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Mayan-inspired end of the world recipes

Karen Miner is the Associate Editor for SheKnows Food. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original recipes and stories. She and he...

The world is ending on Dec. 21, 2012… let’s eat!

According to the Mayan calendar, the world will be ending on Dec. 21, 2012. One year from today marked the end of their “long count calendar,” but I’m hoping they just forgot to turn the page. Luckily all of these end of the world predictions to date have been wrong, but I will use any excuse to host a dinner party. If the world is going to end in 2012, a big party inspired by Mayan foods would be appropriate to bid this life adieu.

Homemade guacomole

Some of the foods typical of Mayan cooking are corn (maize), squash, chiles, tomatoes, beans, avocado, chocolate and vanilla. The possibilities are endless when creating dishes with these rich, robust flavors and spices, which are the cornerstone of this cuisine. Obviously, the Mayans were on to something because these versatile ingredients influence much of today's modern fare.

If this is going to be the last meal I eat, I'd much rather go out with a full stomach than leave hungry. Here are some suggestions for one last big dinner using some of the most traditional Mayan cuisine ingredients. Tell your guests to bring their appetites!

Tomatoes and avocados would likely be two of my most-missed foods if the world really does end in 2012. Get your fill with this starter.

Apocalypse appetizer: Homemade guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 medium purple onion, diced
  • 2  tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, add avocado and smash with a fork. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Serve immediately.

This dish is full of Mayan flavors and is the perfect comforting send-off for your dinner guests. If the world wasn't ending, we'd call it posole. But since it is, we are more aptly naming it Doomsday Stew. Try this version from SheKnows.

Doomsday Stew

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 large dried ancho chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (adjust to your liking)
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 medium onion (preferably white), quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 can black bean soup (18- to 19- ounces), preferably vegetarian
  • 1 can white hominy, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Find the directions here >>

Maize, squash and beans are known as the Three Sisters in Mayan cuisine. The three ingredients combine in this recipe for a heavenly last meal.

The Last Supper

Yields 16

Ingredients

Tamale filling:

  • 1  beef roast
  • 1 butternut squash, pureed
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 6 dried ancho chile pods
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Tamale Dough:

  • 1 3/4 cups masa (a corn flour found near the baking flour)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 16 dried corn husks

Directions

  1. Place beef into a crock pot with onion and pour broth over the top just covering the meat. Cook on high for 6 hours or until the meat is tender.
  2. Remove the seeds and stems from the ancho chilis, be careful to wash your hands afterwards or use gloves. Place chiles in a saucepan with 2 cups of water. Bring to boil and then simmer until the they are plumb. Drain and put the chiles in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano.
  3. Shred the cooked meat and mix in the chile sauce reserving 2 tablespoons for the masa.
  4. Soak the corn husks in a pan of warm water, place something heavy on top so they stay submerged.
  5. In a large bowl, mix masa and warm water to form a soft dough. In a mixing bowl combine butter, baking soda, cornmeal and garlic powder. Cream together. Add the butter mixture to the masa mixture. Combine using your hands.
  6. Drain and pat the husks dry. Spread the dough out over the corn husks in a square shape leaving room on the bottom, top and sides. You'll use about 1/3 cup on each husk. Place 1/2 tablespoon of the meat filling and 1/2 tablespoon of squash puree into the center. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and roll like a burrito.
  7. Steam for 1 hour in a tamale pot.
  8. Serve with a side of black beans and rice.

You can't leave this world without a proper dessert. Since we won't be too concerned with our waistlines, why not indulge in a rich and decadent chocolate cake? Try adding a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to this SheKnows recipe for a bit of heat and a unique flavor.

Death by chocolate

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (about 1/3 cup of chocolate chips)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Find the directions here >>

While the Mayans may not prove to be the best at predicting the end of the world, they sure knew how to eat. Indulge as if this was your last meal, but you may want to hold off on any major purchases just in case.

Cocktail recipes for your last meal

Blood orange margarita recipe
Elegant cocktail recipes for entertaining
Festive cocktail recipes for the holidays

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