Cheers… or better said, Salud!
Before getting started with the meal, there is plenty of fun to be found while trying the variety of fruity, sweet, and sometimes even spicy Mexican beverages! Next to your typical non-alcoholic drinks, such as Agua de Jamaica (Hibiscus Water), you cannot miss out on a classic cocktail: the margarita.
Traditionally, margaritas are made with tequila, orange liqueur, and lime juice and accompanied by a salted rim. But, why not spice it up a bit? The flavors of fresh citrus pop with the deep sweetness of California Prune juice in this California Prune and Fresh Orange Margarita, make for a well-balanced, refreshing take on the classic. The Tajin or chili-lime salt rim nicely compliment the natural sweetness of the juices and gives the drink an extra kick.
Somewhere between a refreshment and a dessert, Horchata is a kid-friendly, Mexican drink that is enjoyed by all ages. Indulge in this sweet drink and make your own Almond Horchata with Honey & Spice.
Developed by Christine Farkas of IHeart Food Consulting, this horchata recipe is extra smooth with a not-so-secret ingredient: California Almonds. Made with part almond milk and part rice milk, this creamy beverage includes flavors of vanilla, honey, and cinnamon.
Time for tacos
Would it be a Mexican fiesta without a handful of tasty tacos? At the top of the list, you’ll find your typical Homemade Beef Tacos. The tender and juicy meat of U.S. Beef is ideal for making tacos and can be paired with various ingredients and flavors. If you want to add a sweet, fresh flavor, you can use grilled corn, mango, or fried sweet onion. You can add a refreshing touch with lemon juice, yogurt, or guacamole. Other alternatives are egg, pickled vegetables, cheese, and spices like coriander.
Looking for a vegetarian taco to try out? Then the Roasted Walnut and Cauliflower Tacos are the way to go! Seasoned cauliflower acts as a convincing meat substitute in these tacos, appealing to both vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. The cauliflower filling is flavored with spices such as cumin, chili, and oregano and combined with crunchy California Walnuts. The mixture is then spooned into warmed tortillas and topped with cabbage, cheese, additional walnuts. and cilantro.
Para Compartir – sides and snacks meant for sharing
Mexican cuisine is great for family gatherings or parties with friends, offering plenty of side dishes, dips, and snacks that can easily be shared. Two ingredients that seemingly always appear in these dishes: tortilla and beans. In fact, these are the key ingredients, along with cheese, in the beloved Baja Quesadillas. Using both black and pinto beans, and even zucchini, this quesadilla recipe is chock-full of healthy foods and bold flavors!
Craving an extra unique quesadilla? Then White Bean and Tuna Quesadillas with Cherry Tomato Pico will hit the spot. This quesadilla is a cheesy delight with a flavorful twist of white beans, tuna, and some spicy jalapeños.
Two Mexican dips that can never be missing are salsa and guacamole. Here too, there are endless opportunities to mix and match different ingredients and create something truly delightful. U.S. chef, Robert del Grande, has added his own twist to the popular guacamole dip with the tasty crunch of American pistachios. Break out the chips and enjoy the flavorful Pistachiomolé.
Bring in some color with the Montmorency Tart Cherry Pineapple Salsa. Sweet, spicy, zesty, and tart, this salsa is a burst of flavors with ingredients such as Montmorency tart cherries, fresh pineapple, jalapeño pepper, and lime.
This salsa recipe by Emily Caruso, JellyToastBlog.com, goes nicely with a serving of tortilla chips or baby gem lettuce leaves.
An easy, customizable, and fun dish to have on the table is the oh-so-popular tray of nachos. Rather than just offering a bowl of chips, a classic nacho tray combines tortilla chips with as many toppings as your heart desires. This Loaded Nachos with Black Beans and Spicy Chickpeas recipe offers an array of colorful ingredients including black beans, chickpeas, jalapeños, and salsa.
Another staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine is rice. This Mexican Skillet Rice recipe is made with high-quality U.S.-grown brown rice, lean ground beef or turkey, pinto beans, and some traditional spices.
Topped with tomato, cheese, and cilantro, this dish is the perfect side to tacos, burritos or enchiladas.
A particularly special dish is Nogada stuffed poblano peppers, also known as Chiles en Nogada. Originally from the area of Puebla, Mexico, this traditional dish consists of mild poblano chili peppers that are stuffed with ground pork stuffing, covered in a creamy walnut sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley. The Cranberry Nogada Stuffed Poblano Peppers gives this tasty dish a special, red twist with the help of U.S. Cranberries – the perfect pairing for this savory treat. Buen Provecho!