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Mexican Cuisine

Covering the bottom third of North America and made up of thirty-one states and one very large capital, Mexico is probably the best neighbor a food-lover could have, when you consider the natural bounty of this rich and varied country. That’s no doubt what the Spaniards thought when they landed on the shores of the Yucatan in 1521, much to the dismay of the Aztec, Maya, Zapotec and other natives populating this vast stretch of land. Hernan Cortes and his crew set the stage for three centuries of Spanish rule which finally started to unravel in 1810, when a village priest, Miguel Hidalgo, uttered his famous grito, or cry: “Mexicanos! Viva Mexico! Viva la Independencia!” The ensuing hundred years were filled with invasions (most notably from the U.S.) and fitful leadership, whereas the dawn of the twentieth century saw the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in earnest, with the likes of Pancho Villa duking it out with his countrymen. When the dust had settled, the Mexicans were in control, but hardly united. This was, after all, a country comprised of three distinct groups: native peoples, the descendants of the Spanish and mestizos, the result of intermarriage between the first two.

The melding of cultures contributed significantly to the melding of foods and food preparation in Mexico, often referred to as mestizaje, or “mixing.” Corn, a staple for over 4,000 years, is the backbone of the diet. The kernels are softened in water and lime and then ground and fashioned (most commonly) into tortillas. Protein-rich beans and an infinite variety of chilies round out this holy trinity of Mexican cookery. The Spanish liked what they saw in Mexico and added a few things of their own, among them domestic animals, sugar and cheese. Mexican cuisine is further enhanced by an incredible array of fruits and vegetables which seem to taste better in Mexico than anywhere else: tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, avocado , coconut, pineapple, papaya and prickly pear cactus, to name several of the best. Herbs and spices also flavor the pot: cinnamon, clove, anise and cumin are all frequently-used spices, while cilantro, thyme, marjoram and the pungent epazote are popular herbs.

Good ingredients certainly count for a lot, but the Mexicans are also gifted cooks and seem to know how to give a dish that extra zing that makes it special. A simple salsa Mexicana is taken to new heights with a touch of cilantro and lime, while a complex mole sauce is always heavenly thanks to over thirty carefully-chosen herbs and spices which are added in and left to slowly simmer in the pot. Whether it’s humble tacos de pollo or a regal cochinita Pibil, the Mexican kitchen is filled with honest, flavorful food which is prepared in a host of interesting ways.

 RECIPES

1.Baja Chicken Nachos

Baja Chicken Nachos

     

Recipe Ingredients:

1/4 cup Jalapenos chopped 3 Tomatoes chopped 1/2 cup Onions chopped 1-1/2 cups Salsa 1 can or tub Cheddar Cheese Sauce 2 cups cooked Chicken shredded 1 bag Mission® Tortilla Rounds Chips

 


Recipe Instructions:

1. Spread a layer of Mission® Tortilla Rounds on an oven-proof platter. Mix cheese sauce, jalapenos and chicken together, and spoon evenly onto chips. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until hot. Mix tomatoes and salsa together. Spoon mixture onto the Tortilla Rounds and sprinkle with onions. Serve immediately.

 


Type of recipe: Appetizers

Preparation Time (min):

 

Cook Time (min): 5

 

Prep Tool: Oven

 

2.

Beach Fajitas – Chicken, Beef or Shrimp

 
     

Recipe Ingredients:

3 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks -or-
3 lbs round steak, cut into chunks or
3 lbs large shrimp, deveined
3 green bell peppers, cut into chunks
3 yellow bell peppers, cut into chunks
3 red bell peppers, cut into chunks
1 1/2 large onions, diced
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 to 3/4 cup sliced jalapenos (hot) or 1 3 1/2 ounce can diced green chiles (milder)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Mexican lime juice
4 tbsp wine vinegar
2 tbsp oregano
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup beer, your preference
3 tbsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

 


Recipe Instructions:

In large bowl combine chicken, steak or shrimp with red and green bell peppers, onion, tomatoes, and jalapenos or green chiles. In small bowl mix together oil, limejuice, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire, beer, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour over meat and vegetable mixture and toss gently. Cover. Marinate three hours or overnight in refrigerator. About twenty minutes before dinner is to be served, heat a large skillet or wok until very, very hot. Drain off excess marinade. Pour chicken, steak or shrimp mixture into skillet and stir fry for six to eight minutes, until done. Place in serving dish. Put serving dish on electric or hot plate so that when it’s served at the table, it stays hot. Put a bowl of guacamole, a bowl of salsa and a bowl of sour cream sauce on the table. Wrap tortillas in foil and heat in oven, or cook in microwave until steaming. Serve in a breadbasket to keep warm. Have each guest put fajita mixture into a tortilla. Garnish with guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Roll up into a burrito. On the side, buffet style:2 dozen corn or flour tortillas2 cups guacamole 2 cups salsa fresca 1 cup thick sour cream sauce.

Enjoy this delicious fajitas Mexican recipe!

