Let's start with drinks. It is a necessity to provide your guests with some margaritas to have with their tacos so setup this DIY drink station. You can have a variety of tequilas and even some Coronas for friends who shy away from the hard stuff.
Have a chips and dip station. This is a great way for guests to try a number of salsas and see which they like best. Also a cheap and easy appetizer for everyone to snack on before the main course!
Something very unique you can add to the chip and dip station is this Old El Paso taco hummus. It is a great way to incorporate hummus into the night.
1 tablespoon Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1 can (15 oz) Progresso™ chick peas (garbanzo beans), undrained
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, if desired
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco cheese, if desired
Step 1: To make hummus, drain chick peas, reserving liquid. In blender or food processor, place chick peas, oil, lemon juice, garlic and remaining 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix. Cover; blend until smooth. Add reserved chick pea liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency.
Step 2: Garnish hummus with cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with tortilla chips.
Spice things up with another unique appetizer you can serve; try these amazing and colorful stuffed peppers. I would suggest using the ground beef for these and switching to steak, chicken, or fish for the taco bar. This recipe will make your mouth water!
1 1b ground beef
1 package (1 oz) Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water
1-1/2 lbs mini bell peppers
1 cup cheese
Cilantro Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons lime juice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Slice 1/3 of the pepper off lengthwise, reserving for later use. Seed the peppers. Peppers naturally have one side that is straighter than the other. When slicing the top of your bell peppers, try to slice the side that is curvier off so that the flat side remaining is the side we are stuffing.
Chop the reserved peppers finely and set aside 3/4 cup.
In 10-inch skillet, cook beef and reserved 3/4 cup chopped peppers over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Cook over medium heat 5-10, stirring occasionally. Let mixture slightly cool.
Fill each pepper as full as possible with the beef mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake peppers for 13-15 minutes.
While peppers are baking, make the Cilantro Cream Sauce.
For the Cilantro Cream Sauce: In a food processor, pulse the sour cream, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice until smooth. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Remove peppers from oven and top with cheese. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with a dollop of cilantro cream sauce.
Makes about 32 servings.
To dress up the peppers, place the Cilantro Cream Sauce in a small plastic bag. Snip the corner off with scissors and drizzle the peppers with the sauce in a zigzag design. The peppers can be assembled ahead of time and then popped in the oven when ready to bake. The Cilantro Cream Sauce is almost better when made a day ahead of time so the flavors can blend.
Onto the taco bar. You can basically put together whatever you think your guests would like for this. Chicken, steak, or fish with endless toppings such as lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, avocado, sour cream in a soft or hard shell - muy delicioso!
And last but not least, how about a deadly dessert? Margarita cheesecake bars; need I say more? This awesome recipe is a fantastic way to end the festive night.
1 box(es) (18.25 oz) lemon cake mix, prepared as box directs
cup(s) fresh lime juice (grate lime peel first)
1 package(s) (2 1⁄2 tsp) unflavored gelatin
3 package(s) (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup(s) sugar
1 tablespoon(s) freshly grated lime peel
Garnish: 1 lime
Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9-in. baking pan with foil, letting foil extend about 2 in. above pan at both ends. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
Spread cake batter in prepared pan. Bake as box directs. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Holding foil ends, lift from pan. Trim rounded top (hump) off cake with a long serrated knife until flat. Holding foil ends, return cake to pan.
Pour lime juice into a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin. Let stand 1 minute, then stir over low heat 3 minutes until gelatin completely dissolves. Remove from heat.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and lime peel in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed 2 minutes until fluffy. Slowly beat in gelatin mixture. Beat 1 minute to blend. Scrape onto cake, then spread evenly to edges. Refrigerate 1 hour to set, then cover loosely and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
To serve: Lift from pan. Cut in 42 bars (dip knife in hot water; wipe clean between cuts).
To garnish: With citrus zester, cut peel off lime. Cut lime in quarters lengthwise then crosswise in 11 slices. Top bars with lime and peel.
Keep devouring the details and enjoy your Taco Tuesday!