Some of my dishes might not be traditional, but they have that south-of-the-border flavor. Such is the case with a casserole that quickly became a family favorite.
Years ago, my husband noticed a picture of a Mexican dish in a magazine at the doctor’s office. While waiting, he read the recipe. Seeing that it had a lot of his favorite ingredients in it, he asked the nurse if it would be all right for him to clip it. With her assurance that it was, he brought the recipe home for me to try.
At his request, I made the nacho casserole for him to enjoy while he was watching his favorite football team on television.
The next weekend at football time, he wanted another nacho casserole. When a casserole draws more attention at our house than a football game, I know that dish is a winner!
To soothe the tongue after a typical Mexican meal, desserts are a welcome treat. This can be as simple as a plate of sopaipillas. These are similar to fritters, except sopaipillas are hollow and usually served with honey. I like to sprinkle these Mexican sweet treats with confectioners sugar or a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
1 pound ground chuck
1 1/2 cups medium salsa
1 (10 ounce) can mexicorn, drained
3/4 cup Miracle Whip dressing
1/2 to 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
2 cups crushed tortilla chips, divided
2 cups shredded colby/monterey jack cheese blend, divided
Shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and sour cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the meat and drain well. Add the salsa, corn, dressing and chili powder. In a 2-quart casserole, layer half each of the meat mixture, chips and cheese. Repeat. Bake for about 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Just before serving, top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and a dollop of sour cream.
1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup water
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
Cinnamon/sugar or confectioners sugar for sprinkling over sopaipillas
Sift together 1 3/4 cups flour, baking powder and salt; add butter and blend. Add water and blend until mixture forms a dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes, kneading in enough of remaining flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking.
Let dough stand, covered with towel, for 15 minutes.
On floured surface, roll and stretch dough into a rectangle about 15 x 10 inches. Trim and discard edges. Cut dough into 3-inch squares.
Heat 2 inches of oil to 380 degrees. Fry 2 squares at a time for 1 minute on each side, or until they are puffed and golden.
While sopaipillas are still warm, sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture or confectioners sugar. Serve with honey, if desired. Makes about 12 sopaipillas.