Your daughter's quinceañera is an important event in her life, and you'll want to make sure that it's an event to remember. Planning the quinceañera can be overwhelming, though. Getting the menu settled can take a lot of the weight off of your shoulders and clear your plate so that you can focus on other aspects of the party planning. Your favorite local Mexican restaurant is a good place to start when you're looking for a caterer. Check out some of the dishes that you should definitely plan to add to your quinceañera menu.
Cabrito, a dish made from a one to three month old kid goat, is a traditional main dish to serve at a quinceañera. Cabrito can be served shredded, cut in pieces for dipping, or cooked in a tortilla. It can even be served in burgers if you prefer a more Americanized version of the dish.
If you would prefer to serve your guests a more traditional version of cabrito, ask the restaurant to serve the dish Monterrey style. This method of preparing the dish is named for Monterrery, Mexico, which is widely considered to be the headquarters of cabrito dishes. Monterrey-style cabrito may consist of a whole kid roasted on a spit or buried in a pit roast. This is a popular option for large parties.
Mole sauce is another example of traditional fare often served at a quinceañera. Traditionally, the chocolate-based sauce is served over turkey or chicken with rice, but it can also be eaten with pork, seafood, and even a variety of vegetarian dishes.
You may want to consider offering a few different varieties of mole sauce for your guests to choose from. Mole sauces are made from a wide array of ingredients and have a complex mix of flavors that vary depending on the region that the recipe originates from. Black mole is heavier on the chocolate than some other varieties, and also includes cinnamon, nuts, fruits, and chili peppers. Mole poblano is spicier than black mole, and comes in a bright red color. It includes lightly toasted pumpkin seeds. Yellow mole is unusual, as the recipe omits chocolate. Meanwhile, mole coloradito is similar to mole poblano, but it includes plantains that give it a sweeter taste.
A new trend for quinceañeras is to offer several food stations for guests to put together their own creations. Taco bars, baked potato bars, salad bars, and finger sandwich bars are good choices. If you're going to be inviting guests who have food allergies or who follow vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diets, or if you don't know the details of every guest's food preferences, providing a variety of food stations is a great way to make sure that everyone has access to something they can eat. Make sure you ask the restaurant to provide vegetarian, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly choices that are free of cross contamination.
You may also want to consider a dessert bar offering options like arroz, a creamy rice pudding that's made with sugar and cinnamon, and pan de polvo, a type of cooking made from shortbread spiced with cinnamon and anise. You can also offer ice cream, donuts, and other treats – but be sure to remind your guests to save room for cake.
The quinceañera cake is the centerpiece of any quinceañera menu. Quinceañera cakes are ornate and elaborate creations, comparable to wedding cakes. Quinceañera cakes are usually white or yellow cakes filled with fruit, jam, or dulce de leche. One traditional Mexican cake that's popular for quinceañeras is the tres de leche cake, a sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk, and whole milk.
Of course, a large part of the fun of the quinceañera cake isn't what's inside, it's the ornate fondant, frosting, and decorations on top. A quinceañera cake is often covered in pink icing and traditionally topped with a doll to represent the girl being celebrated. Larger cakes sometimes feature plastic staircases on either side of the cake leading up to the top tier. The staircases should be lined with seven dolls on each side, representing the fourteen years leading up to the quinceañera.
Chances are good that the food will take up the biggest part of your quinceañera budget, so once you have the menu settled, you'll be free to focus on the decorations, entertainment, and of course, the dress for your special girl.
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