As a white, umpteenth-generation American whose grandparents were all born in New England, I didn’t have much experience cooking Mexican food until recently. I grew up eating ground beef tacos in hard shells with chopped iceberg and jarred salsa (and thanks Mom, it was delicious!) But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a nasty of habit of bringing cans of tomatillos, chipotles in adobo, and jalapeños back every time I go to the states. I hoard them in the cellar and curse myself when the expiration dates glide past unnoticed. I ask traveling friends to sneak packages of dried Ancho peppers in their suitcases, and for a while I ordered delicious homemade tortillas from a little output in the 11th but then they closed. (If anyone has recommendations for a replacement supplier, please, tell me!)
When you live alone it feels silly to make a fuss opening a smuggled can of tomatillos to make homemade green enchiladas for yourself, but since I’ve had a life-mate, I’ve been experimenting more and more with my little Parisian American version of Tex-Mex to rave reviews.
To celebrate my most recent revolution around the sun, I decided to orchestrate a taco fiesta for a considerable portion of my social circle. We attacked the buffet like a pack of wolves and the only photo I took of any of this food was of my leftover lunch the following day. NB: the only reason there was any pork leftover is because we ran out of tortillas. I also got a sweet battle wound (oven burn) throwing tortillas out of the oven and onto the table with the help of said life-mate and Ms. Tangerine.
We were thirty people. Everyone was satisfied, but I think everyone could have had one more taco (they were so good!) I planned an average of 3 tacos/person, plus corn chips with guacamole and salsa, and an array of desserts.
What follows here is my game plan.