Now that spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner, our weekends are beginning to fill up. Birthdays, end-of-school celebrations, not to mention upcoming holidays like Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and 4th of July, all days where family and friends gather together, usually over a delicious meal.
So, why not make your next get-together a taquiza? Read on to find out why this is the perfect solution for your next party menu.
What is a taquiza?
A taquiza (say it like: tah-KEY-sah), is essentially a taco buffet. Typically, it consists of a variety of different dishes, all that can be eaten…well…in a taco!
I am not talking about ground beef seasoned with some dried up taco powder, set along side crunchy taco shells, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese.
I am talking about guisados, what Mexicans refer to as prepared, cooked dishes, that can be piled into a warm corn tortilla and topped with salsa.
A taquiza is casual with its buffet format, yet sophisticated as the dishes require a certain amount of attention and preparation to make. An authentic taquiza takes the concept of taco buffet to a whole new level.
Now, don’t let the word “sophisticated” throw you into a panic…these dishes aren’t hard to make. In fact, the ones that I am suggesting are easy and you can make many ahead of time.
What I love about taquizas is that they are totally customizable so they please all types of eaters.
We recently hired a taquiza for our boys’ birthday party and it was a total success. We were able to have beef, pork, chicken, vegetarian, vegan, spicy, non-spicy, gluten-free, and lactose-free options…all in one buffet.
Taquizas are the ultimate crowd-pleasers!
So, now that you know what a taquiza is and why it is such a great option for your next get-together, let me share just a few ideas on what dishes to include in your next taquiza.
Bistec encebollado is sweet, caramelized onions mixed with tender bits of steak, a dish that is simple, yet delicious. My favorite part about including this in a taquiza is that this dish is ready in 30 minutes!
Mole verde with chicken is, comforting and aromatic. This is the perfect beginner mole and comes together much faster than a traditional mole poblano. This dish is easily reheated, making it a perfect item to prepare in advance.
Easy Mexican picadillo is a one-pot meal with authentic Mexican flavors. Ground beef simmers in a tomato broth with mixed vegetables. My kids love picadillo, making it a perfect kid-friendly option for your taquiza!
Spicy, saucy, deliciously filling, this chicken tinga is the perfect topper for a crunchy tostada or as a filler for a quesadilla or taco.
Roasted chile poblano strips in cream sauce are so simple and yet totally addicting. Eat them with tortillas, tostadas, or straight out of the pan! Feel free to include cooked, diced potatoes in this dish for a heartier vegetarian version.
Distinctly Mexican in origin, this simple, classic guacamole is ready in less than 10 minutes! Guacamole should be prepared fresh for the best possible taste.
A traditional method for preparing Mexican black beans…the beans are soaked overnight, then cooked with onion and epazote in a clay pot for authentic central Mexican flavor. Don’t worry if you don’t have a clay pot. These beans can be cooked in a stainless steel pot and still taste delicious!
Seasoned with tomatoes, onions, and garlic, this authentic Mexican red rice (Arroz a la Mexicana) will become a go-to side dish for your Mexican meals!
Smokey, spicy, and slightly sweet, chile morita salsa is flavorful and totally addicting. This salsa will be your next favorite to top just about anything!
Tomatillos, onions, garlic, and peppers blacken on the stovetop in a dry skillet, resulting in a simple 5-ingredient roasted salsa verde.
The above list is just a fraction of the dishes that you could include in your taquiza! So while you ponder what dishes to include in your menu, I invite you to read the following tips. These tips will help make your taquiza a success!
Consider the diets of your guests and include options for everyone
No one likes to go to a party where the menu includes food they can’t eat. I like to check with my guests beforehand to know if there are any restrictions that I have to work around and to avoid any awkward situations. This is one of the benefits of having a taquiza! Once you know what everyone eats, then you can ensure your menu includes something for everyone.
Make dishes ahead of time
Depending on what you are serving, many dishes can be made in advance, stored in the fridge, and reheated just in time for serving. This provides a more relaxing experience for the host since you won’t have to be preparing the dishes on-the-spot.
A taquiza is no taquiza without a tortilla. Have good quality corn tortillas, warmed and ready for your guests when the food is served. Here are a couple of ideas on how to warm up tortillas. To keep tortillas warm, wrap them in a napkin and place them in a basket on each table or on the buffet. You could also offer tostadas for your guests to prepare as well.
It is essentially a sin here in Mexico to offer someone a taco without offering a salsa. Mexicans eat salsa with just about every meal. While I included salsas in my menu suggestions above, feel free to offer a variety of salsas or switch out the ones provided with your favorites. I think a red and green variety at a minimum is appropriate. You can adjust the spice level of the salsas to suit your guests.
Lastly, depending on what you are serving, it may be appropriate to add a shredded Mexican-style cheese (like a queso fresco or cotija) and Mexican-style cream to your topping options. Although not entirely “must-haves”, I do like to offer these toppings with tinga or picadillo.
So, there you have it! Why you should consider a taquiza for your next party menu, a sample taquiza menu with a variety of dishes, as well as tips for making your taquiza a success!