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Mexican appetizer?

I need a mexican appetizer that travels well...no dips! I would normally make a mexican sort of spring roll but if I fry it, then reheat it at the party, they egg rolls seem to get pretty soggy. Even if I fry them and flash freeze them right away. Suggestions?

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  1. Quesadillas - quick and easy. Everyone thinks "yea, had them, done that" but you can add lobster, crab, goat cheese and practically everything. Versatile, easy and you can easily lower calories by doing them in the oven.
    Hope this helps.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Nonny

      a lobster and goat cheese quesadilla with a nice spicy salsa sounds lovely right now.

      1. re: Nonny

        Actually you can do them stovetop without any oil, in a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron pan.

      2. Tamales. Find a place that sells them and then just reheat them as necessary.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Scargod

          I second tamales, but make them yourself. They are fun to unwrap, you can easily make a few different fillings to go along with the masa. maybe a nice sauce or two to top them.

          1. re: EastRocker

            Muy complicado! You are an ambitious person, aren't you?
            I've made them a few times and found them to be only worth it if you make about 4 Brazillion. If you are going to have four Brazillion guests then go for it! I LOVE tamales.
            Can tamales be just as good if they are frozen?
            True story: I flew to San Antonio to do some work. I flew back with about four dozen tamales. It drove everyone on the plane nuts! Some were drooling like dogs....

            1. re: Scargod

              Well I certainly wouldn't just whip some up for dinner after work, but for a party it would be worth it. I don't find them complicated, just a little monotonous, masa-fill-roll-repeat. Not bad if you do them a day ahead and have someone to keep you company while you assemble. I guess it depends on how much Teraesa wants to impress her friends!

              This whole discussion is giving me the urge to make some myself.
              Anybody ever make a breakfast tamale? What did you put in it?

              1. re: EastRocker

                Oh, you make it sound sooo easy! You have to cook pork, shred it, make sauce/seasoning, get corn husks, lard, make masa, spread. fill, roll, steam and, dang-nab-it, you have to unroll them before you can eat them (or at least one end).
                WTF is a breakfast tamale? I hear chefs are supposed to cuss a lot, so WTF....

                1. re: Scargod

                  Ok, they are labor intensive, but the technique isn't hard. I would leave the unrolling to the guests! You could also do non pork tamales with any number of fillings. For my veggie friends I make a simple one with roasted hatch chiles, cheese and black bean.

                  A breakfast tamale would be a tamale you ate for breakfast! I have never had one either, but I am sure it has been done. Figured i would pick some brains on here. I've had sweet tamales with fruit that might be nice in the morning. or maybe a savory version served with eggs. tamales benedict? A few weeks ago I had parmesan polenta with green chile pork stew and a poached egg.

                  1. re: EastRocker

                    not a breakfast tamale, per se, BUT, one of the best easiest things to do with tamales: slice them up, and add to scarmbled eggs. You will be ALL OVER this. Seriously.

                    Mexican appetizer that travels well:

                    CEVICHE!! Just need a small cooler for transport. Hint - a thermos would work just fine. Make your ceviche, and bring it to party. Assemble for presentation in a few min at party. Spoon into cocktail cups, ramekins, cheap plastic martini glasses, and serve with a tortilla chip, and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, squeeze of lime.

                    1. re: gordeaux

                      I second ceviche. Everybody loves it and it is something we rarely make (at least I rarely make it). Bon Appetit has a great recipe for a brie quesadilla.

                    2. re: EastRocker

                      You have really got me to thinking. I love Eggs Benedict and had a spicy, chorizo and an almost masa-like cornbread "Eggs Benedict" when in Austin recently.
                      I could see thin, round tamales with a meat inside... and a light chile con carne on top of the eggs or a modified chipotle hollandaise. Perhaps just a light masa pancake on the bottom. I'm one of those that likes buttery grits with eggs.

                2. re: Scargod

                  Yes, they freeze very well. We make Gadzillions, once even a googel, in the autumn when pork roasts are cheap and freeze 'em. Good w/ huevos rancheros on a cold winter's morning.

                  1. re: Passadumkeg

                    But never a Brazillion? God know how many that would be...

                    1. re: Scargod

                      A gadzillion is a thousand brazillion, and a google.... is a one followed by 100 zeros (google it). It's a waste of time to make only a brazillion.

              2. re: Scargod

                Cocktail tamales, small versions of the real thing. you open them and eat them out of the little husks.
                They're just miniature versions of the real deal.

              3. What about something exotic and fun using Nopalitos?

                1. i don't know how mexican this is, but i really like grilled bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers...they taste pretty good even at room temperature.

                  also baked empanadas tend to hold a little bit better than their fried counterparts.

                  ceviche can also be assembled at the party if you bring all the chopped components separately.

                  1. if you can find a recipe, make a big batch of mochomos. its shredded beef deep fried until crispy, serve with soft corn tortillas and lime wedges. super tasty.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: EastRocker

                      What about something along the lines of the fruit cups you get at flea markets and food courts? I can't think what they're called but they are great. Basically, it's spears of jicama, cucumber, pineapple, melon, etc, with a squirt of lime juice and some chili powder sprinkled on. I make it at home with some mexican "fruit season" I picked up at a mexican market....nice combination of sweet, salty, spicy. Plus it's pretty and fresh-tasting, if you've got lots of other heavy foods.

