Street Taco Party!
Building my own taco bar is one of my favorite ways of entertaining. I always prefer casual over something too stuffy and formal. Plus, everyone can customize their tacos to their own preferences, pretty much doing half the work for me!
The key to a tasty taco bar is having options to mix and match.
Start off with at least two proteins. My favorites are carnitas, skirt steak , chicken or pork al pastor
Queso fresco or a meltable Mexican cheese like chihuahua or quesadilla cheese are a couple of my favorites.
Add in fresh garnishes to amp up your tacos- Pico de gallo, radishes, limes, cilantro, diced onions, Avocado, guacamole
Salsa is always a must- either make your own or buy your favorite from the grocery store be sure that you have options that vary in hotness, some people can’t really take the heat.
An easy shortcut to marinade your meats is using a pre-made marinade from your local grocery store. Some of my favorite short cut marinades are the Rick Bayless brand from Frontera Foods. They come in packets and are soooo easy to use, especially the al pastor and the fajita marinade.
The easiest way to cook your carnitas is in a slow cooker. You simply cook your pork shoulder with the marinade and water or broth from 5-6 hours on low and when you come home its ready to shred.
Anytime I make a meal in my slow cooker I like to freeze 1-2 portions to enjoy for meals later in the week.
Another on of my favorite shortcuts is just shredding a rotisserie chicken and reheat it with a little bit of chicken broth until you’re ready to serve.
Don’t forget the queso!
This is where you can get a little creative and fancy with your taco bar. I always love a good crumbled cheese like queso fresco as an option. But a lot of people don’t know about Queso Panela, it is great for a vegetarian option, I topped the veggie taco with this one.
You cut the Queso Panela block in ¼ inch thick rectangles and sear them on both sides in a non stick pan with a little cooking spray. This one is always a crowd favorite, if you taste it before its been cooked it tastes very plain, but once it gets a little caramelization the flavors transform to a buttery perfectly salted cheese.
I like to have a variety of quesadilla for people to choose from. My classic combo includes, cooked Mexican chorizo and melted white cheese, I use quesadilla cheese (found with other Mexican cheeses in the grocery store). Those two flavors go so well together, especially if you pair with a spicy green sauce.
The must have for any taco is delicious guacamole. Here is my favorite spicy guacamole salsa that is always a hit!
Spicy Guacamole Salsa
I make a small batch of this and people love it not only to top their food but also to each with chips. It’s super easy to make in my Nutribullet but you can use a blender or just mix.
2 cups rough chopped tomatillos, husk off
½ cup rough chopped white onion
½ cup cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
*Make sure to put the tomatillos closes to the blade of whatever you’re using to blend, bc the water released from the tomatillos will help everything blend nicely.
*Blend everything until smooth, if the sauce is too spicy for your preference, you can start with ½ a Serrano, or add more avocado. Another option is to add ½ cup sautéed zucchini, this is also one of my other favorite combinations.