Monday, February 22, 2010

Mexican Fiesta! Beef Enchiladas, Prosciutto & Apricot Quesadillas, Sweet Onion Corn Bread, Black Bean Salsa & Guacamole

My family visited this weekend and I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for them on Friday night. As many of you know, my sister Lisa is dating a Mexican man and spends a lot of time south of the border, so she really knows her Mexican comida! My parents are I are planning a trip to Guadalajara with her in April, and we cannot wait to experience Mexico with Lisa as our tour guide! In the meantime, I decided to create a meal with some of my favorite Mexican flavors. Authentic or not, it sure was delicioso!

Quesadillas, enchiladas, rice, guacamole and black bean salsa. Mmmm mmmm mmmm!

Beef Enchiladas
A hearty and happy Mexican entree!
Serves 6-8

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
2 cups Chicken Broth
½ teaspoons Salt
½ teaspoons Ground Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro

1-½ pound Ground Beef
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
½ teaspoons Salt

10 whole (to 14) Corn Tortillas
½ cups Canola Oil

3 cups Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
½ cups Chopped Black Olives
1 cup Chopped Green Onions
½ cups Chopped Cilantro

Step #1 – The Sauce
In a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and flour and whisk together to make a paste, cooking for one minute. Pour in the red sauce, chicken broth, cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30-45 minutes.

Step #2 – The Meat
Brown the meat with onions in a skillet. Drain off fat. Stir in 2 cans diced green chilies and seasoned salt. Set aside.

Step #3 – Tortillas
Heat canola oil in a small skillet over medium heat. One by one, using tongs, fry tortillas in oil until soft, not crisp – about 30 seconds per side. Remove to a paper—towel lined plate. Repeat until all tortillas have been fried.

Step #4 – Assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup red sauce in bottom of baking pan. Spread to even out. Dip each tortilla into red sauce, then remove to work surface. Spoon meat, a little grated cheese, a little black olives, and green onions in the center of tortilla. Roll up and place, seam down, in baking pan. Repeat until pan is filled. Pour extra red sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle cilantro over enchiladas before serving.

Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks,

Prosciutto and Apricot Quesadillas
Sweet, salty and special! 
Serves 6 as an appetizer

4 large flour tortillas
4 T. apricot jam
8 thin slices prosciutto
Mozzarella or Brie cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

Heat griddler or large non-stick pan over medium heat.

To assemble quesadillas spread one tablespoon apricot jam on each tortilla. Top two tortillas with prosciutto and cheese and cover with additional tortillas. Brush olive oil on outer tortillas and grill for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Sweet Onion Corn Bread
Corn bread kicked up a notch!
Makes 16 muffins

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package cornbread mix
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan or muffin tin with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute the onion until tender, but not browned, for about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the muffin mix, egg, milk, sour cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the salt, and dill weed. Stir to combine. 

Pour into the prepared pan and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, until set and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before cutting into squares or removing from muffin tin.

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Black Bean Salsa
A healthful and fun accompaniment 
Serves 6

1 chopped tomato
1 can black beans
1/4 cup red onions, diced
1/2 large fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced
1/4 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 chopped garlic clove
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Crispy corn tortilla chips

Combine the first seven ingredients in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lime juice and olive oil. Mix well. Spoon into a serving bowl and serve with the chips. 

Classic, smooth, delicious
Serves 6

2 ripe avocados
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 c. red onions, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (optional)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Scoop avocado pulp into medium bowl and mash with fork. Add all remaining ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips.

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