Another Dinner Party!

Hi all! I know I never updated you about my last dinner party (a group of 12 - I asked if it was too ambitious), and I really should have because I got so many fabulous responses from you. I'm planning another one for this Friday in honor of my husband's 30th and am going with a Mexican theme. This will be easier, I think, because it's going to be a make-your-own taco thing. I'll have fresh avocado, cilantro, salsas, etc. for toppings. I'm making carnitas for sure, but need another meat and could use a vegetarian taco filling. Any suggestions for either of those? And does anyone have a killer slow-cooked black beans recipe?



LucyS July 25, 2012
And don't forget to put out cheese as a topping!
LucyS July 25, 2012
My family has always made a chicken filling - cut breasts into strips, sautee with peppers (bell and spicy), lots of cumin, curry powder, cilantro. And I disagree on the hot tacos - we always made our own soft flour ones and they were fantastic. Yes, drippy and messy, but that was part of the fun. It's really easy if you just combine flour and water and a little neutral oil, then roll them out and cook in a dry pan.
littlesister July 25, 2012
Thanks for the replies so far! I'm interested in the potato tacos and also the taquitos on that same site. I've also considered the cochinita pibil but I used to work in fantastic Mexican restaurant (that now has an off-shoot in Provincetown, in case anyone is there - it's called El Mundo) and their carnitas were pretty fab, so I'm trying to channel that flavor. And I'll check out both of the black bean recipes and probably do some kind of variation of the two. I'll definitely have a mixed veggie dish as well. Thanks - further ideas welcome!
Kristen W. July 25, 2012
For really tasty slow cooked black beans, I'd recommend taking any basic Mexican black beans recipe and adding to it a little of Rick Bayless's Salsa Negra. There is a shortcut version of this salsa that still works quite well in an old issue of Food & Wine magazine; I'm sure you could find it by googling "food and wine Rick Bayless salsa negra". It's meant to be stirred in just before serving and is INTENSELY concentrated, so very little is needed to add wonderful depth and kick. I've gotten rave reviews when I've done black beans this way, but a warning: it's not for people who don't like heat.
healthierkitchen July 24, 2012
I really like Merrill's salpicon ( in tacos. I leave it in pretty big chunks if I'm using it in tacos. I have often done steak, the salpicon and a huge batch of grilled veggies ( onion, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini slices) for a taco bar. I usually make a batch of a lime cured slaw as well as rice and beans. The lime slaw goes really well with the Salpicon.
boulangere July 24, 2012
What a beautiful spread you have planned. For the vegetarian option, how about meatless meatballs shaped into thin ovals that will slip right into one of your taco shells.

Have a wonderful party!
pierino July 24, 2012
My recipe for lengua in adobo would probably scare your guests. But a couple of practical suggestions; use the hard corn taco shells as opposed to soft tortillas---easier as DIY buffet thing. You might also want to pick up some packages of the XLNT brand tamales, the small ones. Steam and eat with whatever toppings you want to throw on.
Real Mexican cooking is big on the "nasty bits", the stuff the gabachos throw away.
slock July 24, 2012
Everyone always loves my cochinita pibil (spelling?). I use the 'real' recipe as a guide. I trim the fat off of a pork loin and put it in a crock pot with onions, chipotle in adobo sauce, onions, oregano, salt, and I think that's it.When it is shredable or close to being, I add in orange juice concentrate (recipes ask for sour oranges), vinegar, and sometimes some cinnamon. Then I shred it and let it absorb the flavors.

Again, my 'recipe' is in no way authentic but whatever it makes is a crowd pleaser and super easy.

And yes we'd love to hear how this goes too!
ChefJune July 25, 2012
you really need a pork shoulder (Boston Butt) to make Cochinita Pibil. and the traditional banana leaves are easy to find in a latin market. It makes the presentation spectacular.
HalfPint July 24, 2012
For the vegetarian taco, try this potato taco filling:
Brette W. July 24, 2012
As for vegetarian fillings, you could do mushrooms, zucchini, corn, and/or any sort of combo!
kbckitchen July 24, 2012
Sounds great! I recently asked about a Cuban black bean recipe here and got some great responses and they were delicious. You could add a few more mexican spices search thread on Cuban black beans

to copy the basis recipe. But if it doesn't work search the thread on cu
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