Cinco de Mayo Taco Bar Party

It’s Cinco de Mayo, or, a happy birthday, or, a laid back wedding reception, for your festive day why not consider a feast with a complete Taco bar. Lay out your table with colorful Mexican table decor, delicious food of Mexican or International Taco, salads and all the accompaniments then  have some fun.

The following recipes is specially prepared for a niece and her wedding for 100, so recipes are given in quantities of 8, 20 & 100, venture out and make your party delicious.

It is not likely you will find yourself short of food, and leftovers can easily be stored or even frozen for later use. Be sure to follow all “food safe” rules when placing food out buffet style, five simple rules and your guest are kept safe and you can sleep sweetly.

  • Keep it clean, wash everything, hand, cutting boards, utensils, preparation areas, make a simple sanitizer for all surfaces of 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 cup of water, 5 drops of Lemon essential oil, this is a natural sanitizer, a chemical one that is completely safe is 3 tablespoon bleach in 4 cups water, place both in spray bottles and use as required.
  • Cook it according to proper temperatures, ground beef needs to be cooked to 160°F, while chicken and other poultry should be 165°F, while pork and fish should be 145°F. When serving hot food that means 140°F, cold food should be kept at 40°F, never forget, “hot food hot, cold food food cold. “ When reheating those leftovers be sure they reach 165°
  • Track your time, standing food can attract unwanted unfriendly’s, so keep track of how long you allow food to sit during the service, 2 hours is max even when following rule 2.
  • Avoid possible mix ups, any raw food (crudite) should be kept away from cooked foods, have a proper serving utensil for each featured item, on each side of your service table, and don’t leave the utensil in the food in service.
  • Leaving with the leftovers, discard any perishable foods on the buffet that has been at room temperature for two hours or more. Divide your into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers, and refrigerate. Hold in the refrigerator, then only for three to four days at most. Freeze whatever you can that will not be consumed within those few days afterward.

Just a quick look at what you may need, it is subjective, however, as some may eat more or less depending on many factors, a very informal event like a Superbowl party more food will be consumed, an event where guests dress in more formal attire tend to see less hand held food consumed. Here is a look at what you may need to help you budget. Keep in mind that if your offering various types of Tacos make only that which is required, for example for a party of 20 make one batch each of Chicken Tinga and Pork Carnitas and two of Beef. You certainly wouldn’t make a batch for 20 of each, unless of course you desire a lot of leftovers.


For 8 Guest     20 Guest         100 Guest                   Item

2 Pound(s)       5 Pound(s)       25 Pound(s)                 80/20 Hamburger (cooked)


2.7 Pound(s)    6.7 Pound(s)    33.4 Pound(s)             80/20 Raw Ground Beef

16                    40                          200                              Hard Taco Shells

8                      20                          100                              Soft Flour Tortillas

0.6 Pound        2 Pounds         10 Pounds                    Tomatoes (diced)

0.5 Oz              14.1 Oz              4.4 Pounds                   Onions (minced)

1-16 Oz            2.5-16 Oz         12-16 Oz                        Containers   Sour Cream

0.5 Head          1.5 Heads        8 Heads                        Iceberg Lettuce (shredded)

10 Oz               1.6 Pounds       7.8 Pounds                   Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

6 Oz                 15 Oz               4.7 Pounds                     Monterey Cheese (shredded)

16 Oz               44 Oz               6-32 Oz Bottle(s)         Taco Sauce

16 Oz               42 Oz               13 Pounds                      Refried Beans

16 Oz               21 Oz               100 Oz                            Black Beans

8 Oz                 32 Oz               160 Oz                            Salsa/Pico de Gallo

 The Recipes

Chicken Tinga

8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

2 tbsp                    5 tbsp                  1.25 Cups                          olive oil

2 cups                    5 cups                 20                                       roughly chopped sweet onions

4 cloves                 10 cloves            3 heads                              garlic, minced

4                             10                        3 cups                                 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

2 tsp                      2 tbsp                 7 tbsp                                  dried oregano

1 tsp                       1 tbsp                  3.5                                      ground cumin

1.5 cups                 3.75 cups           3.75 quarts                        canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

