You may think you know Mexican food because you've had tacos and burritos at your local fast food joint. Perhaps you've even cooked up some fajitas in your kitchen and cracked open a few jars of commercial salsa. But Mexican Cuisine can be much more interesting than the commercial products you've tried over the years. So take the challenge when you host your next dinner party and make it a Mexican Fiesta to remember. Through this menu, you will make old standards from scratch and discover the difference it makes in your enjoyment of this complex cuisine.
This menu will not be for the faint of heart or stomach! The allure of Mexican cuisine is in its spiciness, and not just in terms of heat (although that doesn't hurt!) The complex spices of the cuisine enhance the other ingredients in the recipes. Never fear, however—the traditional Mexican corn tortillas will help to tame the spices, aided in no small part by a few bracing Mexican beverages as suggested in the menu.
Mexican Fiesta Decorations
Do you have Mexican blankets, sombreros, dolls or other souvenirs you picked up on a trip to Mexico? If so, find a way to incorporate them into your decor. The genuine item is always preferable to a plastic imitation.
Tissue paper flowers are part of the Mexican fiesta decor in Mexico, so find a way to incorporate them into your decorations.Natural decorations such as a cacti arrangement or a chili pepper wreath (ristra) would work well as a centerpiece.
Whether they serve as accents to your food, or mere conversation pieces, get a selection of hot sauces to place around your table.You can purchase strands of chili pepper lights to add a spicy glow to your party, indoors or outdoors.
Mexican Fiesta Menu
Clearly, this is an ambitious menu and not one you would want to attempt on short notice. But with advance planning, and the willingness to accept cooking contributions from your guests, the results will be worth it. You'll end up enjoying authentic and festive recipes worthy of a Mexican Fiesta, that can't be found at your local fast food place.
Everyday Mexican meals have neither the variety, complexity, the quantity of meat, nor the richness of these recipes. Many of these dishes are reserved for fiestas - special occasions such as weddings, saint holidays, first communions, other religious celebrations and political holidays. But, still, these recipes do represent Mexican cuisine at its best and most festive. Don't forget to play traditional Mariachi music during your dinner!
- Tequila Cocktails - Take your pick. Margaritas are popular!
- Dips -Try both a red and a green salsa for contrast. The peppers in the guacamole will add a little zing to the mellow avocado! Serve with tortilla chips or cut up fresh veggies such as jicama, carrots or radishes.
- Salsa Caliente
- Salsa Verde
- Chicken Avocado Soup
- Tamalitos -These can be prepared ahead and just reheated by steaming at the last minute.
- Pork Carnitas -Serve this rolled in the tortillas.
- Green Chile Baked Chicken (Pollo Verde)
- Corn Tortillas
- Mexican Beer
- Flan - A classic Mexican dessert.
- Mexican Coffee - A delicious, non-alcoholic dessert coffee.
*If your group is small, choose only 2 or 3 of the main dish selections.