By Cheryl Radkiewicz
If the only time you eat Mexican food is Cinco de Mayo, you’re really missing out on a great cuisine. I’ve been cooking some Mexican dishes for years at our house and they have become family favorites. Even if you are hesitant about trying some of these recipes, just remember that making them at home allows you to adjust the seasonings to you own taste.
As a matter of fact, I am definitely not a lover of SUPER HOT food. When I buy salsa, it’s always the mild variety. My husband can handle medium heat, however, I do the grocery shopping. So, try some of these recipes which I cook at my house and thoroughly enjoy.
Easy Taco Dip:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 400. Spay a 9″ pie plate with cooking spray. In skillet, brown ground beef over medium heat. Drain grease and return beef to skillet. Add onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese, ranch dressing, chili powder and ground cumin. Add beef mixture and half of the shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture to sprayed pie plate and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake 20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips.
El Paso Dip:
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1-4oz. can green chilies, chopped
1 can pitted black olives, drained and chopped
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar
Salt and pepper
Tabasco, to taste (optional)
Mix tomatoes, chilies, olives, onions, oil and vinegar. Add salt, pepper and Tabasco, to taste. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Stir before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup:
1-15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
2-14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
1-10 oz. can chunk chicken
1-15 oz. can black beans, drained
1-10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, drained (Rot-tel)
Open cans. Put everything in large saucepan or stockpot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through. Serve over tortilla chips and top with shredded Cheddar cheese.
Mexican Meatball Soup:
l lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. chorizo
1/4 cup masa harina
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle en adobo, chopped PLUS 2 tsp. adobo sauce from can
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Combine all these ingredients for meatballs in a bowl and thoroughly combine everything. Form mixture into 1″ meatballs and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 16-20 minutes or until cooked through.
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-14 oz. can corn, drained
1-14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1-4.5 oz. can diced green chilies with liquid
2 chipotles en adobo, chopped (again, watch the heat)
10 cups beef stock
1/4 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt plus more to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
While meatballs are cooking in the oven, prepare the rest of the soup. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium-high heat and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add beef stock and remaining soup ingredients, except for cilantro (or parsley).
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add meatballs and cilantro (or parsley) and simmer for another couple of minutes. Salt to taste.
Creamy Cheesy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas:
1-8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-4 oz. can diced green chilies
2-3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheese, divided ( I usually use Monterey Jack or Cheddar)
1-28 oz. can Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
8-10 flour tortillas
Preheat oven to 400. Combine softened cream cheese and softened butter together until smooth. With a large spoon or spatula, stir in chicken, green chilies and 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
Dip each flour tortilla into enchilada sauce and spoon some of the chicken mixture into the tortilla. Roll up and place in pan. Repeat until mixture is gone. Top rolls with remaining enchilada sauce and remaining cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes uncovered.
Mexican Hot Chocolate:
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Dash of salt
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and water in saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved.
Add milk and vanilla. Heat to simmering. Whip mixture with rotary beater until frothy. Pour into four mugs. Can garnish with cinnamon stick.
Mexican Wedding Cookies:
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup ( 2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt
Place pecans in food processor. Process using on/off action until pecans are ground, but not pasty. Beat butter and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Gradually add 1 cup flour, vanilla and salt. Beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in remaining 1 cup flour and ground nuts with a spoon. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Preheat oven to 350. Shape dough into 1″ balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cookies remain on cookie sheet about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, place 1 cup powdered sugar in 13x9x2″ glass dish. Transfer hot cookies to powdered sugar. Roll cookies in the powdered sugar, coating well. Let cookies cool in sugar. Sift remaining
1/2 cup powdered sugar over sugar-coated cookies before serving. Store tightly covered at room temperature. May be frozen up to 1 month. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.