Easy Tex-Mex Recipesby Corina Miller
The aroma of roasting chili peppers, simmering borracho beans and fresh tortillas is a welcoming odor for any Tex-Mex food aficionado. And luckily, it's a treat that even serious Tex-Mex food lovers can savor any night.
While experienced cooks describe the dramatic details involved in preparing chicken enchiladas with green poblano and tomatillo sauce, the intense labor behind spicy pork tamales or the efforts used to hand roll sopapillas, there's an easier path to Tex-Mex treats.
Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by the presence of common ingredients, including tortillas, meat, beans, cheese and such seasonings as cumin, red and black pepper and garlic. Fortunately, many of those ingredients come ready-made. For example, rather than devote time to cooking your own refried beans, substitute canned beans instead. Or leave your rolling pin alone and pick up a package of ready-made tortillas. Canned stewed tomatoes, canned chicken, grated cheese and pre-blended taco seasonings also add ease to weeknight cooking.
Still not sure how to use those ingredients to recreate your favorite Tex-Mex dishes in minutes rather than hours? Look to books for help. One such book, Mr. Food – Easy Tex-Mex by Art Ginsburg, is chock full of ideas and information on how to whip up speedy chimichangas, pepper jack quesadillas or tortilla soup. Books that specialize in quick and easy meals, such as Easy One-Dish Meals by Barbara C. Jones, also include recipes with a Tex-Mex twist.
EnchiladasEnchilada means "chilied" in Spanish. To make this Tex-Mex staple, Mexican chefs often take the time to steam or roast chili peppers, blend them into a sauce, then use the sauce to top corn tortillas filled with meat, cheese, or both. Enchantingly easy and delightfully delicious, Quickie Chili-Cheese Enchiladas are a weekday answer to a weekend meal. This fast feast pairs canned chili and jarred salsa together to make a sauce that's good enough to sop up with a helping of traditional Mexican rice, while the cheese mellows out the red pepper that brings the chili to life. Add a side of canned refried beans, and you have a complete meal.
Quickie Chili-Cheese Enchiladas
FlautasFlautas is the Spanish word for flutes, which accurately describes the shape of this whimsical dish. Paired with a side of canned refried beans and a salad topped with slices of fresh avocado, these flautas are a hit among young diners. Their crispy shell and tube-like shape make them a fun finger food, easy for kids to eat. Mom and Dad will love them too, primarily for their savory, moist chicken filling, accented by mellow green onions and tangy cheddar cheese.
Easy Chicken Flautas
Red Snapper Vera Cruz
Although not a true Tex-Mex dish, Mexican Turkey Skillet has definite appeal. Spicy and stew-like with its bits of hearty turkey, tender pasta and zippy taco seasoning, it's the type of meal that works best on a cold day. It's also the kind of meal that busy cooks look for, as it's easy to make. Better yet, this recipe also cooks up plenty of leftovers to enjoy at the end of another busy day, so save room in the freezer. With its list of ingredients, there is little need to serve a side with this meal. But if a side is in order, a heated can of black beans or slices of fresh avocado wrapped in packaged flour tortillas work well.
Mexican Turkey Skillet
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