 
   
   
   

3.

Chicken Tamales –

 

     

Mexican Recipe Ingredients:

6 cups Maseca Corn Masa Mix for Tamales
6 cups Chicken broth
1 cup corn oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 large rotisserie chicken
2 cans salsa verde or tomatillo sauce
1 bag corn husks

 


Mexican Recipe Instructions:

Soak the corn husks in warm water until soft.
Blend with an electric mixer Maseca corn masa mix for tamales, corn oil, salt, baking powder and the chicken broth to obtain a consistent mixture.
Shred the chicken and marinate in the green salsa or tomatillo sauce.
Spread masa evenly over corn husks, and spread a spoonful of marinated chicken on top of the masa.
Fold the sides of the corn husk to center over the masa so that they overlap to make along package.
Fold the empty part of the husk under so that it rest against the side of the tamale with a seam.
Place the tamales in a steamer and cook tamales for 35-40 minutes. Check every 20 minutes.The tamales are cooked when they separate easily from the corn husk.

4.

Green Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole

   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
     

Recipe Ingredients:

2 Whole chicken breasts, split salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
3 1/2 cups Tomatillo Salsa
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 onion, diced paper-thin
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
12 day old Corn Tortillas
1 cup grated manchego cheese
1 cup grated panela cheese
1/2 cup grated anejo cheese

 


Recipe Instructions:

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Place the breast in the stock, reduce the heat to moderate, cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool in the stock. When cool, remove the skin and bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Strain and reserve the stock for another use.In a large mixing bowl, combine the fresh tomatillo salsa, heavy cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, the onion and shredded chicken pieces.Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the tortillas just about 5 seconds per side to soften, and then transfer to a large colander to drain.Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 4-quart casserole or 6 to 8 individual casseroles ( or use small soup bowls ).Combine the cheeeses in a mixing bowl.To assemble the chilaquiles, spread a thin layer of the cheese mixture over the bottom of the baking dish. Push the solids in the bowl of chicken and tomatillo sauce to the side so the liquids form a pool in the bottom. Dip all the softened tortillas in the pool to moisten. Layer one third of the moist tortillas over the cheese and top with half of the chicken mixture with its sauce. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese over the chicken . Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of tortillas on top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.Bake 30 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving or unmolding.

5.

Tex Mex Steak Tacos

 
     


Recipe Ingredients:

 

 

1-1/2 pounds Boneless Sirloin
1/2 cup Corn Oil
3 tsps. Garlic minced
4 Tbsps. Red Wine Vinegar
1 lb. ripe Tomatoes
1/2 cup Onion finely chopped
1/4 cup Red Chiles finely chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro finely chopped
12 Mission® Fajita sized Flour Tortillas

 

  



Recipe Instructions:

 

 

1. Blend the oil, 2 tsp. garlic and 3 tbsp. vinegar in a flat dish. Add the steaks, turning to coat the pieces well. Set aside.
2. Core the tomatoes but do not peel them. Cut them into 1/4 inch cubes and put them in a mixing bowl. Add the onion, chilies, cilantro, remaining garlic and vinegar. Mix well. Set this sauce aside.
3. Cook steak on the hot grill to the desired degree of doneness. Slice meat and serve with warm tortillas and sauce.

Enjoy this delicious tex-mex steak tacos Mexican recipe!

 



Type of recipe: meat

Preparation Time (min): 15

 

Cook Time (min): 15

 

Prep Tool: Grill

 

6.

Zesty Mexican Lasagna

 
     

Recipe Ingredients:

8 Mission® Corn Tortillas cut in half, making 2 half moons
1 1/2 lbs. Lean Ground Chuck (or have butcher grind stew meat)
1 large Onion chopped
2 Jalapeno Chiles chopped
1 Clove of Garlic minced
2 cans (1 pound each) Tomatoes
1/4 tsp. each, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper
2 Tbsps. Lawry’s® Taco Seasoning Mix
1 can (4 1/2 ounce) Olives chopped
1/4 cup Salad Oil
1/2 lb. Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg beaten
1/2 lb. Monterey Jack Cheese thinly sliced
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese shredded

 


Recipe Instructions:

1. Brown the beef, onion, 1 1/2 chiles and garlic in a large skillet until meat is crumbly. Add the tomatoes, seasonings and olives. Stir well, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a small skillet. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, in the hot oil to soften. Drain on paper towels.
3. Combine the ricotta cheese and egg. Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Cover the meat sauce with half of the Jack cheese and half of the ricotta mixture. Top with layer of tortillas, placing cut edge toward outside of dish. Repeat layers one more time ending with the meat sauce. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Garnish with remaining chopped Jalapenos.
4. Bake in pre-heated 350F oven for 25-35 minutes, or until crisp and bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Serve with tossed green salad and fresh fruit.

Enjoy this delicious Mexican lasagna Mexican recipe!


Type of recipe: meat

Preparation Time (min):

 

Cook Time (min):

 

Prep Tool: Oven