Friday, May 4, 2012
My Mexican food favorites
Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo and though I don't really celebrate the holiday as if I were a descendant of Mexico, I can at the very least celebrate Mexican cuisine. It has become a large part of our culture. I think every town in America has at least one Mexican restaurant and most school children will be having a fiesta today. I am the designated party goer for my 6-year-old grandson who wore a sombrero in honor of his Cinco de Mayo party this afternoon.
That is why I am suggesting a couple of my hearty Mexican inspired dishes for your fiesta tomorrow. This is a hearty dish featuring peppers
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 8 ounces package Mexican-style saffron rice, prepared according to directions (I used Vigo Mexican rice, but it does have MSG and corn solids. I think any kind of rice mix would work.)
2 cloves garlic, chopped (or green onions)
1 can black beans, drained
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (use more if you like it hot)
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups mild salsa
6 green bell peppers, washed and halved, lengthwise with seeds and cores removed
4 to 6 ounces Mexican cheese, grated (I used Sargento Artisan blend)
4 to 6 tablespoons water
Cook rice according to directions. Brown ground beef in large frying pan until well browned and "scrambled." Drain ground beef. Add garlic and brown. Add rice, beans, tomatoes, jalapeno pepper, seasonings and salsa. Mix well. Pour half of the mixture into a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish and pour 4 to 6 tablespoons of water over rice mixture. Stuff peppers and place on top of the rice mixture in casserole. Sprinkle with cilantro and bake, covered at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes, or until peppers are soft. Uncover and sprinkle grated cheese over the top. Bake for 15 minutes longer and the dish is ready to serve.
What to serve with this. I think a salad with shredded lettuce tomatoes, topped with guacamole and sour cream. Also to round out the meal, Mexican cornbread. Here's my easy recipe.
Mexican Cornbread Muffins
2 boxes of Jiffy Cornbread Mix
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup mild salsa
Mix cornbread according to the directions on the box (add buttermilk and eggs and blend well). Add chopped green onions and salsa. Spoon the mixture evenly into a twelve-count muffin pans, sprayed with baking spray.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.
Don't have time to make a dish? My favorite local Mexican restaurant is Chylacas. They have the best fajitas. Our old stand by restaurant in downtown Newnan, La Fiesta is almost as good. They have a mouthwatering chicken quesadilla I could eat every day!