It’s Mexican FIESTA TIME!!!! We never need an excuse for Mexican food, but with Cinco de Mayo this weekend, you don’t want to be the only one missing out. So gather your amigos and get ready for a feast with this EASY Mexican Fiesta menu!
If you really twisted my arm and forced me to choose, I’d say Mexican is my favourite food……… along with Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Southern, Italian, French and Middle Eastern food. 😂😂😂
This feast you see is in the spirit of Cinco de Mayo which is on Saturday, 5 May 2018. It marks the anniversary of Mexico defeating the French invasion in 1862, but ironically, is more widely celebrated in the States than in Mexico.
Albeit for some, it seems like an excuse for eating tacos and drinking margaritas!!!
So I present to you a simply fabulous Mexican Fiesta menu plan. A base taco menu plus plenty of options to switch out and add ons. Bring it on!
A BIG MEXICAN FIESTA THAT’S EASY TO MAKE
Pork Carnitas (pictured in Fiesta) – that elusive combination of golden crispy meets juicy. The best of the best of Mexican food, 5 minutes prep, freezer friendly, every taco lover’s dream come true!
Other Taco Fillings (Clockwise from top left in photo below, not pictured in Fiesta): Mexican Shredded Beef, Lime Grilled Chicken, Beef Fajitas or Chicken Fajitas, Mexican Shredded Chicken, Chicken for Chicken Tacos, Fish Tacos (marinated then pan fried or grilled).
Unforgettable Guac (doubles as dip and dolloping in tacos)- The secret to a great guac is starting with a paste made with onion, coriander/cilantro, jalapeño or serrano chilli and salt. And if you find this guac recipe on my Instagram feed, you’ll also see plenty of messages validating the claims of authenticity! This is the real deal. No one can ever put their finger on why it tastes so good, they just know it’s better. 🙂
Simple Pickled Red Cabbage (in Fish Tacos recipe) – such a great side for a taco spread! It adds a burst of freshness in or on the side of the taco, not to mention how much I love the vibrant colour. 🙂 This one’s a real quick pickled cabbage I use in Fish Tacos – just scale it up (use the slider).
Also pictured in the Mexican Fiesta Spread:
Charred warm corn and flour tortillas, grilled corn sprinkled with chipotle powder (contemplated doing this Mexican Grilled Corn or Mexican Corn Salad but thought simpler was better, already enough flavours going on), homemade tortilla chips (just deep fry corn tortillas), quick Restaurant Style Salsa (doubles as dip and sauce for tacos), sour cream, a dish of chopped white onions (not as sharp as brown onion, very commonly used in tacos in Mexico), coriander/cilantro and lime wedges.
Oh, also included in the Fiesta photo – fake shots of tequila (water…. too early for real tequila!!) and light beer I use solely for photos (having purchased a carton for a gathering thinking surely there would be some sensible people will drink it. How wrong I was.)
Other great options you’ll become famous for: Life Changing Queso Cheese Dip (OMG stays silky even when it cools!), Pig Out Salsa (Chorizo and Corn), Avocado Corn Salad, Mexican Red Rice (anyone else stuff rice in tacos? 🙋🏻♀️)
Alarmingly absent: Margaritas. And something sweet to finish – I suggest Churros, which I know isn’t strictly Mexican albeit very popular in the touristy areas of Mexico. 🙂 20 minutes to make (you will be amazed!) and great for making ahead!
I know you’re probably sick of seeing this photo, but because it took the better part of a day to cook, style and clean up after a single photo, let me get more mileage out of it – so here it is one last time! – Nagi xx
PS I know this Mexican Fiesta isn’t a recipe but I consolidated it all into one handy little printable recipe for you. 🙂
Round up the amigos for a Mexican Fiesta! The suggested menu plan below is a great low-effort one with wow factor. Plenty for making ahead and the Carnitas freeze perfectly! See recipes linked to each dish, or where not linked, directions are below. Cook time includes slow cooking time for Carnitas.
- Churros (quick, and great for make ahead)
Choose one or two proteins, then sides of choice. See linked recipes for directions (except tortilla chips and grilled corn, see below).
Main Taco Filling Selection: The most convenient big batch protein is Pork Carnitas because it freezes great and only requires a quick pan fry to freshen up, and stays good for several hours (tips are in Carnitas recipe notes). The Shredded Chicken and Beef are almost as good (pork is slightly juicier) and stored similarly. The next simplest is Fish Tacos because it's very quick to cook, then just put them in a serving dish and break into chunks with fork. If you want to use one of the chicken recipes to make ahead, use boneless thigh fillets, cook, then keep whole, cover and cool, reserve every drop of leached juice. Before serving, chop/slice, cover and microwave reheat.
Taco Fixings: I like to have at least one fresh thing to stuff in tacos (pickled cabbage is my choice in this Fiesta), + a sauce (the Restaurant Style Salsa,) + avocado in some form (guac or slices or in Pico de Gallo) + coriander/cilantro. Chopped white onion is very common in Mexico, and Tex Mex fans such as myself will almost always have sour cream and shredded cheese too!
Other Sides: Tortillas + things to stuff in tortillas usually makes for a satisfying meal in itself, but to round things out I usually provide a salad or vegetables of some form. Plain grilled corn is very on theme!
Homemade Tortillas Chips: Chop corn tortillas to desired shape, fry in oil until crisp and light golden. Transfer for paper towel, sprinkle with salt while hot.
Grilled Corn: Grill corn on BBQ over high heat until nicely charred. Brush with melted salted butter and sprinkle with chipotle powder (or chilli or cayenne, to taste)
1. Pickled Red Cabbage is in the Fish Tacos recipe. Scale up the recipe to make plenty using the servings slider (click on the Servings and slide)!
2. White onions are not as sharp as brown onions. Very commonly used as a taco garnish in Mexico.
3. I dress up canned refried beans. You'll be amazed what a difference it makes! It's in this Carnitas Tacos recipe.
LIFE OF DOZER
And 2 minutes later: Dozer did “something”, was limping heavily and in visible distress, but even worse was the grinding, cracking and popping noise.
With the help of kind strangers, he was carried to the car and I dashed to the vet to learn he had ruptured his ACL*. I’m told it was a ticking time bomb – he’s had knee problems for a while now.
He’s unable to bear any weight on his rear leg though thankfully he’s not in pain. He’s going in for surgery as soon as I return from the States (I shortened the trip especially) and it’s going to be a long road to recovery.
Discomfort aside, the worst part is that he’s confined to a small space for the 6 weeks or so – at least. It’s going to be such torture for this beach loving boy affectionately called “psycho” by fellow dog owners for the ridiculous high energy he has!
Be prepared for some sad photos in the coming months. 😩 But also hopefully some hilarious ones as I get creative to keep his spirits up!!!❤️
* The ACL is the anterior cruciate ligament which holds the knee together so basically his knee joint is sliding all over the place so he can’t put any pressure on it. Once the ACL is snapped, it won’t heal without surgery.