tex-mex dinner spread: tacos and margaritas

Our Tex-Mex evenings

One evening in Luxembourg, I went out with friends to a club. As usual, many nations came together. Daniel was there with two friends, a Dutchman and a Canadian. The evening was nice. When I got home, Daniel sent me a message telling me that the friends he was staying with him didn’t want nachos. I should mention that Daniel is a big fan of cooking.

I confess, I had never made nachos; moreover, I had only eaten them twice before. So it never crossed my mind to make them at home. As expected, in fact, it had been a pretext Daniel used to talk to me.

Since then, we try all kinds of recipes, from all kinds of cuisines.

Time has passed, we are together and from time to time (quite rarely, you know … diet), we have Tex-Mex evenings. Of course I’m not cooking – Daniel is. I do help with the preparation, I am always the chef’s assistant who washes the vegetables, cleans them, and cuts them into very small pieces.

When we prepare Tex-Mex evenings we make either nachos, tacos or chili con carne.

And of course the famous Margarita. But with us, Margarita is made to order: without syrups or sugar. Above all else: The secret of a great margarita is that the lime juice should be freshly squeezed.

Margarita (real Classic Margarita) – 1 serving

  • 30 ml lime juice
  • 30 ml Cointreau
  • 60 ml Tequila
  • 1 cup ice

Add the contents to a cocktail shaker. Shake and serve.

Strawberry margarita – 1 serving

  • 30 ml Cointreau
  • 30 ml lime juice
  • 45 ml Tequila
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup strawberries (preferably fresh but if not, the frozen ones are also ok)

Add the strawberries and ice into the blender until they become a paste and then add the rest of the ingredients. Use your imagination to decorate the glass.

Now let’s go to the tacos. I like hard taco shells, in which you can put cheese, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, green onions, japapenos, etc.

Tacos recipe:

  • 500 g Minced beef
  • ½ red pepper
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 250 g sliced mushrooms
  • 30 g Taco Mix

The taco mix can be bought or made at home.

Taco mix:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

Put a teaspoon of olive oil in a cast iron pan on medium high heat. After 2 minutes, add the peppers and mushrooms.

After 5 minutes, put them aside in a bowl.

Then place the minced meat in the same pan and put it on the stove until it is browned.

The next step is to return the vegetables, add ½ cup of wine (or water) and taco mix. Simmer for another 5 minutes.


Also for the meal, you need to prepare toppings for the tacos:

  • A small bowl of diced tomatoes
  • A small bowl of sliced green onions
  • A small bowl of lettuce cut very thin
  • A small bowl of sour cream
  • A small bowl of cheddar cheese
  • A small bowl of salsa
  • Jalapenos

Add them, to taste, in to the taco shell (along with the meat).

tex-mex dinner spread: tacos and margaritas

Shutterstock – Daniel Di Nardo 

We also make chili con carne. Of all the recipes featured in this post, this is probably the lightest.

Chili con carne recipe:

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 bell pepper (preferably red, for appearance)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon marjoram
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
  • 2 cans of red beans (260 g net weight)
  • 1 beef stock cube

In a heavy pot over medium-high heat, add one tablespoon of oil and heat it for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic, chili, paprika and cumin, stirring for five minutes. Add the meat to the pan and with a spatula break it up into small pieces. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the meat is browned evenly.

In parallel, prepare the beef stock: dissolve the cube in 300 ml of warm water. Add this to the beef mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato paste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low heat. After 20 minutes add the beans, marjoram, salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for another 15 minutes. 

Chili con carne can be served with tortilla chips or rice, sour cream and cheddar cheese (to taste).



Last but not least: we also make nachos. We optionally add taco meat or the chili con carne mixture to them or create a purely vegetarian dish.

It’s the easiest thing to do. Spread tortilla chips in a single layer on to a baking tray. On top of this, put the taco meat or chili con carne, green onions, tomatoes, bell peppers or anything else you would like. And on top add the cheddar cheese. My favourite food is cheese so we put a lot. Then put them in the oven until the cheese is golden (about 10 minutes), at 180 degrees.

Shutterstock – Daniel Di Nardo

I really like Tex-Mex evenings with friends because the food is easy to prepare, it is not pretentious and we usually use this type of food for when we play board games.

Bon appetit!

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