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A Taste of Mexico: Tacos and Tequila

Need some recipe ideas? Get some inspiration from the places SI Swimsuit has traveled.

Since we are all working from our couches, sitting in our PJs and snacking on whatever pantry staples we have left, some creative culinary inspiration may be needed. We here at SI Swimsuit are fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world, taste local cuisines, sample delicious cocktails and spirits made famous by the regions we have visited and open our palettes to all the amazing flavors the world has to offer. I love nothing more than traveling to a locale and learning all about the regional cuisines and how to make them. Let’s take a look back at some of the places SI Swimsuit has traveled to and revisit the delicacies and drinks we have sampled along the way with some recipes to help you create them.

Last week we journeyed to Bali. So since today is Cinco de Mayo, let’s head to Mexico, our neighbor to the south. Mexico is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world, both in its culture and landscape. SI Swimsuit has shot in Mexico a dozen times, and in doing so, we have had the opportunity to sample some of the most incredible food this world has to offer. From fresh fish in Tulum, to a bustling restaurant scene in Mexico City, to some knock-your-socks-off tacos in Puerto Vallarta and more, Mexico has it all. Mexico is home to some of my favorite dishes: posole (a hominy-based soup), tamales, pellizcadas, mole and more. To give you some inspiration for your Cinco de Mayo feast this evening, and taking into account the ingredients you likely have on hand in your kitchen, I'm sharing some of my favorite taco and tequila recipes that are both easy and delicious.

Tacos: When SI Swimsuit went to Puerto Vallarta for its 2019 issue, we stumbled upon the most incredible local hole-in-the-wall taco shop, Pancho's Takos, and boy, did we feast. A taco dinner for two in New York City normally runs around $100; here our group of 10 chowed down on 100-plus tacos for $60. Tacos are meant to be simple yet delicious. Some of my favorites include Tacos al Pastor, Barbacoa, Carne Asada, Shrimp and for the vegetarians, these mushroom tacos. If you’re up to it, make some homemade tortillas and salsa; if not, crack open that jar of salsa and open that bag of tortillas and enjoy, no judgment here (just please, I beg you, don't use taco shells). And hey, if you don’t feel like cooking at all, support a local restaurant -- many are offering to-go taco and margarita kits for all your Cinco de Mayo needs.

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The SI Swimsuit crew in Puerto Vallarta, March 2019. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Conroy.

The SI Swimsuit crew in Puerto Vallarta, March 2019. Photo courtesy of Alyssa Conroy.

Tortillas: Want to up your taco game? Try making some homemade tortillas. I swear, once you do it once, you will never buy store bought tortillas again (even though they are super convenient). Many people are scared at the thought of making their own tortillas, but they are actually quite simple. Flour tortillas contain just four ingredients and take about 20 minutes to make. Corn tortillas require only two ingredients: masa harina, a corn-based flour (it’s gluten free!) and water. You may think masa harina is tough to find, but you can get it at almost any grocery store. These are my favorite recipes for flour and corn tortillas. If you don't have a tortilla press handy, use a wine bottle or a bottle of olive oil instead -- they work just the same.

Tequila: Oh tequila, we all have a love/hate relationship with you. For the purpose of Cinco de Mayo, we love you and all the incredible cocktails you can create. For today's festivities let’s focus on the simplest cocktail of all, the margarita. A simple margarita requires four ingredients (five, if you salt your rim). This recipe is as easy and delicious as it gets. Want to get creative? Try a jalapeño margarita or a grapefruit version. The opportunities are endless. Pair your margarita with some chips and salsa (this homemade recipe is the best) and you’ve got yourself a winning combo.

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