Unleashing the Heat: Elevating Spice Levels in Mexican Dishes

When you think about it, authentic Mexican dishes like tortillas, quesadillas, tacos, and enchiladas are spicy. When prepared properly, nothing tastes more delicious.

But how do you prepare mouth-watering Mexican dishes? Elevate the spice levels. Know your recipes and use the right proportions. To help spice up your Mexican recipes, incorporate these Mexican spices and herbs.

Don’t Rush Your Marinade

The best Mexican dishes are marinated with chili and spices. However, there’s an art to the seasoning process. A good marinade takes at least 12 hours to tenderize and add flavor to your meat.

How do you prepare a Mexican marinade? If you’re in a hurry and want to cook fajitas, feel free to order the best store bought Fajita marinade. Although many people love to prepare their marinades from scratch, you can save a lot of time by ordering your adobo (seasoning) online.

The best store-bought marinades are better than no seasoning at all. They elevate your dishes with a blend of beautiful flavors. In many cases, these adobos include more spices than you can find at your local grocery store.

Use a Variety of Chilies

It’s true. Chilies add heat to food. However, peppers aren’t created equal. With over 150 chili varieties in Mexico, it matters what flavor you select. Some of them are sweet. Some are hot while others feel earthy.

Below is an overview of the most preferred chili varieties across the border:

  • Habanero
  • Poblano
  • Serrano
  • Jalapeno
  • Chile de arbol

Habaneros are incredibly hot. So, be careful about the portions while using them. Jalapenos are highly popular, making them the easiest variety to find at local stores. Start by using popular varieties to discover why people like them so much.

That being said, learn the differences in taste and heat levels of chilies. This way, you’ll know the best peppers to use for sauces, meats, veggies, and salads. 

Keep Your Guacamole Simple

Although most Mexican dishes are hot and spicy, not everything has to include chilies. Guacamole is a case in point. The most delicious guacamole you’ll ever taste has simple ingredients. 

Use fresh avocadoes, fresh lime, salt, tomatoes, and coriander. Avoid dried spices like paprika and green pepper. Of course, how to prepare the perfect guacamole has always been up to debate even in Mexico.

Nonetheless, avocadoes are the star of every guacamole. So, find the best avocadoes in your city. You can personalize your recipe based on what flavors you love the most.

Use Mexican Spices

Flavorful meals taste better than bland, low-fat foods. However, not all spices blend well. Knowing which spices to use for specific meals is a skill that can elevate your cooking skills.

Cloves, coriander, allspice, oregano, cinnamon, and cumin are the most popular spices down the border. Of course, you also need garlic, red onions, and tomatoes for a proper Mexican dish.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of spices in your house. Sometimes the best way to elevate a dish is to keep it simple. Use a few of your favorite spices. And you’ll probably enjoy the dish.

Know Your Spice Tolerance

Not everyone can tolerate spicy food. If you’re new to Mexican dishes, go slow on the chilies. This is especially true for hot varieties like habaneros. They’re delicious and flavorful.

But they can also leave you screaming for water and milk after a few spoons. In light of that information, use small amounts of different chilies and spices. If you like the taste, then add more pepper over time. 

Balance Your Flavors

Although it feels like a crime to leave spices out of your Mexican dishes, don’t overdo it. Know how to balance your flavors. You could use chili in your sauce and leave it out of your quesadilla or chimichanga.

If you must include pepper and herbs in your main dish, include lime, cilantro, and yogurt to cool it down. The secret to a delicious Mexican dish lies in how you handle different flavors. 

Your Turn

If you’re trying to prepare the perfect Mexican dish, start by understanding the ingredients used to cook various dishes. Source fresh ingredients. Buy the right spices and marinades. Then use the tips shared above to elevate your dish.