Friday, May 3, 2013

Cinco de Mayo Food

I really don't need a pseudo holiday as an excuse to enjoy Mexican food.  I enjoy it anytime.  Some version of tacos or burritos are a regular occurrence in our house.  So I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon and give you a quick list of links of my own recipes as well as some favorites.  Enjoy them on Sunday or any random day you like.

Tomato, Avocado and Corn Salsa- Not really authentic, but that doesn't stop it from being good.  I'm actually starting to see fresh corn in the store.  However, both kinds of frozen corn sold at Trader Joe's taste great in this too.  Eat it with chips or spoon some on your taco.

Three Methods for Chicken Tacos- There are far more than three methods for making chicken tacos, but here are the three different ways that I typically make them.

How to Make Homemade Tortilla Chips-  I love to make homemade chips when I have the time.  They are so good!  The fabulous blog Simply Recipes recently posted a great tutorial on several ways to make tortilla chips. 

Refried Beans- I stopped buying canned refried beans awhile ago and make my own.  This is the recipe I use.  Sometimes I put a smoked turkey wing in with the beans when they are boiling, which adds delicious flavor. 

Homemade Taco Seasoning- No starch or fillers, just spices.  I stopped buying taco seasoning in packets ages ago but did use the Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning for years. Then I started just "manually" seasoning taco meat with chili powder, cumin, garlic, etc.  Now I just mix this up a batch of this and keep it in a container.

Mexican Rice- In college, a friend taught me how to make her mom's Mexican rice.  I've made it that way for years and only recently changed it up a bit.  This recipe follows the same method of cooking, just slightly different ingredients than what I do.  I season my rice with a spoonful of the taco seasoning.  

Flour Tortillas- Very easy to make, just a little learning curve with rolling them out.  Super yum to eat.

Chipotle's Adobo Marinated Chicken- Love this, I've made it a lot recently.  It's supposed to be a copycat recipe for Chipotle the restaurant.  I can't say if it is exactly like it, but it tastes good, so who cares?

Fire Toasted Tomato Lime Salsa- Fresh salsa is awesome, but this salsa made with canned fire roasted tomatoes and chilies is really very good.  And so easy to make too!

Here's a little bonus right here on the page- my recipe for guacamole.  Around here, every Mexican food place has guacamole that is full of chopped raw onion and it makes me so frustrated.  It totally overpowers everything and you can only taste the strong onion.  I used to hate onions, now I wouldn't say I hate them, but I use them in cooking just like I would use garlic, it adds flavor, but I really don't care to actually eat onions and certainly not raw ones.  Anyway, all that to say I don't use raw onions in mine except for what might be in the bit of fresh salsa you mix in.  Again, it adds a bit of flavor, but it's all about the awesome avocado.

2 or 3 medium sized ripe avocados (if avocados are from Costco, 2 makes a lot)
Juice from 1 lime or 2 tsp of lime juice
2 TBL fresh style salsa or pico de gallo (Casa Sanchez brand is our favorite)
Chopped fresh cilantro, about 1 tablespoon
Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder- season to taste

Remove avocado flesh from the skin and in a medium size bowl mash slightly with a fork, but leave it a bit chunky.  Mix in lime juice, salsa and cilantro.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Taste and add more of anything you want more of.  You can add more heat with a dash of hot sauce (like Frank’s or Crystal brand) or a dash of cayenne pepper.

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