Mexican inspiration promised and delivered. I’ll take any excuse to create a menu so a family birthday was next in line. Fresh guacamole with pico de gallo christened every evening meal for us in Mexico. We used it as a barometer for each restaurant. Each eatery had their own style but each one we tried was incredible so there was no question about it being on this tasting menu with some mezcalitas to kick things off.
My stand out food memory from the holiday was our first taste of fish tacos on day 2 in Holbox. Blue corn tortilla’s topped with perfectly soft but crunchy green tempura fish and creamy avocado as we dumped the bags and collapsed in front of our idyllic ocean view. And the tacos didn’t stop there, from prawn to chicken but always back to fish. I was skeptical about recreating these at home but relieved to say, these were delicious and offered us a mini escape back to Holbox. I’d encourage you to invest in a taco holder and some proper corn tortilla’s to make these worth their while. Whilst you can use wheat tortilla’s, the corn version (blue or white) take these to their authentic level.
My Mexican menu was created sharing and I’ve shared a few of the recipes here which I hope you enjoy.
A few staples you’ll need for this menu if you’re serious about your Mexican feasting:
- Taco holder
- Corn tortilla – blue or white
- Hand lime squeezer
- Mezcal – we bought back 2 bottles from Mexico. Buy the best quality you can afford or use Tequila if you prefer.
- Every bar in Mexico uses ‘Tajin’ for the chilli-salt rim on their margaritas/mezcalitas. We bought this back in our luggage but you can buy it online.
- Plain corn tortilla chips for dipping (salted but not flavoured) – don’t even think about buying Doritos. Artisanal are the best if you can shop around. Again, blue or white corn work well. I used these blue corn chips
Guacamole with pico de gallo & black corn tortilla chips
Prawns & Mango
Black Bean & Chipotle Empanadas
Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
Coconut & Lime Ice Cream
Guacamole with pico de gallo & black corn tortilla chips (Serves 4 as a starter and for your fish tacos)
- 4 large ripe avocados
- 1-2 large limes
- Handful coriander, chopped
- 4 ripe large tomatoes
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1-2 chillis, finely chopped
- Tortilla chips to serve (plain)
I used a blender here but you can mash the avocados by hand with a fork also for a more rustic texture. I usually love making avocado this way but I prefer the creamier texture for serving this as a sharing starter with chips.
- Blend the avocado flesh, juice of 1 lime, chopped chilli to taste and all but a handful of the coriander in a blender with a generous pinch of flaky salt and freshly ground pepper until smooth. Taste and add more lime & salt if needed.
- De-seed and finely dice the tomatoes and add to a bowl. Season well with flaky salt.
- Add the chopped shallot, the rest of the coriander and the juice of half a lime and stir well.
- Leave to sit for about 30 minutes to let the salt draw out the lovely tomato juices.
- When ready to serve, make sure everything is at room temperature. Don’t serve straight from the fridge. Spoon half the guacamole into a serving bowl or dish and spoon over half of the pico de gallo and tuck in!
Black Bean & Chipotle Empanadas (recipe here)
Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa (Serve 4 – makes about 8)
- 500g white meaty fish – I used cod
- 85g flour
- 200ml sparking water, chilled
- 1 litre sunflower oil
- 8 white/black corn tortillas (If you can’t find corn, use wheat tortillas but you’ll benefit from the authenticity of corn!)
- 1/2 guacamole recipe above
- 1/2 pico de gallo recipe above
- Roughly 1/4 of a mango, diced (leftover from your prawn and mango skewers)
- Cut the fish into large bitesize chunks a few inches each and heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan until around 180℃. (If you have a deep fryer then prepare this)
- Make the batter by sifting the flour into a large bowl and seasoning. Whisk in the cold sparkling water, whisking until smooth.
- When the oil is hot enough, dip each piece of fish into the bater to very lightly coat and then quickly into the hot oil being careful not to splash yourself with the oil. You can add 3-4 pieces if they will fit at once but don’t crowd the oil. Fry for about 3 minutes until just golden, turning with a slotted spoon to ensure even colouring.
- Remove the fish pieces with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen towel to absorb the excess and repeat with the rest of the fish until all fried. If there are any crispy bits of batter left in the pan, remove these as they are great to top off the tacos.
- Mix the mango with the remaining pico de gallo and set aside.
- To assemble the tacos, lightly warm the tortilla’s in a pan or low oven and spread the corn tortilla with 1 tbsp of guacamole. Pop in 2-3 pieces of your tempura fish and place each in your taco holder.
- Top each with the mango/tomato salsa and any remaining crispy bater pieces and serve with lots of napkins!
Coconut Ice Cream (recipe here) – Serve with rum roasted pineapple for an extra treat!