You’re probably very familiar with tacos at this point. Now, don’t get us wrong, we love a good taco, but sometimes we just can’t help but wonder what else out there makes use of those delicious Mexican spices we’ve come to love. Luckily, there are tons of traditional and modern Mexican foods that make use of Mexican seasonings. That’s right, if you’re looking to branch out from the classic taco, you’ve got a delicious variety of options.
Today, we’re going to take a dive into some classic and modern dishes that can take your Mexican-inspired dinner to the next level.
Inspiring Dishes that Highlight Mexican Seasonings
There are so many classic Mexican dishes that restaurants don’t add to their menus. We are familiar with seeing tacos and enchiladas in restaurants, but what about all the other delicious Mexican dishes that use Mexican spices in exciting ways? There is no way we can detail all of the amazing dishes that Mexican cuisine has to offer — unless you’re ready to read for the next several hours — but we can highlight some new and fun ways that you can use classic Mexican seasonings in new ways.
So, without further ado, here are the inspiring dishes that make us want to stock our pantries with spices and chiles and get cooking.
You may have seen this dish on a menu at a local Mexican restaurant as “street corn,” “elote,” or “esquites.” These all refer to the same basic concept, but “elote” refers to the traditional preparation of street corn, roasted and topped while still on the cob. “Esquites,” on the other hand, refers to when the dish is prepared using corn kernels and served in a container.
Street corn is an incredibly delicious and rich way to eat corn. The mayonnaise, Mexican crema, and corn are rich and sweet, providing an excellent comparison to the crumbly saltiness of the cotija cheese. These flavors pair perfectly with the spice from the chili powder, garlic, and paprika and the freshness of the cilantro and lime juice. Add a dash of Authentic Mexican Seasoning to kick it up just the right amount!
Enmoladas are like a more complex version of an enchilada. They are typically tortillas filled with cheese and chicken, but you could also fill them with your favorite vegetarian options like spiced bell peppers, beans, or even plant-based “meat” substitutes. Then they are covered in delicious mole and topped with shredded cotija cheese.
The most crucial step to making a good enmolada is to make a good mole sauce. Mole is one of the most complex traditional Mexican sauces because it has so many ingredients. Every family has their version of mole — maybe a recipe that a parent or grandparent has passed down — but there are many recipes online if you don’t have a family recipe to reference. Each recipe will have its own combination of ingredients, but one thing all mole recipes have in common is a delicious combination of spices. Typically this will include cumin, coriander powder, cinnamon, chili powder, dried oregano, ground cloves, nutmeg, and salt.
Black Bean “Tamale” Pie
This modern take on the classic tamale is a great way to step into the delicious flavors of Mexican cuisine without needing to learn some of the more complicated techniques required for the classics. This black bean tamale pie takes the classic black bean tamale ingredients and uses them in a simple dish you can make quickly and easily during the week. The dish has two main components: the black bean filling and the cornbread-tamale topping.
For the black beans, you’ll need black beans, tomatoes, delicious aromatics like onion and garlic and a hearty combination of spices — such as cumin, ground coriander, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. This combination of spices gives this meal the warm and inviting aroma of a classic Mexican dish, and the delicious cornmeal topping ensures it is a filling and satisfying meal.
Just saying... not to be pushy... Mexican Seasoning is GREAT in this too... 😉
Tacos de Papa
We know we said “beyond tacos,” but tacos de papa are a bit of a different take on the traditional taco. They’re like a mix of a taco and a pierogi.
This classic Mexican vegetarian dish only needs a few basic ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. You need soft corn tortillas, potatoes, spices, and some frying oil. The potato mixture is typically flavored with garlic powder, ground cumin, coriander, paprika, black pepper, and dried oregano (or any combination of these spices). Some people also add a bit of cotija cheese or queso to this mixture as well. Once cooked, it is mashed and spread on ½ of the tortilla so they can be folded and held closed with a toothpick while frying.
Posole (sometimes spelled “pozole”) is a traditional Mexican soup made from three primary ingredients: pork, dried chiles, and hominy (hulled corn kernels). While hominy forms the base of this soup, it would be much less flavorful and warming without all of the delicious spices that help make up the broth. This includes the dried chiles, ground cumin, black pepper, salt, garlic, dried oregano, bay leaves, and onion.
You can also make posole with other meats, but traditionally it is made with pork. (The batch above used shrimp, which sounds AMAZING). No matter what protein or specific spice mixture you choose, posole is a delicious hearty soup that may quickly become your new favorite comfort food!
Menudo is a traditional Mexican soup made from red chiles and tripe (cow stomach). Due to the inclusion of tripe, menudo is typically a polarizing dish. Some people love it, and some people can’t stomach it. The broth is characterized by a delicious and warm blend of spices and chiles. Typically it will include bay leaves, garlic, ground cumin, dried oregano, black pepper, Mexican red chiles, and lime juice.
To summarize, numerous Mexican dishes can make use of those traditional Mexican spices you have in your pantry. Whether you’re looking for new ways to use the spices you’ve already got stocked in your cabinets or looking for new spices to try out with your favorite dishes, we hope these dishes help inspire you to create some culinary masterpieces at home! The next time you feel like Mexican food, try expanding your horizons with one of these dishes instead of making your go-to taco recipe!
If you need to stock up on any of the delicious spices needed for any good Mexican dish, check out our high-quality organic spices, or if you’re a fan of spice mixes, check out our delicious Taco Seasoning blend!
Did we INSPIRE You?
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