One of the best things about Mexico is the delicious hot and spicy food – flavours that continue to grow in popularity with many consumers. So if you’re in the food business, it’s a good time to consider developing or expanding a range of Mexican foods and luckily there’s plenty of options. Tex-Mex is hugely popular too and it’s a fusion of American (Texas) and Mexican recipes. We are all familiar with Chili Con Carne but there’s so many more traditional and popular dishes and of course as you’d expect; chillies feature heavily in many of these dishes. In fact the three most common ingredients in these dishes are chilli peppers, corn and beans (typically refried). And of course the tortilla. As you can see from the dishes outlined below, tortillas feature in many of the meals, along with Mexican staples that include tomatoes, avocado, rice, and red and green peppers.
Here’s a selection of Mexican dishes to consider…..
We are kicking off this list with Mole (sounds like mol-ay) because it is probably the definitive traditional Mexican sauce and a cuisine classic. Poblano is a popular recipe for this red sauce, which is usually served over white meat; chicken or turkey and also duck and quail. The sauce itself is famous for having many different ingredients (about 20!) but key to the distinctive flavour is the combination of hot chilli peppers and chocolate, which smooths out the heat of the chilli’s. Sounds delicious, right? It’s an ancient, rich and sophisticated sauce that we are likely to see more of on the shelves of our supermarkets into the future.
One of the best things about Mole is that it can be used as a sauce for a whole range of Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas and burritos.
The traditional Mexican burrito is made with tacos de harina, which are produced using wheat flour. They originate from the south of Mexico. These are much smaller than the American version you might be familiar with. The tacos are folded into a closed end, making them easy to eat by hand. Traditionally they would be made using only a few ingredients – a meat or fish combined with refried beans, rice, cheese and chilli peppers. In modern recipes, often they are topped with lettuce, salsa and sour cream.
This is a very flexible dish that can be made with either corn or flour tortillas. A variety of fillings are used depending on the recipe – such as beef, chicken, peppers, onions and refried beans. The filling is then covered with a delicious chilli sauce and the enchiladas are often eaten by hand, making them a fun and social way to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner!
Another ancient dish, Pozole is probably best described as being something between a soup and a stew. Of course red chilli peppers are a core ingredient and a mix of meat and vegetables are stewed with hominy corn, herbs and spices for many hours and ideally left overnight to get the best flavours coming through. When served, it’s often garnished with lettuce, onion, chilli peppers and lime. Corn tortillas are typically served with it, to help soak up the rich flavours of the sauce. Eaten year-round, this is a sumptuous meal that celebrates the wide variety of natural rich ingredients that Mexicans can grow locally.
This is a great meal for breakfast and again there’s plenty of ways it can be served – traditionally it was used as a way of using up old corn tortillas. These are torn into pieces and fried, cooked in salsa and served with scrambled or fried egg, often with chicken too and topped with melted cheese and cream. They are similar to Enchiladas but with no need to fill the tortillas – everything is simply put into the dish and eaten with a fork.
Tamales are rising in popularity on the street food scene so how could we not include them! Tamales are made of a mixture of corn dough and filling, wrapped in corn husk or banana leaf, and then steamed. They can have a wide variety of fillings from meat to vegetables, chilis or fruit. The corn husk or banana leaf is generally not eaten but makes for great bio-degradable packaging!
Hot to trot with Mexican Recipes!
If you want to develop a Mexican-inspired dish, please contact us for a consultation with our chefs, who are highly experienced in working with clients to develop flavoursome and popular Mexican recipes and sauces. So please do get in touch with TCFG team now – we’ve got some great ideas!