I have to be honest, I love a great Mexican feast! About a month ago, I made an awesome Mexican themed dinner party, which I’m psyched to share with you today. I was cooking for 14 people, so I needed plenty of food and lots of options . I love to start things off with a few strong signature cocktails. That evening I did a vodka based drink and a tequila-based drink. For appetizers, I made my famous guacamole and some really hot salsa with fresh corn chips. I also put together a ͞Mexican Pizza͟ with refried beans, chorizo, and cheese in between two corn tortillas (these were amazing). For the main event, I created a make-your-own taco station with steak, pork, and shrimp, as well as fresh corn and flour tortillas. Of course, tacos would not be complete without all the essential toppings and some great side dishes. This is a fantastic meal to make for a big group of family or friends. I hope you love it as much as I do! Enjoy!

Serves 12-14 people

Cocktails

Liv’s Margarita

1 part añejo tequila

1 part Cointreau

Juice of one fresh lime

Juice of one fresh orange

Splash of soda water

Liv’s Spicy Vodka Lemonade

1 part vodka

2 parts fresh lemonade

1 part club soda

thinly sliced jalapenos

 

Appetizers:

Guacamole

10 avocados, diced

5 limes, juiced

2.5 teaspoons black pepper

2.5 teaspoons salt

5 teaspoons ground cumin

5 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

5 small jalapeños, diced and seeded

A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce

Chop avocados and combine all ingredients.

 

Fresh Salsa
11 -15 dried árbol peppers (8-10 dried árbol peppers for Mild, 11-15 medium, 16-20 for Hot)

1(14 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with juice

1⁄2 small yellow onion

1 jalapeno

1 bunch cilantro

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon lemon juice or

1 teaspoon lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Take the stems off the árbol peppers and throw away the stems. Place the peppers and seeds in the blender. Blend well. Next toss in the stewed tomatoes with juice, 1 jalapeno (sliced), 1/2 yellow onion (quartered), 1 garlic clove, a handful of cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and blend till you have the consistency desired. I don’t like my salsa chunky unless of course, I’m making Pico De Gallo! I also don’t want it too runny, so it slides right off your chips, so I just “pulse” it a few times. If you feel the salsa looks too white from the onion this just means you need to add more cilantro to your salsa. Try the salsa with your chips and adjust the seasonings as needed. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Mexican Pizza with Chorizo and beans

Chorizo and Bean Topping:

8 tablespoons vegetable oil

10 ounces raw pork chorizo

Two 16-ounce canned refried black beans

Assembly:

Fresh corn or flour tortillas

1 cup Oaxaca cheese

Iceberg lettuce, shredded

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crumbled queso fresco

For the chorizo and bean topping: In a large heavy sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.

In a large heavy sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high heat. Add the beans and cook until warm, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and reserve.

To assemble the pizza: Spread 1/2 cup of the warm refried beans onto one tortilla. Add 1/4 cup Oaxaca cheese and 1/2 cup cooked chorizo and top with an additional tortilla.

Cook in a 400 degree oven until the cheese is melted. Remove the pizza from the oven and slice in wedges, like you would be typical pizza. Sprinkle with crumbled quest fresco and shredded iceberg.

 

First Course:

Tuna Tartare

3 3⁄4 lbs very fresh tuna steaks

1 1⁄4 cups olive oil

5 limes, zest of, grated

1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

2 1⁄2 teaspoons wasabi powder

2 1⁄2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce

2 1⁄2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

1 1⁄4 cups minced scallions, white and green parts (12 scallions)

3 1⁄4 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds removed

5 ripe avocados

1 1⁄2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Cut the tuna into 1/4-inch dice and place it in a very large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi, soy sauce, hot red pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Pour over the tuna, add the scallions and jalapeno and mix well. Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and peel. Cut the avocados into 1/4-inch dice. Carefully mix the avocado into the tuna mixture; so that the lime juice covers them. Add the toasted sesame seeds, if using, and season to taste. Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend.

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Side Dishes:

Mexican Corn “off the cob”

4 tablespoons canola oil

3 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 medium red onion, chopped

2 10-ounce packages frozen corn, thawed

4 cloves garlic, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

4 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the poblano(s) and onion and cook, stirring often, until the poblano(s) are blistered in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the corn, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and cook, stirring often until
the corn is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the lime juice.

 

Beans

2 12 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 red onion, diced2 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce (I use Chalula)

½ teaspoon ground cumin

2 tablespoon light olive oil or butter

1/2 cup chicken broth (use vegetable broth to keep this vegetarian)Salt to taste

Heat oil or butter on medium heat in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic and cumin and sauté until fragrant and soft. Add black beans, hot sauce, chicken broth, and salt and bring to a rapid simmer. Reduce the heat so that the pot comes to a simmer, cover and let it cook for about 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, onion, tomato, and maybe even cheese.

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Cilantro Rice

4 tablespoons canola oil

12 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cups long-grain white rice

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups cilantro, chopped

kosher salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the grains are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until the rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Remove the rice from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and fold in the scallion greens before serving.

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Main Course:

Shrimp Tacos

2 cups Cilantro, chopped

Lime juice of two limes

3 pounds of shrimp

Salt and pepper

Blend the cilantro, salt and pepper, and the lime juice. Marinade the shrimp for about an hour in a plastic bag. Remove. Cook in a sauce pan for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.

 

Skirt Steak Tacos

4 cups fresh cilantro

4 limes, juiced

1 medium yellow onion

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

2-cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 pounds of skirt stake

4 avocados, sliced

2 can refried pinto beans

12 corn or flour tortillas

6 limes cut in wedges for garnish

2 cups Cotija cheese, grated

Prepare the marinade for the steak by blending the cilantro, lime juice, yellow onion, garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper. Place steak in a plastic bag and marinade for at least 1 hour. Remove from bag and grill on high heat until medium rare.

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Pulled pork tacos

4 pounds boneless pork shoulder

4 teaspoons kosher salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup apricot jam or preserves

4 jalapenos, sliced into rings and seeded

2 red onion, roughly chopped

16 small flour or corn tortillas, warmed

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves

2 limes, cut into wedges

Heat oven to 300° F. Place 2 large sheets of aluminum foil on a work surface, on atop the other. Place the pork in the center of the foil and season on all sides with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Spoon the jam over the pork, turning to coat. Scatter the jalapeños and onion around the pork. Fold the double layer of foil around the pork and crimp the edges to seal tightly. Place in a baking dish. Roast until fork-tender, about 4 hours; let cool.
Unwrap the pork, reserving the juices and discarding the foil. Use a fork to shred the pork. Transfer to a bowl. Pour the cooking juices, onion, and jalapeños over the pork and toss. Serve with the tortillas, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Toppings for Taco Bar

Shredded Mexican Cheese

Diced Red Cabbage

Chopped Cilantro

Hot Sauce

Sliced Avocados

Mexican Dinner Party 

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