A couple of weekends ago, Boyfriend and I decided to throw a Mexican themed dinner party. We’re both big fans of Mexican food. As we were having a conversation one day about all the different types of Mexican food we should make for dinner one weekend, we realised we probably should invite some people round to enjoy the food with us.
So, we invited a bunch of friends and set about planning our menu. It took a whole day of cooking, shopping and decorating. MKR style.
I’m not going to list ALL the recipes here as it’ll probably take me longer than it took to cook, but I thought I’d share the photos. Perhaps it’ll give you some ideas for your own Mexican fiesta. If anyone wants to request a particular recipe, let me know =)
Elotes are something Boyfriend and I discovered in Las Vegas of all places. They are cobs of fresh corn that are grilled (we barbequed) and then rolled in chipotle mayonnaise, paprika and finely grated parmesan cheese and finished off with a sprinkling off fresh lime juice.
Boyfriend got all clever and pulled back the husks, tying some of it around itself to create a pretty cool looking finish. I have to say, they looked pretty cool on the platter and they tasted amazing. I love corn at the best of times, let alone covered with chipotle mayonnaise and cheese. Whoever invented this dish is a culinary genius.
GOATS CHEESE, ROASTED CAPSICUM AND OREGANO QUESADILLAS
This is a dish we discovered in Port Douglas. I’m not sure how strictly Mexican it is, but any excuse will do.
This makes for an exceptionally tasty snack and is very easy to do.
We’ve made them before and they’ve worked perfectly but this time, they weren’t so great. The reason was totally not our fault. The tortillas were to blame. They were incredibly dry with this super floury taste that dominated everything. Note to self: don’t ever buy Woolworths Select Tortillas again. What a let down.
If you want to make these, and you choose the right tortillas, I promise they’ll be scrumptious.
All you need to do is roast some capsicum (or buy some ready-made). To roast capsicum, cut off the four sides of a capsicum and lay them flat on a lined baking tray. Place in the oven or under the grill under the skins become blackened and blistery. Then, take them out and place them in a paper bag or plastic bag, it doesn’t matter which. Leave them to sweat and when they have cooled down, peal off the skins. Then, slice them into thin strips.
Next, take a tortilla and spread a thin layer of goats cheese across the entire thing. Then place fresh oregano leaves over the goats cheese. A small handful should do it. Enough so that there will be a piece of oregano in each bite, but not so much that it will overpower the dish.
Then, place your capsicum over the tortilla and seal with another tortilla.
Toast your quesadilla until it is nice and warm and a little bit crunchy, either in a sandwich press or on the barbeque. Probably a sandwich press is your safest bet.
Cut into halves or quarters, serve and enjoy!
(Of course, you’ll need to make more than just one if you’re serving a crowd or are especially hungry!)
BLACK BEAN AND CHORIZO EMPANADAS
This is quite possibly my new favourite snack. My mum made these for my brother’s birthday dinner, which was also Mexican themed. The recipe is from Thomasina Mier‘s book ‘Wahaca‘, which is the name of her restaurant in London. I got this book from my mum for Christmas and it’s really great – I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a Mexican cookbook.
These empanadas are ridiculously tasty and, I was surprised to find, not dry at all. We varied the recipe by adding a heap of goat’s cheese to the mixture. Dee-licious.
MEXICAN GREEN RICE
This was another recipe from Thomasina Mier’s cookbook and went down a treat. It makes a great accompaniment with Mexican-style meat.
SHREDDED BEEF CHILLI CON CARNE
Chilli Con Carne was always a midweek staple in my household growing up but this was chilli con carne with a twist. The twist was that the meat was slow cooked into to scrumptious melt-in-your-mouth shredded pieces.
We did our own thing to make this beef, but used a couple of Taste.com.au recipes for inspiration, like this one here.
CINNAMON CHOCOLATE CHURRO CUPCAKES
One of my good friends and a guest of the fiesta, brought these heavenly cupcakes for dessert.
She used this recipe here.
She said they took a ridiculous amount of time to prepare, but they were definitely, definitely worth it. They legitimately tasted like churros. Absolutely divine.
GRILLED PINEAPPLE WITH CARAMEL RUM SAUCE AND TOASTED COCONUT
Boyfriend and I also decided to prepare a dessert. I’d seen Thomasina make this on her show and have been desperate to try it ever since. This recipe was in Wahaca, but there’s a similar one online here. The sauce is a bit different, but I’m sure it’s still delicious.
We didn’t have coconut flakes so we used shredded coconut and it was so tasty.
All in all, it was a delightful evening and save for the gross tortillas (you let me down Woolworths), everything turned out perfectly. There wasn’t too much to do when the guests arrived so we had plenty of time for fun.
There definitely was a lot of washing up to do though!
Would I make it again? Yep. All of it.