                      1. Here are a couple that are fun and easy. I do a shrimp shooter. I make pico and add little tequilla to the bottom of a shot glass tiny amount put then pass as guest arrive. in a boiled shimp and top it with pico.People love it. Also I do tortilla soup shooter. Again take a shot glass fill it with tortilla soup garnish with a fried corn tortilla strip and a small piece of avacodo. Another one is if you can find small avocado's is do half of an avocado filled with chopped shrimp and topped with pico.

                        1. That post some how got messed up. What I do is a shrimp shooter with small amont of tequilla in shot glass add a boiled shrimp and top with pico. Next is the tortilla soup shooter garnish with fried corn tortilla strip and avocado, then last the half avocados filled with chopped shrimp and topped with pico. Hope that makes sense.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Analisas mom

                            Those sound interesting. And I can find those little shot glasses in plastic at the wholesale club. Would a sauteed shrimp be ok? I have never boiled shrimp.

                            1. re: sarah galvin

                              boiled shrimp is so easy! A pot of water, juice of a lemon, S/P, garlic- I like to add tarragon, too. Bring the water to a rolling boil, nad throw in the shrimp- but watch carefully, as they take no time at all. I like to have cleaned shrimp with the shell on ( easy peel), Adds flavor, Then into an ice bath to cool and peel. So good.

                              1. re: sarah galvin

                                I think steamed or boiled wouuld work best, it's like a mexican shrimp coctail. But,like Macca said don't over boil it just takes a couple of Min. to cook. I also prefer to boil with shell on then cool and peel.

                                1. re: Analisas mom

                                  Let them peel the shrimp? Leave just the tail on? I wonder if there are any local customs about this or proper etiquite?
                                  Recently I made paella and there was mixed feelings about whether I should have removed the shrimp shells before serving. My take was the shrimp, in shells, added more flavor to the dish and peeing them while eating the paella was worth it for the added flavor that was imparted. Besides there were clams and mussells in there, whose shells had to be dealt with anyway.

                                  1. re: Scargod

                                    i think they are implying THEY peel. before making the shooter but after boiling

                            2. I love making sopes. They are little masa pancakes. You toast them in a pan. When done, you turn up the edges and put in fillings. You could save time and use canned refried bean, fry up some mexican chorizo and put on top (or not), some queso fresco, maybe some scallions. You can be creative.

                              Here are some sites to look at:


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: puppymomma

                                would they hold up well for a party? I would be worried they would get mushy.

                                1. re: EastRocker

                                  They should. I've made them numerous times, and the masa bowl doesn't seem to absorb anything. I always make a first layer of refried (mashed) beans of some sort. Maybe the bean layer keeps liquids out?


                              2. Here's a tasty, colorful, easy-to-make Mexican salad that travels really well and can sit out at room temperature without fear of spoiling:

                                Black Bean, Jicama, and Corn Salad

                                Makes 8 servings


                                2 15-ounce cans corn niblets, drained
                                2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
                                1 cup 1/3-inch dice peeled jicama
                                1/2 cup 1/3-inch dice peeled carrots
                                1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
                                1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
                                2 TB dried Mexican oregano

                                3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
                                2 tablespoons orange juice
                                2 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest
                                1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
                                4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


                                Combine corn, black beans, jicama, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and oregano.

                                Whisk lime juice, orange juice, lime peel, cumin, and olive oil in small bowl. Mix dressing into bean salad. Season generously with salt and pepper.

                                (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover; chill. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving.)

                                1. A big pot of menudo; seperate the real Mex chow hounds from the dainty foodies.
                                  Or for the more reasonable minded, a big pot of posole.

                                  1. Okay, this recipe is for Argentine flatbread--it's definetly not your traditional Mexican appetizer, but it's one of the most-often-requested dishes when we have parties.

                                    I use Boboli thin, whole-wheat crusts and bottled roasted red peppers. I've added fresh garlic, cumin, and chipotles to the black bean spread, and it's even more delicious.

                                    After it's cooled, you can cut into wedges or squares and transport easily in plasticware with waxed paper between layers. The flavor only gets better, and it's even delicious refrigerator cold!


                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mamaciita

                                      that looks good. might have to try it.

                                    2. I forgot competely about flautas! Chicken or beef with a spicy chunky guacamole.
                                      And you can reheat them briefly when you get there or if you're not too far, heat at home and bring them, they'd be fine.

                                      1. Is there such a thing as Mexican Brushetta?? I'm thinking a nice french bread toasted with some refried beans mixed with cumin and chili pwder, salsa, dollop of sour cream, maybe even a shrimp on top.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: lexpatti

                                          about a week ago there was a discussion on beans and what to do with them. I had seen a recipe for bean sandwiches, I don't see any reason why not! Using the shrimp and some cilantro, yum- I could go for that!

                                          1. re: chef chicklet

                                            I started that thread (I bought a case of refried beans) :-) We have been doing some creative rollup sandwiches with refried beans as the base. I was thinking like a shrimp fajita brushetta maybe too.

                                            1. re: lexpatti

                                              A case! A girl after my own heart! That shrimp fajita bruschetta would be delicious! Lately I am hooked on tiny sandwiches or bruschetta with all sorts of toppings. Do it!

                                          2. re: lexpatti

                                            Bolillos, split and toasted smeared with refried beans and topped with Mexican white cheese and run under the broiler are called mollejetes (sp). Salsa, sour cream or shrimp would only make a really good thing better.