Christmas is often portrayed as a cold, snowy, cosy time of year. For most it conjures images of happy families snuggled around a log fire, a snowman wrapped in a plaid scarf standing guard on the front lawn and glasses of spicy, mulled wine served with warmed, fragrant mince pies. Aaww, I can see it now… Christmas.
In actual fact, my last 2 Christmases have been absolutely nothing like this, and not because it’s 2016. I was in Australia for both where December is one of the hottest months of the year and there isn’t a log fire in sight. Instead Christmas is spent playing on the beach or out in the garden, relaxing by the pool, tanning and staring up at the endless blue skies. It has a chill, summer vibe and boy! as much as I love the thought of a ‘traditional Christmas’ you honestly cannot beat Christmas time in Oz!
So last Christmas Kerry and I were housesitting in a mansion on the Mereweather Esplanade, in NSW, we had the sea on our doorstep and the biggest smiles on our faces. We felt so lucky and so blessed, as rando backpackers to be experiencing such an amazing lifestyle.
We asked ourselves one question, what could make this Christmas even better?? The answer was easy, Mexican Christmas!!!! The year before, spent in an equally beautiful house in Brisbane, we had chilli for Christmas dinner and instantly decided that Mexican Christmas would be our little tradition. If you too would love to embrace our tradition here are a few tips and pointers to get you started 😊
Serve nachos as a starter. Forget your usual soup, canapes, melon ect and serve up some fun, cheesey, salsa-y nachos. Eat with your fingers and enjoy getting messy, afterall Christmas brings out the kids in all of us. Nachos are also incredibly simple to prepare, so you don’t have to spend ages in the kitchen, neglecting your guests and slaving away. Nope, just ensure your oven is preheated to around 200°, pour some tortilla chips on to a baking tray, top with salsa, jalapeno, chilli flakes, sprinkle on some (vegan) cheddar and bake for 10 minutes. Separate in to portions, add a little (dairy free) sour cream and guacamole and viola! The perfect Mexican Christmas starter in under 15 minutes.
Christmas dinner is where things get interesting. There are so many choices for a mind blowing main course, you could opt for chilli, burritos, chimichanga, fajitas, quesadillas or, my favourite, tacos!!! I love how social tacos are and how creative you can get with them. Last year I kept it kinda simple and opted for hard shelled tacos with a Quorn mince and bean, salad and (vegan) cheese filling. And it was just perfect. The salad was great for summer and the Quorn mince and bean mixture was so luxurious and the spices just shouted Mexican! And it’s so easy to recreate, start with the Quorn mince, or regular mince if you aren’t plant based, fry it off for about 10 minutes, add a tin of mixed beans, a taco spice mix, a little water and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes. While it’s doing its thing, chop some salad, grate some cheese, and warm the taco shells. Simple! Serve with salsa and guacamole.
There are so many cool Mexican influenced drinks out there, tequila, mojitos, Margheritas just to name a few, and all of these will make perfect accompaniments to Mexican inspired food. But my favorite is beer. Yes, Corona, Sol, Desperado. Any will do! Personally I would recommend Desperado, because it’s awesome!
So there you have it, throw on some mariachi music and big hats and you can have yourself a Mexican Little Christmas 🙂 Enjoy! For more foodie and festive fun, please follow Without_Cruelty on Instagram ✌ ❤