to shortening, beating well after each addition. (Add just enough broth to make a thick, creamy paste).
In the mean time, soak corn husks in warm water for at least 20 minutes; rinse to remove any corn silk and drain well.

Soaking the husks. Weigh them down so they will all get soaked evenly.

To assemble each tamale, spread 2 tablespoons of the masa mixture on the center of the corn husk (each husk should be 8 inches long and 6 inches wide at the top. If husks are small, overlap 2 small ones to form one. If it is large, tear a strip from the side).
Place about 1 tablespoon meat and sauce mixture in the middle of the masa.

Filling the husks.

Fold in sides of husk and fold up the bottom.
Place a mound of extra husks or a foil ball in the center of a steamer basket placed in a Dutch oven.
Lean the tamales in the basket, open side up.
Add water to Dutch oven just below the basket.
Bring water to boil and reduce heat.
Cover and steam 40 minutes, adding water when necessary.

Give them a bit more time to firm up then we did. We just couldn't wait! lol

To freeze these for future meals, leave them in the husks and place them in freezer bags. To reheat, thaw and wrap in a wet paper towel and reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes for one or two or re-steam them just until hot.

Okie dokie! And now for dessert. This Frangelico cake will have everyone crazy happy. I thought this was the best cake I ever made. Even though it is made with instant pudding and cake mix. You will love it. It is sooooooo good. It’s so good, I didn’t even get any photos of it. SUPER TIP – when the recipe says cool completely, it means cool completely. The cake would not exit the bundt pan happily, but when I wedged a rubber spatula between cake and pan it popped right out. Be as gentle as you can.

The recipe for this cake is right here, Darlings.

And the table setting? I die. All Mason and Ball jars with tea lights inside. The dining room looked like it had a million fireflies lighting us. Gorgeous. And the easiest thing in the world. I believe this might be my favorite table to date.

Nothing but canning jars and tea lights.

Just add friends.

Such a fun Christmas!

Tomorrow, fun party ideas from around the web.

xoxo, Patti

Today blogging to Barry Manilow – It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve


4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Mellie says:


    * thud *

  2. Patti says:


    I was hoping you would see that – that’s all for you, Sugar!


  3. John says:


    Patti, the tamales were nearly as awesome as the hostess. They were amazing. It was another wonderful evening at the Davis abode!! Thank you!!

  4. Patti says:


    Those stuffed tomatoes were the bomb! LOVE!