As Halloween ends, a lesser-known but far more delicious holiday is right on its heels. Dia de los Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican celebration that honors lost loved ones. It is also a time to celebrate and enjoy life. How can you do this? Hold a Dia de los Muertos fiesta, of course!
A true fiesta is a vibrant celebration of life. It is loaded with beautiful colors, fabulous décor like ornate piñatas, and of course, overflowing with food. The key to a successful fiesta is combining the traditional flavor of Mexican dishes with classic holiday dishes to keep it festive.
To lure the spirits to their altars, the favorite foods of the deceased are prepared and offered up for them to feast upon. All food placed on the altar is only for the souls, not for participants celebrating Dia de los Muertos. After all, these apparitions have traveled very far, and need some sustenance after an arduous journey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a batch for yourself! Here are a few truly authentic Mexican dishes to consider serving at your Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Additional information compiled by Lindsay Burgess.
Depending on where you live in Mexico, mole’s flavors vary. Good mole sauce is not easy to make, as its complex ingredients and methods take quite a bit of time to master. Mole Poblano, a popular version from Puebla city origins, tastes a little bit like spicy chocolate barbecue sauce. If you’d like to attempt to make it at home, this recipe uses four chiles to give it its distinct flavor. Slather it on chicken, pork, steak, or fish to add some life to your meal.
This traditional dish should look pretty familiar to Tex-Mex fans. Chilaquiles are a staple in Guanajuato and everyone seems to have their favorite salsas for preparing it. This dish not only offers two distinct flavors from the use of two common Mexican sauces (salsa verde and ranchera) but makes for a festive presentation (when garnished with sour cream, it shares the same colors as the Mexican flag). While the preparation may seem a little daunting, this dish utilizes staples that are always in the Mexican home. Shredded chicken is often added to fortify the dish, and topping the plate with fried farm-fresh eggs is a classic way of battling the previous day’s cerveza and/or tequila indulgence.
— Bernard McDonough
Tacos al Pastor
Tacos al Pastor are a favorite in Mexico and Mexican restaurants throughout the world, and not without reason; the mixture of smoky, spicy chiles, sweet pineapples, and fresh onions and cilantro is taco perfection. Traditionally, Tacos al Pastor are made by marinating pork in chile sauce, layering the meat on a vertical rotisserie, adorning it with a pineapple, and roasting slowly for hours — a process that's almost impossible to replicate at home. So we've taken the delicious, authentic flavors that make these tacos so special, and adapted the recipe for your home kitchen, so you can enjoy it whenever a craving strikes!
Pozole is a hominy-based stew usually made with pork shoulder. Set bowls of shredded cabbage, avocado, radishes, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges on the table so each person can flavor their pozole as they wish. Keep plenty of tortillas and Mexican beer on hand!