Saturday, March 5, 2011

Small Plates (Mexican)

Recently, I hosted a Sunday dinner at my apartment, which I do about once per month.  I have begun making a printed menu for these events, and we call our apartment Flat 2S (or Club 2S, if we're having a wild party!).

The party was fun and everything came out great.  Of course, Mexican is my favorite food, and I came up with the menu and cooked everything, so you can assume that I'm a bit biased about the results!

I've posted a few photos below.  Here's a link to the menu:

Small Plates Mexican Menu 

The photo of Kyle and I was taken at a previous Mexican themed dinner, but I think it's timeless!

We started with chips, guacamole and several different salsas.
After that, I served Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Next, I served several different types of ceviche.  Ceviche is great for parties, because you can make it in advance, and the longer you let it marinate (within reason, overnight or all day is best!), the better it gets.

For the taco course, I made grilled steak and fish tacos.  This is something I make all the time for weeknight dinners (I use a simple combination of seasonings; olive oil, garlic powder, cayenne, coriander, onion powder, salt & pepper).  The only difference was that, for this party, I served them on mini tortillas.  These can be difficult to find, every once in a while I come across a Mexican Grocer that has them.  If not, you can use a cookie cutter to cut them out of the larger tortilla.  Sure, a bit wasteful, but it looks adorable!

That is also how I made the tostaditas (mini tostadas) for my Pork Carnitas.  I used a standard sized cookie cutter to cut rounds out of the tortillas, then fried them until crisp in a bit of vegetable oil.  These can even be made the day before, for a party like this.  This recipe for shredded pork is one I use quite often - it's amazing!  Here's the recipe:

Next, the stuffed peppers.   While at the farmer's market, I saw these beautiful baby sweet peppers and thought they would look pretty stuffed with chorizo and sprinkled with cheese.  This recipe is great because you can easily customize it to your own tastes - remove the meat, add a different cheese, or rice, etc.

For side dishes, I made a southwest style corn, and a spicy black bean recipe that I often use in tacos or as a side dish with Mexican food.

Spicy Black Beans

Finally, dessert!  I made two Tres Leches cakes - one chocolate, with Kahlua, and one vanilla.  I don't think there is any way you can really go wrong with this cake.  It's easy to make, tastes great, and requires very little in the way of decoration.  Enjoy, and see you at the next dinner party!

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