Fact: in Mexico we love to eat and especially during parties. And there is always something to celebrate: a birthday, an anniversary, a baptism or first communion or just because it’s Sunday! If you have to feed a big group of people, you need to have a lot of food and the best option is to have a ‘taquiza’. A taquiza is basically a taco party, where you choose from a variety of taco fillings to put on your (hand-made) tortillas and add copious amounts of salsa. If this sounds like the kind of party you would like to attend, keep reading…….
Hosting a ‘taquiza’ at your house is easy to do. You need to have rectangular table and cover with a colorful table cloth. You can use a fun Mexican pattern, but a bright-colored plastic table cloth works just as well. You can have the drinks on one side of the table in big pitchers, because with all those spicy salsas you’ll sure be thirsty. You could make lemonade, fruit water (e.g. water melon water) rice water (Horchata) or hibiscus tea (Jamaica) for the designated drivers and a tasty Michelada or Margarita for the lucky adults!
In the center of the table you can display the taco fillings in Mexican pottery or chafing dishes to keep it warm. Have a stack of plates and warm tortillas ready for each guest to serve their own tacos. At the far end of the table you can have the Salsa bar with a variety of salsas (Red, green, Pico de gallo, etc.) as well as diced fresh onion, cilantro, radishes, limes and salt to top off your tacos.
The taco filling
You can find Taquizas in all Mexico and the taco fillings changes per region. But the most common varieties are: Rajas con crema (for recipe: see Newsletter May 2014), Chicharron (pork rinds in sauce), Mole, Frijoles refritos (refried beans), Carne asada (diced grilled beef), Cochinita Pibil (Pork in Yucatecan sauce) and Tinga de Pollo (chicken in chipotle-tomato sauce). We love to have at least one taco of each flavor….. Que rico!
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion, cut in thin slices
- ½ pound Roma tomatoes
- 1 small can of Chipotle chili (you can add less if you don’t like it hot)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pound boiled chicken breast, shredded
Heat the oil in a big skillet and fry the onion until golden brown. In the meanwhile blend the tomatoes with the chipotle chili and the salt. Add this mixture to the onions. Add the shredded chicken as well and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
There is some controversy about what a ‘Taco’ is. In Mexico there are no hard-shell tacos and Mexican people consider this an American invention. At a taquiza the tortillas that are used, are either corn tortillas or flour tortillas. In the north of Mexico we usually use flour tortillas and in the south of Mexico corn tortillas are more common. Tortillas are at their best when they’re just made, but you buy your tortillas at the store and heat them in a dry skillet or ‘comal’. Keep them warm in a kitchen towel.
Once you have prepared all the food and drinks, it’s time to get the Fiesta started. Tropical music (salsa, cumbia, and merengue) is always a great option, as well as some fun props like maracas, Mexican sombreros or Piñatas. Let your imaginations run free and don’t forget the occasional…. Olé!