On this episode of the ‘World Cup Party Ideas’ series, we bring to you, none other than, our beloved MEXICO! Often imitated, never duplicated. The kings of party-perfect foods. Masters of the kitchen. Okay, okay, I’m sure you get the gist. They’re pretty good at what they do with food, and they’re not so shabby on the soccer field either.
The only issue with doing a Mexican party piece is that, well… most people don’t need ideas for Mexican-themed parties. Mexicans got the whole party drink and appetizer game on lock. As a matter of fact, Mexican food is the go-to for pretty much ANY kind of party or sporting event. Let’s see, we’ve got nachos, chips and guac, tacos, ceviche, and the list goes on. So, my goal here is to bring you new and inventive ways of taking the Mexican classics and making them your own.
Here’s a list of some out-of-the-box options for your Mexican-themed World Cup gathering that are easy to make and guaranteed to have your guests yelling, “Goooooooooool!” Okay, that last part is not guaranteed, per se, but they’ll definitely enjoy them.
APPETIZERS & FINGER FOODS
CHICKEN MOLE QUESADILLA—
Chicken mole is an all-time Mexican winner. It sounds like an odd combination in theory: chocolate and chicken; but holy moly, is this dish good. And a lesser-known variation of this classic is shredded chicken mole stuffed in a quesadilla. The best part of this spicy and feisty appetizer is you get to choose the cheese that suits you and your preferences best. I go with a light Monterrey Jack but feel free to get crazier with the queso.
CHEESE AND JALAPEÑO TAMALE BITES—
Mini tamales, you say? Ummm, yum… And cute! These small tamale bites are not only small and adorable but, boy, do they pack some flavor. Gooey cheese and spicy jalapeño bits wrapped in tamale masa. They definitely pack a punch but we promise, you and your guests won’t get enough of them. Dip them in a homemade salsa for best results.
SHRIMP FAJITA TOSTADAS —
You can’t beat the freshness of shrimp in the middle of a warm summer day. Certain Mexican foods tend to be on the heavier side, so if you’re looking to lighten it up for your guests on one of these hot June days, seafood is always the way to go. To add that Mexican flare, toss your shrimp on a skillet with your favorite fajita fixings and place the mixture on a small bite-size tostada. Top it with some guac and cheese and you’ve got yourself the perfect finger food… that will leave you licking your fingers.
SPIKED AGUA FRESCA—
Agua fresca is a staple in Mexican culture. Mexicans concoct all sorts of different flavors made from various fruits—pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, and the list goes on. But in true Mexican form, you can’t ever go wrong with adding a bit of liquor in it. Particularly tequila or vodka. Spiked agua fresca is the perfect complement to a warm summer party. Just be sure to take it easy—they go down much easier than you think.
CUCUMBER JALAPEÑO MARGARITA—
We all know and love a fresh margarita. It’s a classic, and it’s a must at any Mexican-themed shindig. If there was a party rulebook, that would be within the top 10 rules. And a fun take on the same ol’, tried and true margarita is to add unique flavors to it like cucumber and jalapeño. These components complement the tequila and lime so delightfully. They’re light, perfectly spicy, and definitely still kick you in the butt the way all margaritas should.
MICHELADA A LA COMANDANTE—
This drink is legendary in my neck of the woods. It’s your usual michelada, but with an upgrade… times ten. It was named after a bartender friend of mine named Crystal (a.k.a. La Comandante—hence the name). She is a legend in certain neighborhoods of LA for her famous micheladas. Her secret, you ask? Well, aside from the usual Mexican beer mixed with Clamato, Worcestershire, lime, and tabasco, she adds olive juice, celery salt, and I’m certain at least one addictive ingredient because one of her michis is just never enough.
Side note: To try one of Crystal’s perfectly concocted and top notch micheladas personally, visit her at Our Place on Route 66 in Glendora, CA. You can thank me later.
If you’re like me, churros are a problem. They’re just too good. Especially those warm, soft, and fluffy ones with that crispy, sugary outer crust. But if you’re trying to stay away from your usual boring preparations, a great alternative is the churro cupcake. All the goodness of a churro, packed into a convenient and portable cup. There’s all sorts of ways to make these bad boys, so do yourself a favor and look up the recipe that best suits your liking.
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE TAQUITOS—
know what you’re thinking— “Sweet baby Jesus, sweet taquitos are a thing?” Okay, maybe you already knew about sweet taquitos, but how about stuffed with strawberry cheesecake filling? The smooth cheesecake filling is super easy to make, and after wrapping it in a flour tortilla, baking them and drizzle them with chocolate and sliced strawberries, voila… you’ve found your new favorite dessert.
SPICY FRUIT CUPS—
You know when you’re driving around town, feeling somewhere between “I could eat,” and “I’m starving!” and then you spot the Mexican man on the corner with the fruit cart? If you don’t stop 9 out of 10 times for a bag full of fresh fruit soaked in lime and chili powder, then you’re missing out on one of the greatest pleasures in life. So, why not bring the fruit cart to the party? Well, not literally. Just chop up some fresh mangos, watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, and honeydew and mix them in a big bowl with lime juice and tajin. Your guests will fill up their fruit cups more times than you’ll see the score change. That one I’ll guarantee.