I love Mexican food. My kids do, too. My son, aka pickiest eater ever, can put away some tacos! My daughter and I both love taco salads. But, who doesn't love a "salad" with meat, cheese, and sour cream?
The following recipes are not "authentic" Mexican cuisine. But, they are simple and delicious (and worth trying)! Here are some easy Mexican recipes:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 pkg taco seasoning
3/4 cup water
flour or corn tortillas (soft taco size, not the really big ones)
Taco fixings: lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, sour cream, green onions, black olives, etc.
canola or vegetable oil
Cut the chicken into thin strips. Brown them in a skillet over medium-high heat. (use a bit of oil or spray the skillet with cooking spray first) Drain any oil (if there is any). Add 3/4 cup water and taco seasoning. Stir well. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat some oil in a small skillet (about an inch deep). Once the oil is hot (a great way to check is to put the end of a wooden spoon into the oil, if it bubbles up around the spoon, the oil is ready), put in a tortilla. Let it fry until golden and crispy, then flip and fry the other side. This should only take a minute or two. Remove and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle on some salt, if you like. Then build your tostada. Put the fried tortilla on a plate and add some of the chicken, then cheese, then any toppings you like. Yummy!
Of course, you can substitute ground beef or turkey for the chicken if you want. Easy and delicious and a nice change from regular old tacos.
This next recipe was given to me when I was in college. I worked at a Senior Citizen Center. The director there was talking about this dish and I remember thinking, "My Mama needs to make that for me!" Ah, to be young and have mom do everything for you. Now, I'm the mom making it for my kids. But, it always brings back memories of my care-free college days.
MEXICAN CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
1 lb ground beef
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 lb pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 can Green Giant cream corn (this brand works best, but use what you've got)
1 large onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef. Drain. Salt and pepper to taste, then set aside. In a large bowl, make batter by mixing cornmeal, eggs, milk, soda, salt and cream corn.
*There are two ways to do this. I'll give you both. The first way is to layer: Grease a loaf pan. Layer half the batter, then all the meat, then all the onion, then all the cheese, then the other half of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. This makes it come out as a loaf, obviously, that you can slice.
The second way you can do it (easier, I think): Grease a casserole dish (I use an 8 inch square dish). Mix the meat, onion and cheese in with the batter. Pour everything into greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your dish. You want it to look set and golden.
This is so delicious! One of my favorites!
This next recipe is great if you are watching your calories and fat. Plus, it's fun to make with the kids and versatile.
MAKE YOUR OWN CHIPS
salt (or any seasoning you like)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Cut flour tortilla into 8 wedges (I use a pizza cutter to do this). Put the wedges on the cookie sheet. Spread them out so they're in a single layer. Spray them lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle on some salt (or whatever seasoning you like). Bake until light golden brown and crispy. 5-10 minutes or so. Keep an eye on them! They can burn quickly!
Have you ever had fried ice cream at a Mexican restaurant? Here is an easy way to make it at home. Plus it's a little better for you because the chips aren't fried (or, at least I tell myself that).
"UNFRIED" ICE CREAM
butter or margarine, softened
vanilla ice cream
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Spread a little bit of softened butter on each tortilla (front and back). Sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on both sides. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges. Place in a single layer onto prepared cookie sheet and bake until light golden brown, about 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they can burn quickly!
Scoop some ice cream into a bowl and poke the warm cinnamon chips down into the ice cream. Yummy!!!
If you want, you could garnish with a little drizzle of caramel sauce.
So, there are my easy Mexican recipes. Nothing spectacular, but really easy to make and really easy to eat.