Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, a summery, delicious taco bar — and the #tonicapproved drinks to accompany it, of course —with the secret components we use to take ours over the top every time.
There are very few dishes that satisfy our love of family-style, design-your-own entertaining like tacos. Guests are free to work around food allergies or preferences by selecting their own toppings (or choosing lettuce cups if the poor souls are gluten-opposed), and something about each person building their own perfect taco makes the dinner feel personal. Tacos turn a meal into an experience – which you know we like to create, whether it’s in the form of a party or a website!
So, here are your new taco essentials. Plan ahead for Taco Tuesday (a weekly occurrence in our households), or throw a last minute get-together this weekend. No one says no to a Taco Party.
The Lime Crema
A few years ago, Jen stumbled upon two toppings that have become staples in every taco since: breakfast tacos, carnitas tacos, sweet potato tacos… This is the first one, and the most important, really. This is the key ingredient that makes ANY taco amazing, and is basically the highest form of sour cream. Tonic tip: Add more lime zest and triple the recipe (and we think “Lime Crema” sounds better than “Baja Cream”).
The Pickled Red Onions
The second key ingredient that will change your taco’s life and possibly yours, too? Pickled Red Onions. Jen made these for Jeff’s birthday bash, and now he wants them on EVERY.THING. Every sammy, taco, scramble. All the things, please. And the best part? You can make a big batch and keep them in the fridge to have on hand for the rest of the week. We’ll drink to that! Tonic tip: We halve the amount of jalapenos (and also cut them in half) for the spice conscious among us.
And yes, we do mean THE guacamole. We’ve experimented with spices, played around with peppers, mashed, muddled, and mixed, but after we tried this recipe from Robert Santibañez, we realized it’s less about the ingredients and more about the technique (and the final texture), which, as the recipe promises, is GENIUS. You’ll never need another guac recipe. Tonic Tip : If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, you MUST pick up a few bags of Juanitas tortilla chips. They are Jeff’s favorite and like none other.
It’s been the summer of tequila ’round here, and we think any Taco Tuesday would be incomplete without two of our favorite tequila-based classics: The Blood Orange Paloma and a Classic Margarita. These summery drinks are refreshing, light & batch-friendly, and total crowd-pleasers. Tonic tip: we’ve been loving the gold and silver tequila by Espalon, so grab one of each and thank us later. It’s smooth AND affordable. Cheers to that!
What, you want fillings and sides, too?
Our favorite Carnitas
Baja Fish Tacos
The Best Mexican rice with Cilantro Dressing
Not feeling the meat? Sweet potato and black bean tacos
This simple cabbage slaw (we add green onions)
These *amazing* Chicken Tikka Tacos and Cilantro Lime Marinated Skirt Steak Tacos (with chipotle crema!) from our friends at Huckle Goose.
(Small plug: their entire cookbook is amazing + full of tacos.)
Have an favorite taco related recipe we should know about? Post up in the comments below so we (and fellow readers) can give them a try. Until then, happy taco time!