1⁄2 cup                   1.25 cups            1.25 quarts                        chicken stock

1 tsp                      2.5 tsp                 3 tbsp                                 kosher salt

1.35 pounds        4.25 pounds       16.5 pounds                      shredded cooked chicken

1 cooked chicken yields 13 Oz cooked meat

For Serving:

10                          20                         200                                   6-inch corn tortillas

2                            4                            20                                      ripe avocados, sliced

1/2 cup                 1.25 cup               1.25 quarts                       chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup                  1 cup                    1.25 quarts                       diced red onion

2 Oz                       4 Oz                      1.33 pounds                    Crumbled cotija *

1 l                            3                           16                                      Limes, cut into wedges


Sauce: Heat a large skillet over medium. Once warm, add the oil and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the oregano, and cumin, and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, stock, and salt. Bring o a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes.

Blend: Place the tomato mixture in a high-powered or regular blender, and blend until smooth.

Chicken: Return the blended sauce to the pan over low heat. Add the chicken, and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Serving: Prepare the garnishes. To assemble, top the tortillas with the chicken and garnish with the avocado slices, cilantro, red onion, and cotija. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing.

*Cotija is a cow’s milk hard cheese that originated in Mexico. It is named after the town of Cotija, Michoacán

Best Beef Tacos

8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

4 tbsp                   1 cup                       2.5 cups                       minced onions

2 tsp                      4 tsp                       5 tbsp                          salt

2 tsp                      4 tsp                       5 tbsp                          chili powder

1 tsp                      1 tbsp                      7 tbsp                          cornstarch

1 tsp                      1 tbsp                      7 tbsp                          ground cumin

1 tsp                      1 tbsp                      7 tbsp                          red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp                1.5 tsp                      3 tbsp                          cayenne pepper (optional)

2 tsp                     1.5 tbsp                    5 tbsp                          minced garlic

1/2 tsp                 1.5 tsp                       3 tbsp                         dried oregano

2 pounds             8 pounds                  40 pound                  ground beef

1 cup                    4 cups                        4 quarts                     water

5 drops                1 tsp                           2 tbsp                         Hot sauce (more to taste)


Mix minced onion, salt, chili powder, cornstarch, cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, dried minced garlic, and oregano in a bowl.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble ground beef into the hot skillet. Cook and stir until the beef is completely browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain and discard any excess grease.

Return ground beef to heat. Pour seasoning mixture, water and hot sauce over the beef; stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until the moisture absorbs into the meat, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning to taste.



8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

4                             2.5                        12.5                                   medium onions

1 cup                      2.5 cups               12.5                                   chopped cilantro

6 pounds              15 pounds            75 pounds                        boneless pork butt (shoulder)

1 tsp                       1 tbsp                    5                                        Kosher salt

2                             4                            20                                      medium orange

12 cloves               28 cloves             5 heads                              garlic, split in half

2                             4                            10                                       bay leaves

2                             5                            20                                       cinnamon stick, broken into pieces

1/2 cup                  1.5 cups               7.5                                       vegetable oil

1.75 pounds         4 pounds             20 pounds                          medium tomatillos peeled and split in half

1/4 pounds          3/4 pounds         3.75 pounds                       Jalapeño peppers, split in half lengthwise, stem & seeds removed

6                            12                          60                                         limes, cut into wedges

9 Oz                      18 Oz                    5.6 pounds                          crumbled Queso Fresco*

24                          60                         300                                      corn tortillas


Place the pork on a cutting board remove the rind, cut into 2-inch cubes.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cut one onion into fine dice and combine with cilantro. Refrigerate until needed. Split remaining onion into quarters. Set aside. Season pork chunks with 1 tablespoon salt and place in a 9 by 13 glass casserole dish. The pork should fill the dish with no spaces. Split orange into quarters and squeeze juice over pork. Nestle squeezed orange pieces into casserole. Add 2 onion quarters, 4 cloves garlic, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick to casserole. Nestle everything into an even layer. Pour vegetable oil over surface. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook until pork is fork tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

Set large fine-meshed strainer 1 quart liquid measure or bowl. Using tongs, remove orange peel, onion, garlic, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves from pork. Transfer pork and liquid to strainer. Let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer pork back to casserole. You should end up with about 1/2 cup liquid and 1/2 cup fat. Using a flat spoon or de-fatter, skim fat from surface and add back to pork. Shred pork into large chunks with fingers or two forks. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Transfer remaining liquid to medium saucepot.

