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Mexican – Tacos, Tostada and Empanadas Recipes

Mexican Class and Meal Recipes

Our cookery classes are as much about learning to cook as they are a sociable experience. We hope you enjoyed your cookery class and are ready to recreate the meals at home.

We Cooked:

  • Tacos al Pastor, Salsa Verde Cruda  (Pork and pineapple tacos, raw avocado and green chilli salsa)
  • Tostada, Chipotle Prawns, Salsa Brava (crispy-fried tortilla, prawn ceviche, smokey chilli mayo, cured habanero and onion salsa)
  • Beef Empanadas (traditional pastry filled with spiced beef)

Flour taco

Ingredients – Makes 6 Tacos:
  • 185g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g water
  • 25g veg oil
  • pinch of salt


  1. Add the flour, baking powder, olive oil & 80ml water to the mixing bowl, and stir all together using a wooden spoon…once it all combines, take the dough with your hand until it becomes a springy dough.   If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour..if too crumbly, add a little more water
  2. Set Aside – it doesn’t need to rest for long, but you can wait until you need to cook.  
  3. Split dough into 6 balls, and heat the frying pan to high heat, while the temperature builds, sprinkle flour on a clean work surface or board, and some on your rolling pin.
  4. Take a ball of dough, flatten it into a rough circle with your hand then roll until thin, keep turning and flipping over.
  5. Add 2 -3 tacos to your pan at a time and cook until you see the taco blister and char.
  6. Once both sides are cooked, keep them wrapped in a tea towel – this softens the taco.
  7. Cook all your tacos and then you are ready to serve.


Ingredients – Serves 6:
For the Adobo Rojo de Chiles Sauce:
  • 3 red chillies
  • 1tsp of smoked chipotle paste
  • 450 g plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2tsp achiote annato paste or ground annato seeds
  • 1 freshly squeezed orange juice
  • a splash of vegetable oil
  • 1tsp of cumin
  • 1tsp of oregano
  • 1tsp of salt
For the Pork:
  • 1kg to 1.4 kg pork tenderloin or pork loin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • a splash of veg oil
For the Pineapple:
  • 1 large pineapple
  • 35 g unsalted butter
  • pinch of sea salt
To assemble:
  • 6 tacos
  • 100 g white onion, finely minced
  • 10 g coriander leaves, minced
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • 250 g Salsa Verde Cruda
  1. Make the the tacos. Roll out golf ball-size dough balls, press and cook.
  2. Make the Adobo Rojo de Chiles sauce. If possible, turn on the exhaust fan above your stove or open a window before toasting your chiles. Heat a large non-stick pan or clay comal over medium-high heat. Cook the chiles in the dry pan or on the dry comal, flipping once, until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Put the toasted chiles in a blender. Add the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Place the achiote paste in a small bowl. Slice the orange in half and squeeze one half into the achiote paste. Stir to combine. Add the mixture to the blender, along with the juice from the other half of the orange. Add the grapeseed oil, cumin and oregano. Blend on high until the sauce is thick but smooth, about 1 minute. Add salt to taste.
  4. Marinate the pork. Place pork in a large mixing bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of the adobo sauce to the bowl and mix well to combine. Cover the pork and allow it to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
  5. Place the remaining adobo sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three weeks. (The extra adobo sauce can be used to marinate other meats, fish and/or vegetables.)
  6. Cook the pineapple: With a very sharp knife, trim the top and bottom off the pineapple so it can stand up straight. Peel the pineapple by cutting the skin off in strips. Once all the skin has been removed, slice the fruit in half lengthwise. Set half aside. Slice the remaining half lengthwise once more and set one quarter aside. Cut the fibrous heart out of the pineapple and discard. Lay the pineapple flat across the cutting board and slice into wedges lengthwise, then cut each wedge into bite-size chunks.
  7. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pineapple, a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until pineapple is slightly softened and translucent and all butter is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  8. Cook the pork: Season the pork with additional salt before cooking. In a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork, decrease heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until meat is cooked through and most of the marinade has cooked off, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  9. Assemble: Heat a nonstick skillet or clay comal over medium heat. Reheat the tortillas for a few seconds on each side. Fill each tortilla with a few spoonfuls of warm pork and 3 pieces of warm pineapple. Top with minced white onion and coriander. Serve with lime wedges and Salsa Verde Cruda.

salsa verde cruda

Ingredients – Makes 1kg:

  • 860 g small tomatillos, green tomatoes or regular ripe tomatoes
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • a handful coriander leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 head of little gem lettuce
  • 1 avocado
  • 160ml water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth and combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately.



  • 1-2 days old tortilla (could be corn or flour)
  • Oil for frying
  • salt


  1. Heat up the oil in a deep frying pan to 185C
  2. Line a deeper tray or a bowl with a bit of kitchen towel to dry crispy wraps after cooking
  3. Tostadas are full-round tortillas, totopos are triangular, both can be fried or baked in the oven
  4. When the oil is hot enough, deep fry wraps until golden on both sides, immediately transfer into a lined tray and sprinkle with salt while still warm.
  5. serve immediately as they will only stay crispy for a short while, this depends on the thickness of the wraps you are using.

