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Whether you’re tailgating with friends or homegating on your couch, there’s one thing that is an absolute must to make your game day experience a winning one: Good Food
We’re a couple of weeks into football season, and each week I’ve been thinking of new ways to “spice” up our game day spread. I could stick to my Southern roots and make a few more traditional things such as BBQ with all the fixin’s, but that’s just not saucy enough for me this time around.
This time I’m taking it way down south (as in south of the border) with a few twists on some of my favorite Mexican-inspired dishes, and we’re counting down the minutes until kickoff so we can dig in to my Kickoff Mexican Caviar and Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos!
In my opinion, there’s just nothing in the world like crunching into a tortilla chip loaded with delicious salsa or dip. Looking back at all of the game day snacks and meals I’ve had over the years, I really can’t think of a time that salsa wasn’t a part of it in some way. So when I was planning our menu for this past week’s big game, I reached for a few bottles of my favorite Pace® Salsa to draw a little inspiration.
I remember my parents frequently making this dish when I was growing up called “Texas Caviar.” It was basically a twist on a super chunky salsa that was loaded with beans, corn and an Italian dressing base. I was always terrified to eat it, because I thought my parents were trying to be slick and trick me into eating actual fish eggs. I knew what caviar was, and I knew I didn’t want anything to do with it! But really, the joke was on me. I was totally missing out! I’m guessing they used the term “caviar” because it’s so good, you might think it’s a delicacy! That stuff was deeee-lish!
So drawing off what I can remember about that particular dip, I decided to make my own version and incorporate more of the Southwest flavors into it that I really love. I headed out to my local Walmart to pick up the supplies that I needed. First stop, of course, was to pick up my beloved Pace® Salsa!
There’s several styles and varieties of Pace® to choose from. My family loves to pack in a little heat, so I opted for the “medium” variety. For the Mexican Caviar dip, I wanted the salsa to be a little bit finer since the dip itself was going to be really chunky. The Picante style was absolutely perfect!
All in all, this dip requires very little prep work, which makes it super ideal for busy game days. I picked up a few small colorful peppers, a small handful of green onions, some cilantro and one fresh tomato to slice & dice and throw into the mix!
I also included a can of corn, black beans, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, some spices and an entire 24 oz bottle of Pace® Picante to give it that genuine southwest flavor. Once all of the ingredients are incorporated, you’re ready to go! Ideally, you should let this dip chill for a few hours before serving so that all of the flavors marry together nicely, but it’s totally not required. I will say this, though – it makes for some AWESOME leftovers! That is, if there’s any left! 😉
Here’s a free printable copy of the exact recipe so you can print it out and enjoy it with your friends and family!
Mexican Caviar with Homemade Tortilla Chips
- 1 25 oz jar of Pace Picante Salsa
- 1 15 oz can black beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 15 oz can yellow corn - drained
- 1 small tomato - diced
- 1 small red orange and yellow bell pepper - seeded and diced
- 1 small handful of green onions - diced
- 1/2 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 handful cilantro - chopped optional
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder cumin and chili powder
- salt + pepper to taste
- For Tortilla Chips:
- 1 package soft white corn tortillas
- Canola oil for frying
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well
- Cover and refrigerate over night - (not required, but recommended so all flavors meld together well)
- *Serve with fresh tortilla chips
- *For Homemade Tortilla Chips:
- Preheat oil for frying to 350 F
- Cut corn tortillas into triangles
- Once grease is hot enough, gently place tortillas one at a time into grease and cook for one full minute. Using a metal pair of tongs or a spatula, flip the chips over in the grease at least once. I recommend frying no more than 6 tortilla chips at a time
- Remove from grease and allow to cool on a paper towel.
- Add salt if desired
To really take this game day dish over the top, I decided to prepare some fresh “homemade” tortilla chips to pair with the Mexican Caviar. Some may argue that this method isn’t truly homemade since I didn’t make the tortillas myself, but it’s quick, easy, inexpensive and WAY better than pre-packaged tortilla chips!
First, grab a hand full of soft corn tortillas (I use 6 at a time) and cut into triangles like pictured below.
Preheat some grease in a deep fryer to 350 F and slowly add in the tortillas. I recommend cooking no more than 6-7 chips at a time. Allow them to cook for one full minute, and then transfer to a wire rack or a plate with paper towels to absorb any extra grease. Add a pinch of salt and voila!
I used about half a package of corn tortillas, which left me with more tortillas to find a way to use. I decided that our game day menu needed a little bit of meatiness to it, so I whipped up a batch of delicious Spicy Cream Cheese Chicken Taquitos!
Spicy Cream Cheese Chicken Taquito Recipe:
- 1 10 oz can of chicken (drained) – bonus points if you can find a fajita flavored variety
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup Pace® Chunky Salsa
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese – I used mild cheddar
- 1/4 cup jalapenos (optional)
- 10-12 soft white corn tortillas
- cooking oil for frying
- toothpicks (to hold them together when frying)
- Preheat oil to 350 F
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients using a hand mixer
- Spoon a small amount onto one side of tortilla – trying to make sure not to get it too close to any of the edges
- Roll each tortilla tightly and use a toothpick to hold each one together
- Place in deep fryer 3-4 at a time and cook for 2 minutes
- Allow to cool on wire rack or paper towels
- Serve with sour cream and Pace® Salsa for dipping
If you’re looking to keep your game day menu quick and easy, you seriously cannot go wrong with these two delicious appetizers! Pace® Salsa was the true shining star of each dish, because it really provided that kick of flavor my family was craving. We’ll be cheering our team on to victory with happy tummies, that’s for sure! 😀
What are some other amazing game day foods that you and your family love to eat while watching the game? Do you like to add a little heat to your meals like we do? Are you always looking for appetizers to serve that are quick and easy? Score some extra points with your guests and give these two recipes a try!
Make It Saucy:
Click here for more amazing game day food inspiration and ways to use Pace® Salsa to bring out the flavors in your game day spread!