Recently we were challenged by our friends at Booths to develop some Mexican recipes on the milder side. In this blog, we share some advice on how to make Mexican dishes milder as well as some pared-back recipes and small tweaks to some of our most popular recipes. This collection of recipes is perfect for feeding a family of fussy eaters or anyone who prefers their food full of flavour but not full of spice!
Why Mexican food is family-friendly
Mexican food is a great choice for starting to introduce the family to more adventurous flavours and unusual formats. It’s quite easy to pare back the spice in recipes to suit different palettes. Many of the building blocks of Mexican dishes are mild and act as vehicles for delivering flavour. What could be milder than mini soft tortillas or lightly salted tortilla chips? Mexican food can also be really interactive and fun for the family. Little ones will love having the chance to top tacos, dunk quesadillas and roll up fajitas.
Mexican food definitely has a reputation for being spicy! Chillies deliver the flavour in many Mexican dishes and foregoing the chillies all together can often mean you sacrifice the flavour and authenticity of the dish. If chillies are a critical ingredient in a recipe, we have a few tips for helping to tone down the spice.
- Sour cream is your friend! Adding a bit of sour cream can help to counteract the spiciness of chillies.
- Remove the seeds! Most of the heat is delivered by the seeds in chillies so thoroughly removing these from fresh chillies will go a long way in removing the heat.
- Dilute! Often the best way to tone down the spiciness caused by chillies is by adding more of the other non-spicy ingredients. For example, adding more tomato can cut through the chilli spiciness.
- Add a squeeze of lime! Acidic ingredients can help to neutralise the heat from chillies somewhat.
- Substitute sliced jalapeños for sliced cactus – although tender, the cactus still has some bite, and taste a little like pickled jalapeños without the chilli heat.
- Add a pinch of sugar or honey! This can cut through the chillies but just be sure not to add too much and overwhelm the dish.
- If you’ve already over-done it and your mouth is on fire, go directly to our blog on how to recover from spicy food!
Mild Mexican Recipes:
What could be more kid-friendly than yummy, cheesy quesadillas?! With just a small tweak our Easy Chicken Quesadilla is a great recipe for the family. We recommend skipping adding the dollop of mayo and using our Red Pepper or Tomatillo salsa and sour cream as dips to keep it mild.
Another alternative is to also leave out the chicken for a Cheese Quesadilla version. What could be milder (and more comforting) than delicious melty cheese and warm, toasty Street Taco tortillas?
With simply grilled meat, tacos are also a great option for the family. In our Easy Steak Tacos recipe, we recommend skipping (or use sparingly) the Garlic and Guajillo Fajita & Taco Mix and pickled red onion. Let little ones get involved by offering a variety of toppings – shredded cheese, sour cream and mild Red Pepper or Tomatillo salsa are sure to be crowd-pleasers.
Similarly, in our Easy Chicken Tacos recipe, we recommend skipping the Smoky Chipotle Fajita & Taco Mix and offering a variety of mild toppings.
Fajitas are also a great family-friendly option. In our Easy Chicken Fajitas recipe, we use our Mild Fajita Cooking Sauce which is made in Mexico using roasted red peppers blended with tomatoes, garlic and mild chillies and mild enough for the whole family to enjoy.
We recommend skipping or use sparingly the Smoky Chipotle Fajita & Taco Mix and offering a variety of mild toppings.
All you have to do is follow steps 1-3 from our Easy Nachos recipe – what could be easier?
For those families with slightly more adventurous palettes, we recommend checking out our Family Meal Ideas. We hope we have inspired you to try a Mexican night with your family! We would love to see what you get up to. Be sure to tag us #granluchito. Happy cooking from all of us!
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