Dinner parties are great fun, but the expenses can run up quite quickly. In this article I give you a 3 course Mexican themed dinner party for four. I say Mexican themed, because it isn’t necessarily the most authentic Mexican food. All the dishes are vegan, so also lactose intolerant, vegetarian, and people with egg allergies can join. You can also make it gluten-free by swapping out the normal tortillas for gluten-free ones and paying attention to the plant-based milk and other ingredients (this does increase the price).
The ingredients totaled around €20 for me, including the optional ones, at Albert Heijn. This means you will probably spend a bit less at other supermarkets as AH is one of the more expensive Dutch supermarkets. I did not count oil, salt, pepper, and chili powder in the price list. If you don’t want to buy cumin and paprika separately you can also buy a Mexican spice mix, this can work just fine and will be cheaper in the end.
Appetizers: Chips and Dips
As a starter chips and dips are always a hit. Get one bag (or two if you want) of plain tortilla chips and serve it with the dips. You can definitely make the refried bean dip the day before, but I would recommend making the pico de gallo and the guacamole shortly before your friends arrive (it doesn’t take that long anyways).
Pico de Gallo
- 250g tomato
- ¾ to 1 red onion
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Jalapenos (pickled) to taste
- Fresh cilantro to taste
Slice the tomato, red onion, and jalapeno into small cubes and mix together in a bowl. Chop the cilantro finely and mix in. Lastly add a pinch of salt and about a tablespoon of lime juice.
Refried beans dip
- can of refried beans
- lime juice to taste and preferred texture (at least 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Optional salt (depends on refried beans)
Transfer the refried beans from the can to a bowl, add all other ingredients and mix together until you reach a consistency which you can scoop up with a tortilla chip without breaking the chip. If the mixture stays too thick and you don’t want to add more lime juice, you can add a bit of water.
- 2 avocados
- ½ (red) onion
- 1-2 tomatoes
- Fresh cilantro to taste
- Jalapeno (pickled) to taste
- 1 juiced lime
- Pinch of salt
Cut the onion, jalapeno, and tomato into small pieces and chop the cilantro finely. Mash the avocados with the lime juice in a bowl until you reach your desired consistency (some like their guac more chunky, some like it more smooth). Add the salt, onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno, and mix in well.
Main: Enchiladas with Creamy Avocado Cilantro Sauce
The enchiladas are based on this recipe by The Savory Vegan. I have made this recipe many times and it hasn’t failed to impress. You can follow her directions and ingredient list (this will even be cheaper), but these are the changes I make to the recipe:
I prefer a more creamy and thick sauce and therefore I use one full avocado instead of half. I use one clove of garlic instead of two. And I often add a bit more water, but be careful because you can’t take water back…
For the enchiladas I add 1-2 cloves of garlic, a full red onion instead of half, and I usually use two potatoes instead of one. I also add a zucchini and a ground beef substitute (included in my price calculation). Adding these ingredients will also cause you to have more filling… probably more than the amount of tortillas you have available. But that’s okay, because you’ll have great leftovers the next day!
Dessert: Arroz Con Leche
For dessert you can serve arroz con leche: a Mexican rice pudding. This dessert is sweet and soft, but very filling. If the guests aren’t already quite full from the previous courses, this will fill them up good. The amount of ingredients will make a bit more than for four people, so if you have big eaters in your group you’ll have enough for sure. You can make this recipe the day before or in the morning as well, to safe yourself some stress later in the day.
- 1 cup of long grain/desert rice (190 grams)
- 1L soy milk
- 650ml water (you might need more, but start with this)
- 0.5-1 cup of sugar (110-220 grams)
- 1-2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon (if you have more to spend you can use 1-2 cinnamon sticks)
- Optional: raisins to taste
If you want to make the arroz con leche the “correct way” follow the steps below. Otherwise, you can also just put everything in at once (just keep a closer eye and stir frequently), in this case you’ll have to simmer it for about 50 minutes. Make sure you prepare the mixture in a large pot! You can serve the mixture warm or cold (I prefer cold).
1. Combine the water, cinnamon, and rice in a pot. Bring it to a simmer and then simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add the soy milk and simmer for another 10-15 minutes
3. Add the sugar and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the mixture has reached about the right consistency
4. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the raisins, and let it cool (it will thicken)
Now invite your friends over (ask them to bring some booze to make margaritas), get cooking, and enjoy!