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Christmas Tamale Appetizers
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Individual Tamale Bites with a Surprise stuffed inside the package!


Serves/Makes:3 dozen or more

  • 2 cups (475 ml) to 3 cups (700 ml) crumbled cornbread
  • 1 10 oz (280 grm). can mild (or hot if you like) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 8 oz (224 grm). can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml). salt
  • 1-1/2 lbs (.7 kg). ground sirloin
  • 1/2 lb (.2 kg). lean ground pork
  • 1/2 lb (.2 kg). to 1 lb (.5 kg). Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • Optional Garnish for Christmas: 1 pitted pimento stuffed green olive for each meatball.
  • Place in a large mixing bowl, 2 cups (475 ml) of the cornbread, 1/2 cup (125 ml) enchilada sauce, salt and the ground sirloin and ground pork; blend all the ingredients, but don't overwork it, or they will be tough. Use more cornbread if necessary to make a nice "stick together" texture.
  • Shape mixture into 1 to 1 1/2" balls.
  • Optional Garnish: For Christmas Tamale bites, place one green olive inside each meatball and seal.
  • Place in greased 11x15-inch (jelly roll) pan.
  • Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees (175 C.) for 20 to 25 minutes and drain any fat off them and place in an attractive serving dish/casserole or a heated buffet serving dish.
  • Heat leftover enchilada sauce together with the tomato sauce together.
  • Pour sauce over the meatballs in the serving dish and sprinkle jack cheese evenly over the sauced meatballs.
  • If possible, keep them warm so the cheese melts and becomes a swirled part of the dish.
Note: I like to add a small 4 oz. can of green chilies and 1/2 can of creamed corn to the meatballs.

Also, as an alternative flavor and sauce, use green chile enchilada sauce when making the meatballs, not the red chile enchilada sauce. When making the dipping/meatball sauce, use the remaining can and a new full can of the green chile enchilada sauce, and one can of condensed cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 to 3/4th of the soup can of milk and mix to pour over meatballs and add a combination of jack and cheddar cheese.

When using cornbread, you can use store bought corn muffins or cornbread. Also, you can use a brand name cornbread stuffing mix.. but it isn't as good.

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