Family Tradition: Christmas Tamales & Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe


Every family seems to have one or two things they like to do every year together. We have two, Caviar Christmas and our Tamale Tradition! Our family’s tamale tradition is something I look forward to every year!! It’s our way of bringing a bit of our texan roots to Los Angeles. We started buying tamales from our family friends when we lived in San Antonio, Tx. They owned a really yummy Mexican restaurant and made the best homemade tamales. We would order two or three dozen and have all of the family over for tamale dinner!

I love this tradition because it’s hassle free! You aren’t spending hours preparing a huge meal or hundreds of dollars grocery shopping!

I love to buy tamales from my local farmer’s market here in Studio City. There is a little stand that sells all kinds of great flavors! I keep it easy buy buying a big selection, steaming them,cutting them in half and arranging them on a big platter. That way you could sample one or two flavors!


To give your tamale tradition a homemade feel, make your own salsa! I love this Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, and have been making it for years! I made it on Real Girls Kitchen this past season and it has been a staple in our family’s recipe book for as long as I can remember!

For the Roasted Tomatillo Sauce you will need:


1 pound tomatillos, sliced in half
3 to 4 sprigs fresh cilantro
2 jalapenos, seeded and sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 lime, sliced in half
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar


Let’s clean these babies first…

Peel tomatillos and rinse really well under warm water with a dime size amount of soap.


Tomatillos have a sticky residue, so we want to get that off before we cook them…

clean tomatillo

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Place the tomatillos, cilantro sprigs, jalapenos, garlic, lime and white onions on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatillos pierce easily with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the roasted ingredients, except for the lime, to a blender.

blended tomatillo

Squeeze the juice from the roasted lime into the blender and discard the rinds. Add the coriander, cumin, salt and sugar and blend until the sauce is smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add 1/2 cup of water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

tomatillo salsa

Drizzle tomatillo sauce over warm tamales. You can serve this salsa hot or chilled!


* Also, please note most tamales are gluten free! Bam!