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A humble list of food (Mexican-inspired dinner edition)

Cooking dinner is hard. Even if you have impeccable skills, it isn’t always simple to keep variety and creativity flowing. I know everyone has fallback foods. It’s what you make when you can’t think of anything better. Picture Mary Tyler Moore, if you are old and grizzled enough, tossing the meat into her grocery cart all whatevs, dude.

I thought I’d share a list of what we’ve made for dinner recently. I include links to the recipes because many of my finds are from other blogs and recipe sites.

1. Nacho Macaroni and Cheese. Don’t let the name fool you. This is a high-brow, but easy, baked macaroni and cheese from Bon Appetit. It has fantastic depth of flavor and everyone in our family yums it up.

2. Crockpot Posole. I’ve made this many times, including last week. It’s fantastic. Here’s what I did:

2 pounds of bite-sized diced pork roast (I used fresh pork for stir fry, already diced by the store)
1 28oz. can of hominy/posole, drained (found in the Mexican food aisle)
32 oz. carton of chicken broth
8 oz. diced green chiles (mild, medium, hot—whatever your family will tolerate)
1 can of diced Mexican-style tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced

Garnish: Fresh cilantro, sour cream, sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheeses

First, lightly brown the pork in a frying pan greased with about a tbsp of oil. It creates umami. The rest could not be easier: Put everything except the garnish into a large crockpot set on low. Stir. Cook for 8-10 hours. Garnish at will. Warmed flour tortillas on the side are a nice touch and yummy when dipped in the broth.

3. Huevos Divorciados. My husband likes to make this for dinner. He sort of does his own thing. Breaking it into a traditional recipe is proving to be hard, so the link I shared will give you the basic idea. It’s a breakfast-for-dinner style of entree with fried eggs, tortillas, chorizo, potatoes, red and green salsas. Cheese. Cheese! Guacamole. And I feel I must add that you don’t have to have fried eggs. I find them gross, so I always request scrambled eggs and it tastes just as yummy.

4. If all else fails, go to your favorite local Mexican restaurant. Our favorite is Santiago’s, which is literally a shack in a strip mall parking lot. It’s drive-thru only and it rocks as evidenced by the long, long line of cars every time we drive by. My standing order is carnitas-stuffed sopapilla with green chile and guacamole.

5. I’m hoping you’ll share your Mexican-inspired recipe with me. Right here, right now.

6 comments to A humble list of food (Mexican-inspired dinner edition)

  • We love Mexican food! One of my favorite things to make cooking dinner easy is to grill a family pack of chicken breasts (boneless/skinless b/c I’m lazy) that have marinated in tequila lime marinade. I can get 3-4 dinners out of one family pack (8-9 pieces of chicken usually). My kids love quesadillas and they are super easy to make (tortilla with cheese, chicken, sometimes black beans and another tortilla on top, in the oven at 350 for 8 or so minutes). I use the chicken in enchiladas, soups, nachos, and so on.

    Are you familiar with Homemade Gourmet? Essentially pre-mixed seasonings for meals. I buy the Taco Mix in a bulk size. We love it for making taco roast (roast, tomato juice, seasoning in crockpot) that translates to delicious shredded beef tacos.

  • Amy

    These sound yummy! Good Mexican food is hard to come by here in Tennessee. I am definitely going to try the Crockpot Posole.

  • Of course, since I’m Minnesotan, we do something called “Mexican Hotdish.”

    Brown 1 lb hamburger with chopped onion and green pepper. Add a 28-oz can crushed tomatoes, 1 T. sugar, a couple tablespoons chili powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt, and a dash of pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, then combine with 2 (drained) cans of corn and 3 cups of cooked rice. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, melting a bunch of shredded cheddar on the top for the last 5 minutes or so. I usually break it into two casserole dishes so we can have one now and one later, but it would probably be just enough for your larger family! If you prefer it a bit zippier (Minnesotans aren’t known for their like of hot spice), feel free to add some cayenne.

  • Amy

    I love to make (and eat!!) chicken quesadillas. The recipe I like is 2-3 c. shredded cooked chicken mixed with 2/3 c. salsa, 1/3 c. sliced green onions, 3/4 t. ground cumin, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/2 t. dried oregano. Heat mixture through then spread about 1/3 c. on a tortilla and add 1/3 c. cheese. (Tortillas should be buttered on the outside or I spray with Pam.) Fold tortilla over mixture and place on lightly greased baking sheet; bake at 475 for 10 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve with favorite garnishes. (Double it for your family; it only makes about 6.) Another standby is a Mexican lasagna, which basically means I layer flour tortillas in a round pan with whatever is on hand: refried beans, sour cream, seasoned ground beef or chicken, cheese, salsa, onions, peppers, whatever. Seems to be good no matter what we use. Bake till heated through and cheese is melted.

  • bro-de-mopsy

    YES!!!! Santiagos FTW!!!! They’re a chain you know, have one down by us too !

  • There’s a great huevos rancheros recipe on smitten kitchen blog that I’ve made. Similar to your egg dish but it has pico de gallo and black beans with the eggs. Yumm. I also love a good tortilla soup. For mine I usually just saute some onions and peppers and garlic then add shredded chicken, chicken broth, a can or two of black beans, some jalapeno (either fresh or canned), corn, two cans of tomatoes. pretty much any veggie good is good in it, too. You can add sliced up tortillas right at the end and serve it with cheese and fresh cilantro, if you have any. It’s also good topped with avocado.

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