Mexican appetizer -- NOT: tacito, guacamole, salsa, chips, quesadilla
How about ceviche??
2 cups chopped cooked shrimp meat
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced, or to taste
2 limes, juiced
salt and pepper to taste
Stir the shrimp, bell pepper, pineapple, avocado, onion, cilantro, garlic, serrano pepper, lime juice, salt, and pepper together in a glass or ceramic mixing bowl until evenly combined. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Here are a couple of links to some fun ones you could try. The first one you probably could also use purchased phyllo dough and bake the shells in mini cupcake tins. You could also make some Jalapeño Poppers. And Rick Bayless does a good Mexican-Style Shrimp Cocktail from his Fiesta at Rick's book. And don't forget a couple of different flavors of Margaritas as well as the Cervezas!
Mexican Phyllo Cups: http://kidscooking.about.com/od/snacksdipsappetizers/r/mexican-appetizers.htm
Mexican Tacos: http://www.sailusfood.com/2007/04/18/mexican-tacos/
Mexican Stuffed Mushrooms: http://www.bigoven.com/recipe/111135/...
Mini-muffins of jalapeno and cheese cornbread
Mango, cucumber, jicama, cantaloupe, watermelon slices or cubes with lime to squeeze over and hot chili powder/salt to dip
Corn on the cob -- 2 inch or so rounds, roasted or steamed, spread lightly with mayo and lime, rolled in parmesan or cotija cheese and chili powder (elote)
Shrimp cocktail or seviche served in shot glasses
Baby potatoes stuffed with chorizo, green chilis and cheese
Black bean salad/salsa on butter lettuce leaves
Chile relleno bites
Fruit with Chile and Lime
Super simple and a very common street food. Cut mangos, pineapples (and Mexican papayas if you can get them) into serving pieces. Repeat with cucumbers and jicama. Arrange sliced fruits and veggies on a platter or skewer. Sprinkle with finely ground chile de arbol powder and server (key) lime wedges on the side
Corn off the cob. Simmer scraped corn cobs in some water along with a little epazote and salt. Add corn, cook until done and then drain off about 90% of the liquid. To serve place some corn in a double old fasioned glass, add a squeeze of (key) lime, grd chile de arbol and guests choice of Mexcian crema (look for crema that doesn't say "agria" on it as that's more like sour cream) or a dollop of mayo. McCormicks mayo is the mayo of choice in MX and most has lime in it.
In Veracruz there is a little app called Minilla. It's basically a fish hash with herbs and olives that is made into an empanada using puff pastry (Google for a minilla recipe), they're often made with canned tuna. And speaking of empanadas, you can make a standard picadillo, stuff it into pastry squares and make empanadas. Serve with lime sour cream (lime added to crema or thinned sour cream) and salsa verde
Coctales de Cameron are light years a head of the standard American shrimp cocktail. I can post a recipe if you'd like. They're generally served in old fashioned malt glasses but could probaby modified for buffet service or something else. In keeping with the shrimp (which is a very Mexican ingredient) theme you can also do Camarones al Ajillo. Mince up a head of garlic and place in a small pot cover with about 3/4 cup of good olive oil and 6-8 chile de arbol. Bring to a simmer and simmer about an hour. Add a teaspoon of lime juice. Thread shrimp onto skewers, baste with garlic oil and serve with the extra oil to dip and couple thin slices of bread for the garlic and chiles. OR crush a couple cloves of garlic, add some coarse sea salt (about a teaspoon) and the juice of 2 (key) limes. Marinate shrimp for 5 mintues and then drain. Crush the remaining garlic cloves but leave them as in tact as possible. Heat a tablespoon of canola and olive oil in a small skillet over high heat. Add garlic just before oil begins to smoke and stir fry from about 2 mintues. Garlic will be fragrant and browned. Add 20 chile de arbols and cook for about another minute, be careful not to burn them. Remove from heat. Heat some oil in a another skillet over high heat until almost smoking, add the drained shrimp and cook for 2 mins. stirring constantly. Add the reserved garlic/chile mixture to just heat it through. Serve with lime wedges. Mushrooms can also be done using the 2nd al ajillo method
Mariquitas are deep fried plaintain that have been thinly sliced and deep fried. Sprinkle with salt and a squeeze of lime. Best eaten hot.
Jalapenos can be stuffed with just about anything and then served in an escabeche
Oaxacan Peanuts are drop dead easy. You'll need raw (unroasted/unsalted) peanuts, skin can be on, some peeled garlic cloves left whole (smaller ones are better for this) and 10-12 chile de arbols (smaller is better here, but big ones can be cut in half). Heat some oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the nuts, garlc and chiles, stir to coat, reduce heat and cook until nuts are richly colored adn the garlic is golden. It takes 20-30 mintues depending upon how many nuts you're using. Season to taste with salt and cool. The nuts don't need a ton of oil, just enough to barely coat.