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Dec 15, 2007 04:39 PM


I am throwing a Nuevo Latino themed party and am having a "taco" bar. Does anyone have any ideas for fillings - I'm looking for more upscale/interesting ideas than the typical seasoned beef, shredded iceberg and grated cheddar!

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  1. It might be a longshot but it would be really special to have someone there making and grilling fresh tortillas for the tacos. Or alternatively, to have one of those simple tortilla presses, masa dough and an electric griddle so people could make their own.

    As for fillings, marinated seasoned shrimp, scallops, or firm fish bring up the level a bit. You also want a variety of salsas -- a hot salsa roja, a mild, and a green salsa verde. A pineapple or mango salsa can also add choices. If there is a good Latin market nearby, you may get some good ideas, such as cactus. Ground beef usually goes in crispy, fried taco shells -- carne asada, al pastor, carnitas, chicken, and even more exotic parts go in soft tacos. Chorizo and cheese can be good, so can a chile rellano or even potato. Besides chopped raw onion, peppers and scallion, grilled onions, peppers, and green onions are tasty. Good luck.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nosh

      I just saw on another thread (there was a link) that Bittman did an article on tacos, so you might want to search the NYTimes site for that. I'm lazy and hungover, or I'd go back and find it for you, but it did make me want to make tacos.

    2. There's a chow entertainment item about a burrito bar that might give you ideas.

      The tacos that you get from taco trucks and similar establishments consist of a couple of overlapping small corn tortillas (soft), topped with seasoned meat of your choice, and a 'relish' of diced onion, and cilantro. The meat usually doesn't have a lot of sauce. Typical choices are pork, thin steak strips, diced tongue, fatty beef (cheeks), tripe, intestines, chicken, shredded beef.

      Avocado is a good side. Chopped cabbage is an alternative to iceberg. A dry, salty, crumbly cheese is an alternative to cheddar (Mexican or feta).

      Fish tacos often use cabbage, and a spicy mayo based sauce.


      1 Reply
      1. re: paulj

        Don't forget the sliced radishes, a green tomatillo salsa and a roasted red chile salsa. A bowl of pickled jalapenos and carrots is nice too.

      2. Carnitas- I love the recipe in the new Alice Waters book.

        Chirizo, or whatever they call Mexican sausage, nummy.

        Real Mexican cheese and sour cream.

        1. firstly...PLEASE dont have taco shells! go to a local tienda and get a rack of fresh corn tortillas and keep them fresh in a little steamer.

          have some good refried beans on hand
          try spiced, pureed calabaza (pumpkin) as well...vvvveeerrry tasty!
          have real crema instead of sour cream
          have queso fresco
          have fresh leafy cilantro or culantro, and epazote.
          spicy grilled shrip
          grilled fish in chunks
          pickled red onions
          grilled pineapple sticks