By Chef George Duran

Where did October go? Heck! Where did Summer go? And why do I keep asking this to myself year after year? And why does everyone keep asking me what the meaning of Thanksgiving is when we all know what we’re all looking forward to: food.

PumpkinPieTamales_019I could expand here a bit about the history of Thanksgiving. The pilgrims. The natives. That there was lobster but no turkey on the first Thanksgiving…bla bla bla.  Feel free to click here if you need to get a refresher on your history because I’m here to talk about on thing only: food.

Yes, you probably look forward to the classic turkey-stuffing-yam-cranberry-potato gorging…but people, it’s 2013 and I think we need a refreshing recipe on this year’s table. I’m not talking about just adding chorizo to the stuffing…I’m talking about a whole new look for the center piece. Something I’ve been concocting for a few years and have perfected so that it’s fool proof. It’s called pumpkin pie tamales and I’m gonna teach you how to make it! (I know your brain just went “ooooooooooooh”)

I decided that your average tamales tend to be on the bland side and decided to introduce pumpkin puree to the mix. It’s paired with bold pumpkin spices and yeah, butter (it’s Thanksgiving man…get over it!). But to make it more than just a side-dish I wanted to stuff it with shredded turkey (or chicken). Just imagine sitting on your classic Thanksgiving table and seeing the stuffed corn husks in a massive platter! Finally, nuts and raisins bring it all together for the perfect twisted Mexican treat.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be made days (even weeks!) before the big day and frozen. On turkey day just place them in the IMUSA tamalera (I know you own one by now, if not, check out the new hot colors here) and serve.

Now that there is something new and different on the table for Thanksgiving you can eventually look back  and remember that what an amazing year 2013 was. How this year’s Thanksgiving was not just another holiday to be thankful for…except for the tamales, of course.

Happy Turkey Day!