Mary Ann’s Tamale Pie

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 large white onion, chopped
1 – 14 1/2 oz. can tomatoes
1 1/4 oz. pkg. taco seasoning (I really like this kind.)
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. Jiffy corn bread mix
1 T. chopped pimentos
1 small can chopped jalapeños
3/4 c. milk
1 egg, beaten
2 T. canola oil
2 c. sharp cheddar, shredded

Brown meat on medium heat in a large stock pot, adding onion at the end for another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, taco seasoning and water. Bring to a boil on medium high heat. Then cover and reduce heat to medium low, simmering for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine Jiffy, pimentos, jalapeños, milk, egg and oil. Pour over meat mixture (after it has simmered for the 10 minutes). Cover and cook 15 minutes on medium low heat. Remove lid and cook 15 minutes more, adding cheese on top for the last 5 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the bottom.)

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Chicken Monterrey

This was so easy to make and my whole family enjoyed it.  Not a drop of leftovers from this meal.  It was that good!

1 c. water
1 c. instant rice
5 chicken breasts, thawed
2 cans black beans
2 c. your favorite salsa
1 1/2 c. Monterrey jack cheese, shredded

Layer water, rice, chicken, black beans and salsa. Cook in 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Top with shredded cheese and cook 15 minutes longer.

We like to serve this with Corn Dip and tortilla chips!

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8 corn tortillas, cut in 8 wedges each
12 eggs, slightly beaten
8 bacon slices
4 green onions, sliced thin
12 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
2 fresh jalapenos, sliced with seeds removed
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

In a skillet, brown bacon, remove from pan and cut in small bits and set aside. Fry tortillas in bacon fat until crisp. Add remaining ingredients and bacon all at once. Scramble until eggs are firm. Serve with hot flour tortillas and refried beans. From “The Siesta Fiesta Cookbook” by Melanie.

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Four Corners Refried Beans

1 lb. bacon
3 c. uncooked pinto beans
7 c. water
1 1/2 c. chopped onion
4 cloves garlic
1 T. salt (to start)
1-2 c. fresh or canned green chilies, diced

Fry bacon until crisp. Crumble and drain, reserving half of the bacon grease. Place bacon, remainder of ingredients and reserved bacon grease in the crock pot and cover.

Cook beans on high for 1 hour, then reduce to low for 10 hours. Cool and then mash pinto beans, in batches using a potato masher. Add more salt to taste.

Cool mashed beans completely and freeze using the freezer method. From Don’t Panic More Dinner’s in the Freezer.

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Baked Flautas

This recipe is great for our family, when we have a short amount of time to eat.  It also serves as a wonderful appetizer for parties.

2 lbs. ground or shredded beef, cooked
2 t. cumin
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed and diced
2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 lime, seeds removed
12 flour tortillas
8 oz. shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
3 T. canola oil
1 T. butter

Melt butter and canola oil in a frying pan.  Sauté onions and garlic for 2 minutes over medium high heat.  Add cumin and lime and stir. Add shredded beef (can use chicken, too), shredded cabbage salt and pepper, covering it with a lid and cooking it together over medium low heat for five minutes. Set aside.

Freshly cook and lay out 12 flour tortillas (if store bought, please heat on a cast iron skillet for about 15 seconds on each side).  Cover middle with 1 oz. of the cheeses (mix them together first in a bowl).  Then add about 1/4 c.- 1.2 c. meat to each one down the middle.  Roll each one and place on a baking dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and cook the flautas for 10-12 minutes (until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are slightly browned.

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Chicken-Chile Tostadas

These not only smell fantastic while cooking them, they taste just as good.  They make an excellent choice for entertaining friends and family.

1 T. olive oil
1 c. pre-chopped onion
1 t. bottled minced garlic
½ t. ground cumin
½ t. ground chipotle chile pepper
¼ t. ground cinnamon
1 lb. ground chicken breast
½ c. bottled fat-free salsa
¼ c. water
½ t. salt
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 t. lime juice
4 – 6″ corn tortillas
1 c. shredded iceberg lettuce
1 c. (4 oz.) pre-shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
¼ c. reduced-fat sour cream

Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 2 minutes or until onion begins to soften. Add cumin, chipotle, and cinnamon; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add chicken; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done, stirring to
crumble. Add salsa, water, and salt; cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in cilantro and lime juice; remove from heat.

While chicken cooks, place tortillas directly on oven rack; bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until slightly crisp. Place 1 tortilla on each of 4 plates; top each tortilla with ¼ cup lettuce, ¾ cup chicken mixture, ¼ cup cheese, and 1 tablespoon sour cream. By Meghan from the Siesta Fiesta Cookbook.

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Flour Tortillas From Scratch

These are cost effective and completely wonderful!  They would make a great addition to your fajitas or add honey for a quick dessert.

3 c. flour plus scant amount for hands and surface

2 t. salt
2 T. baking powder
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 c. hot water
In a large bowl, add flour, salt, baking powder and butter. Stir together thoroughly, until the mixture is crumbly. Slowly add hot water, stirring together. Flour hands and knead mixture for 2 minutes. Divide into 8 balls. Cover with damp paper towel for 30 minutes.

Flour surface and roll out each ball. Cook over medium high heat in iron skillet that is cured. Brown on both sides and set aside in a warmed plate.

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Southwestern Salsa with Black Beans and Corn

This is a delightful combination salsa–a wonderful addition to your Mexican fare. We love any dish with black beans in it!

1 ½ tsp. cumin seeds
2 – 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 15 ¼ oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1 red pepper, minced
1 small purple onion, minced (1 c.)
½ c. chopped fresh cilantro
½ c. chopped fresh parsley
1/3 c. lime juice
¼ c. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
½ t. salt
1 t. dried crushed red pepper
½ t. freshly ground black pepper

Toast cumin seeds in a skillet over medium heat 1 to 2 minutes or until brown and fragrant, stirring often. Combine cumin seeds, black beans, and remaining ingredients; toss well. Fix this ahead of time (2-3 hours) to allow the flavors to meld. Cover and store in refrigerator up to 1 week. Yield 6 cups. Per tablespoon: Calories 18 Fat 0.7 g (Before you spoon it onto the tortilla chips!) From The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook

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