Add tomatillos, remaining onion quarters, remaining  garlic cloves, and jalapeños to the saucepot with strained pork liquid. Add water until it is about 1-inch below the top of the vegetables. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until all vegetables are completely tender, about 10 minutes. Blend salsa with hand blender or in a stand-up blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve: Place casserole dish with pork 4-inches under a high broiler and broil until brown and crisp on the surface, about 6 minutes. Remove pork, stir with a spoon to expose new bits to heat, and broil again for 6 more minutes until crisp. Tent with foil to keep warm.

* Queso Fresco “fresh cheese” is a Mexican cheese, traditionally made from raw cow milk or a combination of cow and goat milk, use Goat cheese, feta or Ricotta.

Pico De Gallo/Salsa

8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

2 pounds              5 pounds             25 pounds                       chopped Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup                  1.5 cups               7.5 cups                           spring onions/scallions finely chopped

2 tbsp                    5 tbsp                   20 Oz                               chopped jalapeño seeds removed

2                            5                            1 bunch                            sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped

2                            5                            20                                     cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp                  1.5 tsp                  2 tbsp                               salt

1/8 tsp                  1 tsp                     2 tbsp                               pepper

1                             3                            15                                     Lime juice

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and well combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.


8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

4                            12                          60                                      medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted

½ cup                  1 cup                     5 cup                                 Finely chopped white onion

¼ cup                  1 cup                     2 bunches                        Finely chopped fresh cilantro

1                            2                            10                                       Jalapeño, seeds removed, finely chopped

3 tbsp                   6 tbsp                   1 cup                                 Lime juice

¼ tsp                   ½ tsp                    1 tbsp                               Ground cumin

1 tsp                       1.5 tsp                  1 tbsp                               Kosher salt, more to taste


Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocados into a low serving bowl, discarding any bruised, browned areas.

Using a pastry cutter, potato masher, or fork, mash up the avocado until it reaches your desired texture (I like my guacamole to have some texture, so I stop mashing once there are just small chunks remaining).

Promptly add the onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, coriander, and salt. Stir to combine.

Taste and add additional salt and or lime juice if required.


8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

1 pound               2 pounds              10 pounds                      dried pinto beans (3 cups dried)

1                            2                            5                                       large yellow onion, cut into 4 large pieces

2 tsp                    1 tbsp                     5 tbsp                              dried oregano

2 tsp                    1 tbsp                     5 tbsp                              ground cumin

1 tsp                     1 tsbp                     2 tbsp                             ground garlic

1 tsp                     1 tbsp                     2 tbsp                             thyme leaves

½ tsp                  1 tsp                        1 tbsp                              red pepper flakes

1 tsp                     1 tbsp                      2 tbsp                             salt

1 pinch                 ½ tsp                     2 tsp                               black pepper

water, enough to cover the beans at least 2 inches

2 tbsp                   4 tbsp                    1 cup                               olive oil

1 tsp                       2 tsp                     4 tbsp                              minced garlic

3                             4                            12                                     jalapenos, diced


In a large pot, add in the dried pinto beans, yellow onions, dried oregano, salt and black pepper. Add in enough water to cover the beans at least two inches or more.

On high heat, bring contents to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hou

rs. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. (To cook pinto beans in the slow cooker, add all the same ingredients into the

slow cooker, fill it up with water, cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours until the beans are tender.)

Drain beans, reserving the bean water. You should have about 5 cups of cooked beans. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of beans and reserve the rest for another use.*

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and jalapenos and cook, stirring occasion

ally, until jalapenos begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add in beans and cook for 2 more minutes. Add 1 cup of the reserved bean water and mash the beans to form a chunky paste using a bean masher or a potato masher. If you like your beans completely pureed, you could use a handheld or regular blender instead of a bean masher.

Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring until the beans reach your desired consistency. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you like your refried beans thinner. Taste, season with salt if necessary and serve.

This recipe calls for using half of the cooked beans, which totals about 6 to 8 servings. If you’d like to use all the beans to make a huge batch of 12 to 14 servings, set aside 2 cups of the reserved bean water and double the amount of olive oil, garlic and jalapenos used.

When reheating the beans on the stove or in the microwave, add a tablespoon of the reserved bean water (or vegetable stock) to help keep the beans moist.

The refried beans will last about a week in the fridge. Freeze in freezer bags.



8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

2 tbsp                  4 tbsp                     1 cup                                 Vegetable Oil

1 cup                    2 cups                    10 cups                             dry long-grain white rice

8 Oz                     16 Oz                     80 Oz                                 tomato sauce

16 Oz                    32 Oz                    160 Oz                               warm water

1 tsp                      2 tsp                     2 tbsp                                 chili powder

½ tsp                   1 tsp                      1 tbsp                                  cumin, ground

2 tsp                     4 tsp                      5 tbsp                                 Calde de Tomate*

2 tsp                      4 tsp                     5 tbsp                                 minced garlic about 2 cloves


Heat oil in a 5 quart saute pan over medium-high heat. Add rice. Cook rice, stirring constantly, for several minutes, until rice begins to turn a golden color.

Reduce heat to low to avoid spattering. Gently pour in warm water, then tomato sauce and stir. Stir in chili powder, Calde de Tomate and minced garlic. Turn heat back up to medium-high, bring to a boil, then reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all water has been absorbed.

Turn off heat, fluff rice, then let sit, covered, for 5-10 minutes before serving.

* Granulated Chicken with Tomato Flavor Bouillon blends tomato and chicken flavors with onions, parsley and spices. Knorr product, available @ Amazon


8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

¾ cup                   1.5 cups                 7.5 cups                       mayonnaise

2 tbsp                    1/3 cup                  1 cup                           yellow plain mustard

2 tsp                      2 tbsp                     ¼ cup                        Dijon mustard

½ tsp                    2 tsp                       2 tbsp                         Marjoram leaves

½ tsp                    2 tsp                       2 tbsp                         dried tarragon leaves

2 tbsp                   ½ cup                    2 cups                         each radish, scallions, sliced

¼ cup                  1 cup                       20 Oz                          diced dill pickles

1/3 cup                1 cup                       4 cups                         each, fine diced celery, onions, red peppers

2 pounds             5 pounds                25 pounds                 diced red potatoes

½ cup                  1 ½ cup                  3 cups                         dill pickle juice


In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 9 ingredients together.

Parboil the potatoes, drain and place in a large pan. While the potatoes are hot, sprinkle them with the pickle juice, cool to room temperature., then drain after they have cooled.

Mix the potatoes with the wet mixture and allow to cool covered in the refrigerator before serving.



8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

2 tsp                      1 tbsp                   ½ cup                              minced garlic

1                              5                           20                                     Anchovy fillets in olive oil

1 tbsp                     3 tbsp                   1 cup                                Dijon mustard

3                              6                           20                                     egg yolks (use large eggs)

¾ cup                    2 cups                 4 quarts                            vegetable oil

¼ cup                    2/3 cup              2 cups                                Olive oil

2 tbsp                     1/3 cup              2 cups                                 Cider vinegar

1 tbsp                     3 tbsp                 1 cup                                   Lemon juice

1 tsp                       1 tbsp                  1/3 cup                               Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp                     1 tsp                    1 tbsp                                  Salt

½ tsp                     1 tsp                    2 tbsp                                 Sugar

½ tsp                     1 tsp                    1 tbsp                                 Cracked black pepper

5 drops                  10 drops             2 tsp                                  Tabasco

Puree the garlic, anchovies and Dijon in a the food processor mix until smooth. Place the mixture and the egg yolks into a the mixer with a whip attachment and very slowly add the oils processing until smooth and thick. Gently blend in the remaining ingredients.


