Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Mexican Week!

We often have theme food weeks in our house. I find that it's much cheaper to prepare when you can buy in bulk, and, by having the theme dish every other night - no one really gets sick of the theme. You can also prep alot of your ingredients at the same time, speeding up dinner prep each evening. This week is Mexican...a personal Prego favorite of mine :)

Monday...Mexican Casserole
Wednesday...Chicken Enchiladas
Friday...Black Bean Tostadas

I made a big batch of Guacamole that should carry us through the week, and, we usually have Tortilla Chips & Salsa as a side with each meal. I'm still trying to find a recipe for a good Mexican Cornbread to go with Wednesday night too...if you have a great recipe I would love for you to share. And, since Friday night officially kicks of the weekend...I'm making Fried Ice Cream for dessert :)

Here's the recipes...

Mexican Casserole
1 & 1/2 lbs ground beef, seasoned with 1 envelope of taco seasoning, 3/4 cups water
1 can refried beans
Salsa (about a cup or so)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese - or mexican white cheese, I combine them both :)
6 tortillas
toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole

Brown Beef & drain, mix water & taco seasoning, boil, reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes uncovered.
Combine beans & salsa in microwaveable bowl, micro for 1-2 minutes or until spreadable
Please 3 tortillas in a greased, round baking dish or deep dish pie pan. Layer w/ 1/2 bean mixture, then 1/2 beef, & 1/2 cheese. Repeat layer finishing with cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cheese is melted, let stand 5 minutes.
Serve with desired toppings.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. Flour
1 C. Sour Cream
3 C. Chopped, cooked Chicken
1/2 ts. Chili Powder
1/4 C. Margarine (or butter)
2 C. Chicken broth (I boil down bullion cubes to save $$)
2 C. grated cheese (I like Cheddar in this one)
4 oz. Can chopped green chilies (drained)
5-8 Flour tortillas (depending on how full you fill them)

Melt Margarine & add onion - cook just until clear.
Stir in flour & broth, heat & stir until thickened.
Add the sour cream & 1 cup of grated cheese.
Remove 1 cup of this sauce, and, place in a large bowl -- add cooked chicken, chili powder & green chilies.
Fill the tortillas with chicken mixture & place in baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees until hot & bubbly (20-30 minutes tops)
Cover with remaining cheese & heat until cheese melts.

Black Bean Tostadas
6 - Corn Tortillas (not yet cooked)
3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove minced garlic
(2) 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
Toppings of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and brush both sides of tortillas with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay tortillas on cookie sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes, turning 1/2 way through. (if you prefer, you can deep fry - but stay close, they will get done quick!)
Warm remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion & saute until soft & clear (3-5 minutes?). Add garlic & saute 1 minute (careful not to overcook your garlic or it will get bitter). reduce heat to low & add beans & 2 Tbsp. water. Mash mixture with a potato masher or a cork & cook until heated through. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Divide bean mixture among tortillas, layer with desired toppings & serve.
**Note: I have substituted refried beans before for the black beans (just because that is what I had) and they were great...if you make this sub, I would cut out the onion & garlic since the beans are already seasoned. This will speed up the process too!

Enjoy :)

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