Chipotle Prawns

Ingredients – Serves 4:

  • 80g / 1/2 cup butter (soft)
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400g / 14oz peeled king prawns 
  • 200g / 7oz whole unpeeled king prawns 
  • 1 lemon (cut into quarters)
  • Salt and pepper (for seasoning)

To Serve:

  • 1 small handful of coriander (roughly chopped)


  1. Mix the soft butter, the chipotle paste, and olive oil into a thick mixed butter.
  2. Place both peeled and unpeeled prawns into a medium size bowl, then add the chipotle butter on top and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover the bowl and reserve in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
  3. Heat up a large frying pan over high heat. Once it’s hot enough, add the chipotle prawns and cook them until they turn pink on both sides. This should only take a minute or two. At this point, make sure to add all the remaining chipotle butter that’s left into the prawns, squeeze the lemon juice on top, and add the lemon pieces to your pan to cook in the juices. Simply season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat once ready.
  4. Serve with tostadas and your favourite salsa…

Salsa Brava

Ingredients – Makes 1kg:

  • 2 medium white onion
  • 100g spicy red chillies
  • 6 g salt
  • 1tbsp dry oregano
  • 80 ml fresh lime juice
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Slice the onions: Remove the outer layer of the onion’s skin. Place it on a cutting board cut side down and slice it into thin half-moons. Separate the pieces with your fingers to ensure that they all marinate evenly. Place the onions in a mixing bowl.
  2. Slice the chiles: Put on plastic gloves and slice the habanero chiles at right angles – stems, seeds and all – resulting in thin slices that resemble flowers. Add the habaneros to the bowl with the onion. With the gloves still on, mix with your hands to combine.
  3. Make the Salsa Brava: Remove the gloves. Add the salt, oregano, lime juice and olive oil to the habanero-onion mixture. Use a spoon to combine. Allow the salsa to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Beef Empanadas

Ingredients – Makes 8 pasties:

For the Dough:
  • 375 g plain/all-purpose flour
  • 175g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 cm / 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 tsp cooking salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 125 ml warm milk, full fat (30 sec microwave)

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2tbspolive oil
  • 1/2onion, finely chopped
  • 1garlic cloves, minced
  • 300g/10ozbeef mince(ground beef)
  • 120g/4ozchorizo
  • 2tsptomato paste
  • 1tspfresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, cumin, paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4tsp cooking salt
  • 180ml chicken stock/broth
  • 125ml chopped tomatoes
  • 150g/5oz potato, peeled, cut into 8mm/ 1/3″ cubes (~1 cup)
  • 1/3cup spring onion, finely sliced

For the Empanada Filling:

  • Blitz chorizo – Roughly chop chorizo into 1.5cm / 1/2″ pieces. Blitz using a stick blender until it becomes a paste (Note 1)
  • Sauté aromatics – Heat oil in a large non stick pan over high heat. Cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes.
  • Cook meat – Add chorizo and cook for 2 minutes. Add beef and cook until you no longer see raw beef. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Then add everything else except green onion, then stir.
  • Cook 15 min – Bring to a simmer then lower heat so it’s simmering gently. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring every now and then. Goal – juicy but not watery filling, with cooked potato.
  • Cool – Stir through green onion. Transfer to bowl and fully cool before using (~ 2 hours).

For the Empanada Shortcrust Pastry:

  • Blitz dough – Whisk milk and yolk in a small jug. Pulse flour, salt and butter in a food processor until the butter becomes fine crumbs – largest lumps no bigger than peas (~ 4 to 6 times). Add egg-milk mixture, then blitz on low until it comes together into a ball of dough – about 10 seconds. (Note 2 for hand method)
  • Chill 30 min – Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, then bring together into a smooth log ~20cm/8″ long. Cut in half, shape into 2cm / 0/8″ thick round discs. Wrap in cling wrap then refrigerate 30 minutes (or overnight – Note 3).
  • Cut rounds – Place one chilled disc on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to 3 mm / 0.1″ thickness. Cut 15 cm/6″ rounds (I use a bowl), or other size as desired (Note 3). Keep covered in the fridge, stacked on paper, as you continue to roll and cut. You should get 10 or 11 rounds.

Make Empanadas:

  • Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F (200°C fan).
  • Filling – Filling should be cold but spreadable (Note 4). Place 3 tablespoons (55g) of filling on the top half of a round of pastry. Spread flat in a half-moon shape, leaving a 1.5cm / 0.6″ border. Sprinkle with olive and egg.
  • Seal – Brush edge with egg white, fold to enclose, pressing out air and sealing the edge. Optional: Do empanada pleats – see step photos in post or video at 3 min 30 sec. Alternatively, crimp with fork or leave plain.
  • Bake 20 min – Place empanadas on 2 baking trays. Brush with egg yolk. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown all over and crispy on the base.
  • Serve hot with dipping sauce or salsa of your choice or with a bit of sour cream.

Recipe Notes:

1. Chorizo blitzing – Really is the best way to meld into the beef and release a ton of flavour into the filling mixture! Better than chopping.
2. Dough hand method – Rub butter in with your fingers. Mix milk in with a wooden spoon then knead until it forms a smooth dough.
Dough overnight – The dough can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept in the fridge. It will be rock hard so take it out 30 minutes prior to soften slightly.
3. Size – Empanadas come in all sorts of sizes, for authentic Mexican, go big or go home! But feel free to make smaller ones (same bake time).

4. Filling – If your filling is ice cold and rock hard, it will be hard to wrap. Allow it to come to room temp (or give it a microwave helping hand) so the mixture is loose but still cold (else it will melt butter in the pastry)

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