Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fresh and Easy Mexican Sides

Something amazing happened the other night.  We were eating dinner and both kids asked for seconds. Of everything. Noah, who would live on cheese sticks and grapes if we'd let him, told me I should make this every night. 
And the win goes to Mom! 
The recipe for Spanish Rice is adapted from my Aunt June's recipe and one I love to make.
Spanish Rice
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced (sometimes I use dried onion when I'm in a hurry)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can Rotel, drained (leave the juice if you want more kick)
2 cups water
Melt the butter in a large skillet (one with a lid) on medium heat. Add the uncooked rice and stir. Fry the rice until it browns.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir and cook until done. About 15-20 minutes. 
Refried Black Beans
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp canola oil
2 cans seasoned black beans, drained but not rinsed
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack
Heat oil in pan and saute garlic. Add black beans, cilantro, onion powder and cumin and cook for about 10 minutes. Mash with potato masher or immersion blender, depending on desired consistency. Add a little water if it becomes too thick. Stir in cheese until melted.
 Baked Tortilla Chips
flour tortillas
canola oil for drizzling
optional seasoning: cumin, pepper, chili powder...
Heat oven to 350. Cut desired number of tortillas with pizza cutter and place pieces on foil-lined pan. Drizzle with oil. Spread with paper towel by dabbing to ensure each piece crisps up. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake in oven for 7-9 minutes or until lightly brown around the edges. The chips should be crisp, not chewy.
Note: I picked up the homestyle tortillas the other day with out realizing it and they must be a bit thicker. It took just a bit longer to crisp.
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