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Mexican appetizers mainly consist of finger foods. The most common types feature chips or shells made from corn or flour. These include tortilla chips, quesadillas, nachos and taquitos, all of which are often made or served with a spicy topping or sauce. Another type of Mexican appetizer is a nut mixture consisting of pecans, spiced pinons and pumpkin seeds.
A nacho dip can be made by layering ground beef with taco seasonings, refried beans, chunky salsa and shredded taco cheese. The dip can be baked in an oven and topped with onions, jalapeños and sour cream. The dip can then be scooped with tortilla chips.
Tortilla chips also can be placed side-by-side on a baking sheet so that they are not touching and then topped by onions and jalapeños. Cheese can be sprinkled on top, and the chips can be baked. The chips are separate from one another, so there is less grease, and the toppings stay in place. Sour cream, salsa or guacamole can be used for dipping.
Taquitos, also known as “little tacos,” are another type of traditional Mexican appetizers. Meat is placed on corn tortillas, and they are rolled to resemble tube shapes and then deep-fried to harden them. The tortillas can be filled with pulled pork, shredded chicken or ground beef. If a deep-fryer is not available, the tortilla can be brushed with oil and put on a baking sheet and cooked in an oven instead. Flautas are made the same way but with flour tortillas instead of the corn tortillas used for taquitos.
One of the most popular Mexican appetizers, quesadillas, are extremely easy to make using shredded cheese and tortillas. Flour tortillas work best, and the cheese should be either a taco blend or a shredded cheddar-and-jack combination. Quesadillas also can include ingredients such as marinated steak, grilled chicken or even shrimp or salmon. Typical accompaniments for these Mexican appetizers include onions, red and green peppers and bacon. Popular dipping sauces include guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
At the risk of sounding really plebian, I think my favorite "Mexican" appetizer is bean dip. I know it's way more "Tex" than "Mex," but I really like fresh tortilla chips with good bean dip.
A couple of restaurants around here have started offering this jalapeno ranch dip along with salsa. It's pretty good stuff, and certainly worth trying. I'll have to see if I can find a recipe somewhere.
Some Mexican restaurants serve taquitos, flautas and quesadillas as entrees, with beans and rice. I'll eat them as appetizers or entrees. I especially like taquitos and flautas. Even the frozen versions are pretty tasty.
I've bought these tiny tacos with meat fillings, too. They are like teensy taquitos, and they're good, too.
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