8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

2 pounds             5 pounds              25 pounds                    80-20 ground beef

3 tbsp                   ¼ cup                   1 cup                             vegetable oil

½ cup                   1 cup                     6 cups                          diced celery

½ cup                   1 cup                     6 cups                          diced green peppers

2                             5                              20                               jalapeños peppers, seeded, diced

1 cup                      3 cups                    10 cups                       Spanish onion, diced

2 cups                    5 cups                    100 Oz                        Pinto beans, cooked and drained

2 cups                    6 cups                    100 Oz                        tomatoes, peeled, seeded, diced

3 cups                    8 cups                    10 quarts                    beef broth

2 cups                    6 cups                    8 quarts                      V-8 juice

½ cup                    1 ½ cups               8 cups                         tomato paste

1 tsp                        1 tbsp                     1/3 cup                       Worcestershire sauce

5 drops                   10 drops               2 tsp                            Tabasco

1 tbsp                      2 ½ tbsp              1/3 cup                        cumin

2 tbsp                     5 tbsp                    2/3 cup                       chili powder

2 tsp                       1 tbsp                     ¼ cup                         salt

1 1/2 cups             4 cups                    5 pound                       cheddar cheese, grated

Tortilla chips

In a Dutch oven or a large kettle heat the oil, add the beef and fry, then drain the beef, reserve.  Add the celery, peppers and onions to the pan, sauté until tender. Stir the beef back in and add the beans.

Add the tomatoes, broth, juice and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for until the desired thickness (some enjoy a thin soup others a thicker stew style) Pour chili into bowls, garnish with tortillas and cheese and serve.






Mexican Black Beans

8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

1 tsp                     2 tbsp                    ½ cup                          olive oil

1/2 cup                1 ½ cups               5 cups                          chopped onions

3 cloves               8 cloves                 2 heads                        garlic, minced

16 Oz                    40 Oz                    200 Oz                         tinned black beans, do not drain

1/4 cup                2/3 cups                3 cups                         chopped cilantro

1 tsp                     1 tbsp                      ½ cup                        cumin

¼ tsp                  1 tsp                         1 tbsp                         ground cinnamon

Pinch                   ¼ tsp                      1 tsp                           ground cloves

1/2 tsp                1 ½ tsp                    4 tbsp                        salt

1 tsp                    1 tbsp                       1/3 cup                      Worcestershire sauce

5 drops               10 drops                  2 tsp                          Tabasco

Chopped cilantro for garnish

Shredded Cotija heese for garnish


In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, just until the onions begin to soften.

Add the undrained black beans, cilantro, seasonings, and salt. Stir well and reduce heat to medium low. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, taste and adjust seasonings to your liking, continue to simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more chopped cilantro and cotija cheese




8 Servings       20 Servings     100 Servings               Ingredient

1 pound                 2 ½ pounds        6 pounds                  bacon, chopped

½ cup stalks        2 cups s                8 cups                       celery, diced

1 cup                      3 cups                   12 cups                     onion, chopped

3 cloves                 10 cloves              2 heads                     garlic, minced

2 pounds               5 pounds             15 pounds                 Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cups                    10 cups                8 quarts                     chicken stock, or enough to cover potatoes

3 tbsp                     1/3 cup                1 ½ cup                     butter

1/4 cup                  2/3 cup                4 cups                        all-purpose flour

1 cup                      2 ½ cups             1 quart                       35% cream

1 tsp                       2 tsp                     1 tbsp                         dried thyme

1 tbsp                     3 tbsp                  1 cup                           chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt and pepper to taste


Shredded Cheddar (sharp)

Scallions diced

Sour Cream


In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until done. Remove bacon from pan, and set aside. Drain off all but 1/4 of the bacon fat.

Cook celery and onion in reserved bacon drippings until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add cubed potatoes, and toss to coat. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Return bacon to the pan, and add enough chicken stock to just cover the potatoes. Cover, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

In a separate pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, thyme, and parsley, bring the cream mixture to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir the cream mixture into the potato mixture. Puree about 1/2 the soup, and return to the pan. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Place soup bowls, garnish with cheese, scallions and sour cream.

Optional garnishes more cooked bacon bits.

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