Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Food Tuesday

It’s Food Tuesday and it's Cinco de Mayo, and whether you’re remembering the Battle of Puebla, celebrating your Mexican heritage or just grabbing some margaritas and tacos, it’s time to celebrate. I won’t be “going up on a Tuesday” but I will be grabbing a margarita and maybe even a taco. The real celebration will be this weekend at a party complete with a taco bar and multiple types of margaritas. As I plan, I thought it might be fun to share some of the recipes I’m using. Maybe you’ll find them helpful as you plan your own celebration. 

Let's start with the setup (inspiration above). You'll want a large enough space to set up your taco shells, protein/veggies taco toppings and side dishes. You can get really creative with the toppings but at a minimum, I'd recommend: 

1. pico de gallo
2. cheese
3. sour cream or Mexican crema
4. lettuce
5. avocado
6. cabbage slaw (for seafood tacos)
7. cilantro
8. jalapenos
9. black olives
10. lime wedges 

I'd also recommend labeling everything and playing with different heights for your display so everything is easily seen and featured in some way. For the cocktails, I'd go with a different table/countertop all together. I'd also put dips in different areas throughout the party so everyone isn't hovering over one lonely bowl of guac on your coffee table.

On to the main event: The Tacos!! I like to do something for everyone. This time, we're going with beef, chicken, seafood and mushrooms (not all together, of course). You can find a variety of recipes here. I'm using these: Fish, Chicken, Beef and Mushroom.

Once the tacos are all set, you'll need to work on side dishes and dips. I'm going for quesadillas, rice and beans and Mexican street corn salad. For dips, I using the go-to twins: guacamole and salsa. To mix things up a bit, I'm also doing a queso fundido...because, really, you can't go wrong with hot, melty, ooey-gooey cheese.

To finish the night, you'll need a dessert option or two. I'm going with fruit salad "tacos" and either churro cheesecake bars or margarita cupcakes.

Now, on to the bar. I'm opting for one or two signature cocktails that I'll make ahead of time and then I'll have wine and beer available. That said, the bar tends to be a free for all because people have specific things they like so I will also make sure to stock the bar for people who want to make their own cocktails. Margaritas, Sangria, Mojitos, oh my.

Whether you're planning a party or a weeknight dinner, I hope you'll have some fun in the kitchen. Happy cooking! Cheers! 

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