Chilly Outside, Chiles Inside
November 17, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

What great dishes/recipes would you make part of a Mexican feast?

We'd like to cook a Mexican feast. What would you put on that table?

We're dumping the turkey this year for (U.S.) Thanksgiving. None of the 6 adults and 4 children present are going to miss the tasteless bird.

  • Long prep time is absoultely fine, if not encouraged. The cooking of this meal is intended as part of the holiday fun.
  • No problems with spice or food allergies
  • Red meat and pork isn't strictly forbidden, but should be de-emphasized
  • We love mexican recipes that involve pumpkin seeds
  • We've never eaten Chayote, and are intrigued (should we be?)
Full disclosure: this thread is really close to what I'm asking for, but not specifically it. Also, more recipes!
posted by mcstayinskool to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Pozole and/or chiles relleños...
posted by ShadePlant at 12:42 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Ack, got a little "tilde happy" there. Chiles rellenos.
posted by ShadePlant at 12:44 PM on November 17, 2010

Quesadillas de flor de calabaza!
Though on second thought, I'm not sure where you'd score some squash flowers this time of year.
posted by quelindo at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2010

I love me some pan de muerto. Although it's typically made for el dia de los muertos. But it is sooooo good.
posted by Sassyfras at 12:48 PM on November 17, 2010

Tamales! Also, a good mole sauce is a thing of wonder.
posted by platinum at 12:49 PM on November 17, 2010

Tamales are traditional but pozole is my favorite.
posted by small_ruminant at 12:49 PM on November 17, 2010

Are you sure you want to dispense with the turkey? Turkeys were first domesticated in Mexico! Turkey mole is a traditional Mexican "pull out all the stops" sort of dish that is perfect for when you actually want to make a big fuss in the kitchen.
posted by SomeTrickPony at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

Seconding a good mole. Maybe a big pan of enchiladas?

Regarding chayote. I grew up eating it in Louisiana, where we call it mirliton. It's very popular this time of year and common to see at Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations. My mom makes it stuffed with a shrimp-based dressing. This is hardly Mexican, though. But anyway, love chayote/mirliton and it's very apt for celebrations at this time of year. If you're curious about the flavor: very reminiscent of summer squashes.
posted by Sara C. at 1:02 PM on November 17, 2010

And re turkey mole. Yes. Yesssss....

If you make it, please memail me so I can give you my shipping information for the leftovers...
posted by Sara C. at 1:04 PM on November 17, 2010

Seconding tamales, posole, and/or enchiladas. This is what everybody has at family-style holiday parties here in New Mexico. Of the three, tamales are definitely the most prep-intensive (infamously so, in fact). Fortunately, there's a fantastic thread about how to make them from scratch. They're traditionally pork, but chicken tamales are much more common than they used to be, so chicken away (note: around here the chicken ones are almost always made with green chile instead of red).
posted by vorfeed at 1:23 PM on November 17, 2010

You cannot have a good Mexican meal without GOOD Guacamole.

Practice till then.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


not strictly authentic i suppose, but freakin' awesome. I use a giant Calphalon skillet to cook this in, anything big and NOT non stick would work fine and follow the direction to not touch the meat in the first 2 hours of cooking. Gets mushy if you do. I cook mine in the first stage even longer than 2 hours usually. Don't skimp on salt either.
posted by domino at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2010

Whatever you end up choosing to prepare be sure to check out these recipes from Rick Bayless (and his restaurants Frontera, Topolo and XOCO).
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2010

Enchiladas Potosinas
posted by kaseijin at 2:26 PM on November 17, 2010

Nthing pozole, my favorite Mexican feast food. You can make it with chicken and pork, or even just chicken, but it's way tastier if it includes at least a bit of pork meat.

Mole with turkey and red rice is the quintessential food in Mexican parties. The day after, you can should eat the leftovers in tortas. Tamales are another popular option.

Cochinita pibil is super delicious. There is a version with chicken called Pollo pibil.

Chayote is, in my opinion, very bland and meh when eaten by itself. They are better in a nice soup or broth. There's a delicious dish called Mole de olla which involves chayote. The name is misleading, it's a stew similar to pozole. It's prepared with pork, though.

If you want to try chayotes, you can have them for lunch or dinner. Boil chayotes, cut them in halves, remove the seed, stuff them with cheese and optionally, ham, and put them in the oven for about 15 minutes. If you use low fat cheese they are a low calorie meal (therefore, not appropriate for parties).

For dessert, you can prepare palanquetas (seed brittle) with pumpkin seeds.
posted by clearlydemon at 3:12 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Chayotes rellenos are pretty awesome, actually. This recipe looks really good.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:21 PM on November 17, 2010

Barbacoa! Please!
posted by cmoj at 3:49 PM on November 17, 2010

Sikil pak. (It's a nice change from guacamole.)

Sopa azteca.

Puerco pibil.

Frijoles de la olla.

Mole poblano.

Horchata, jamaica and margaritas to drink. Fresh fruit, maybe arroz con leche or chile-laced chocolate thing for dessert.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:51 PM on November 17, 2010

capirotada (yummy bread pudding) or flan for dessert!
posted by Allee Katze at 7:21 PM on November 17, 2010

(isn't barbacoa beef?)
posted by Sara C. at 8:37 PM on November 17, 2010

Barbacoa is usually goat or sheep. Cabeza is made from cow's head.

I love your menu, obiwanwasabi.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:45 PM on November 17, 2010

Duck is used quite a bit in Mexico, and there's plenty of recipes on the net for them. If you really want to go festive, substitute goose ($$$) for duck. They roast pretty much the same.
Just a quick look, and I found: Pato en Pipián Rojo. In the sauce, you can swap your pumpkin seeds for sesame seeds.
posted by JABof72 at 7:08 AM on November 18, 2010

Sopa tarasca. A smokier & more interesting version of tortilla soup - great fun for a feast because you serve all the garnishes in bowls and let people build their dishes, then ladle the broth over it. Yum.
posted by judith at 5:13 PM on November 18, 2010

My wife is Mexican. Her father was a chef for 30 years. I get spoilt quite frequently. My suggestions:


My father in law made a dish, I have no idea what its called ... but essentially one entire nopal leaf (cleaned and despined of course), on top of that ... cheese (oaxaca), tomato, chillies, onion, coriander... whatever you want basically, then another nopal leaf on top of that. Wrapped in foil and cooked in the BBQ till the leaves are soft and juicy. Delicious.

Also definately Mole and pozole, as others have suggested.
posted by Admira at 5:37 PM on November 18, 2010

FYI, I'm still digesting the feast as I type. This was the menu:

Wild Mushroom Saute with Guajillo Chiles
Chipotle Crab Enchiladas
Grilled Poblanos stuffed with beans, rice and cheese
Rabbit Mixiote

Pumpkin Seed Salsa
Anaheim Chile Salsa

Corn and Flour Tortillas


I appreciate all the fine answers here. What we didn't cook from these suggestions, someday we will.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:35 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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