In Mexico, family and food are two of the most important ingredients of life. That's why there are several Mexican dishes that are especially designed for serving large numbers of people. Whether it's a pile of authentically presented tamales or just a help-yourself pot of pozole, these dishes are ideal for feeding a hungry crowd.
Although it's not one of the more commonly known Mexican entrées served in the United States, pozole is a traditional course at large gatherings south of the border. This dish, which is served at restaurants in Mexico called pozolerías, is essentially a large stew made of roasted pork shoulder and hominy. It also contains a decent amount of garlic and is often garnished with fresh vegetables, such as radishes, cabbages and avocados. A large pot of pozole is enough to feed 20 people, whether for dinner or lunch.
Like a stew, an enchilada casserole is the perfect way to feed a lot of people, yet it is also simple and tastes delicious. Enchiladas are usually served on their own at Mexican restaurants, but their texture and ingredients work well in a casserole. While the meat filling--usually beef, chicken or pork--can vary, the rest consists of beans, cheese, enchilada sauce and tortillas. There are plenty of other touches and flavours one can add, such as sour cream and chilli peppers. One advantage of this dish is that although it doesn't have to look pretty, the aroma alone will draw people to the table.
Tamales are not necessarily the fastest dish to cook up, but they can be made at home and always make a great party meal. They are also quintessential Mexican fare. Consisting of beef, chicken or pork stuffed inside a dough made of ground masa, tamales are steamed, and eventually served, inside an actual corn husk. While a good 40 or so tamales will be needed to satisfy the appetites of 20 people, they can be assembled quickly, especially with the help of two cooks. They also can be made ahead of time, frozen and thawed when needed. Not only are tamales delicious, but their presentation alone is enough to transform any dining room into a old Mexican villa.
For those seeking an easy-to-make appetizer that a number of people can snack on while waiting for the main course, guacamole is the perfect solution. Although this Mexican favourite is usually made to serve three or four people, the ingredients can easily be multiplied for larger crowds. The dish itself is made of avocados, tomatoes, onions and lime juice, often spiced up with a little jalapeño or cumin, depending on the chef's tastes. Not only is guacamole a healthy snack, but the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find.
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