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Ole'--Quick & easy Mexican dinner

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Last night I didn't get home from my parents' house until after 7:00, Sean wasn't home from school yet & I wanted to cook a quick dinner. I decided on the way home to make some Mexican food. About a year ago when I learned about the evils of hydrogenated oil, I went on a mission to find a whole wheat/grain tortilla without any hydrogenated oil. What I found was Tam-X-icos; they are in the refrigerated section at the grocery along with the dairy products. I know, I know, I should just make my own, my mother-in-law does, but that takes more planning ahead than I normally do.

Typically when we have Mexican food, I make Spanish brown rice, refried beans, and then the entire array of fillings: lettuce-finely shredded, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, sauteed onions & peppers (if I have a pepper on hand--not something I keep stocked), sometimes lentils, homemade salsa & guacamole. This is all quite time consuming & then a lot of clean-up because everything has to go in it's own bowl & then to the table for assembly. Last week I didn't have a lot of ingredients or time, so I decided to make quesadillas. That's when I discovered that my George Foreman grill is a great tool for making quesadillas.

I use the beans like cheese, to hold it all together. I spread refried beans on the entire tortilla & then on one side I add spinach, chopped cilantro, tomatoes & sauteed onions & fold it (for Sean's I actually make him a whole one using 2 tortillas). Into the Foreman grill it goes, no worrying about it burning or sticking; while they cook, I can clean up. Sorry this is not my best picture, but is the best picture I had of last night's meal...we were hungry!























Last night I served plain brown rice with our quesadillas; I topped mine with salsa & guacamole. I used 3 cans of tomatoes in the salsa & it was completely gone by the end of dinner--Sean was hungry when he got home from school! I only had one avocado, so the guacamole was...not enough!

We have recently started getting together once a month with 2 other couples & we rotate houses; everyone just brings appetizers & beverages. Now, they request my salsa. But I have a confession, it's not my recipe, it's Sean's. When I make it, it's my salsa, but I have to give credit where credit is due & that goes to my sweet thang, who happens to be an incredible cook. This is one of those recipes that has no exact measurements, you just taste & go. I'll call it Dietrich Salsa since I have added my own touches to it; 2 additions I made last night & man, it was great salsa!


Dietrich Salsa

1 can rotel tomatoes (I use mild, but I don't like things too spicy)
2 cans diced tomatoes (or if tomatoes are plentiful, tasty & cheap, use fresh)
3/4 bunch of cilantro (that is of a large bunch, add more or less to taste)
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded
1/2 medium onion
lime juice
salt
cumin

Using a blender (or a food processor, if like me, you don't currently own a blender--mine broke--so sad), puree the can of rotel tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeno, onion, lime juice (start with about 1/4 c. & add according to your taste), a couple dashes of cumin (you really should not be able to taste the cumin) & a generous amount of salt. Puree until smooth. Add the 2 cans of diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, and pulse until they are mixed in well, but not smooth, you want it to be chunky.

This is delicious & is my most requested party food; people ask for it all the time. Now for the guacamole...again, it's not really about measurements, just the right ingredients & your taste preference.


Jamie's Great Guacamole
(Not too clever, huh? It's a rainy day, what can I say, I am not too sharp this afternoon!

avocados
homemade salsa (see above, 2-3 T. per avocado)
grated onion (I use a small grater, 1/2-1 T. per avocado)
lime juice (I have no idea, I measure using the cap on the bottle, about 1/2-1 capful per avocado)
cumin (just a dash, again, not so you can taste it)
salt (be generous)

In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork, just a little. Add all other ingredients & mash until well incorporated, but not completely smooth. Taste & adjust seasonings accordingly. The onion is the most important part of this recipe, without it or without enough, it just doesn't do the guacamole justice.

A nicer chain/franchise Mexican restaurant opened just near my house a couple of years back. Everyone was raving about how great the food was, especially the guacamole; they make it table-side. Well, Sean & I went to try it out. We paid the ridiculous $9.00 for our table-side made guacamole & I have to honestly say, this recipe is better! I am usually pretty humble about my cooking, but mine is better than theirs. Okay, I am done being arrogant! I hope you give my (our) salsa & (my) guacamole a try--if you do, let me know how you like it! Enjoy!

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posted by Jamie the Foodie
12:18 PM

3 Comments:

Blogger River said...

Ole'! What a delicious dinner! I hear you about making your own tortillas, it's a lot of work and very time consuming.

Thank you for your comment on my Kitty post! No idea why black animals are harder to get adopted, people miss out on some awesome animals just because they are black. Your 14 year old kitty is called Rascal Lovebug Sassy Martin Dietrich? OK, that's the best name EVER! :)

March 29, 2009 at 7:02 AM
Blogger Macie said...

YUM! I love Mexican

I'm so excited to hear that you're nearby (well, kinda). We have one very vegan friendly restaurant in the area, and it's good! If you're ever in the area, let me know! I'm always up for showing off local cuisine :D

March 29, 2009 at 12:52 PM
Blogger Jamie the Foodie said...

thanks marcie! we aren't so fortunate in these parts, it's pretty much asian for us...not too many vegan friendly options. but i cook a lot at home, so it's good. i will have to let you know when we are in b'ham again!

thanks, river...i think she is a pretty cool cat! she was just rascal lovebug sassy martin, until i got married, and we had to add dietrich! yeah, when we adopted our dogs, the majority of the ones there were black; i was completely baffled. anyhow, they bring us such joy, even if i am constantly stressed over the "tumble weed" hair balls all over my house!

March 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM

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