Maize is one of the main foods in the country and It is used in countless preparations such as tamales that accompany our main meals, or that are enjoyed as desserts.
One of the pre-Hispanic characteristics of Guatemalan cuisine is the abundant use of corn and its derivatives as tortillastamales and gruelas well as beans, chili and sauces.
In it Cooking Bookdating from 1844, appear 12 recipes for tamales such as those made from salt flour, with acitrón —candied cider—, milk, chambray, corn or fresh cheese.
In addition, there are the inevitable recipes for black and red tamales, fundamental in the Guatemalan diet, especially for certain festivities such as Christmas and New Year. As a variety of tamale, the chuchito should also be included, which is a combination between the tamale and the tamale.
Elliott Castellanos, executive chef of the Bontá restaurant, in El Tejar, Chimaltenango, chose the recipe for corn and milk tamales to present in this space, who indicates that he adhered to the original recipe, in which the ground almonds, honey and eggs that are added to them call attention, which show the Spanish gastronomic heritage, and which give it a spectacular flavor. These tamales are a delight to taste for breakfast or a snack, piping hot.
2 pounds of corn cooked and masa
3 glasses of milk
6 egg yolks
4 ounces of ground almonds
1 teaspoon of anise
1 cup of honey (can be substituted for brown sugar;
amount to taste)
1 bunch of gophers
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Place the corn dough with the milk in a pot and with the help of a wooden bowl or palette, break it up, leaving no lumps.
Add honey or sugar and anise, and mix. Then, add the egg yolks to this preparation and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes. When it starts to boil, add the ground almonds. Do not stop moving until it thickens. Reserve to cool and place a plastic bag that covers the dough to prevent a crust from forming.
Remove the leaves of the gophers and with the help of a spoon, place the cold dough in them, shape white dough tamales. Then, place gophers in the bottom of a pot and accommodate the tamales, which must be tight so they do not fall apart.
Add half a liter of water, cover and cook for an hour. Make sure they don’t run out of water. If so, add more, little by little, until one hour is up. Serve hot.
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What did Guatemalans eat in the 19th century?
Every Sunday this year, the recreation of recipes will be presented —starters, main courses, desserts and sweets— that appear in the cooking booka recipe book handwritten in Guatemala from 1844. This work displays a sample of the dishes that Guatemalans consumed in the 19th century and, possibly, during a large part of the 20th century, with evident Spanish, French and British influence.
These recipes, reproduced by Guatemalan chefs, closely preserving their essence, will help us understand how gastronomic culture has evolved in Guatemala in the last 178 years.
Collected by Cookingtom
I’m Brian Danny Max, a chef and a writer at cookingtom.com. I’m here to talk about food and cooking, and to share some of my favorite recipes with you all! I’ve been interested in food and cooking since I was a child. My parents are both great cooks, and they taught me a lot about the kitchen. I’ve been cooking professionally for about 10 years now, and I’ve loved every minute of it! I specialize in healthy, flavorful recipes that are easy to make at home. I believe that anyone can cook a delicious meal, no matter their skill level. I’m here to help you learn how to cook, and to show you that it’s not as difficult as you might think! I hope you’ll check out my blog and my recipes, and I look forward to hearing from you!