Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tex - Mex Recipes

It's time to get back to my regional recipes of Tex - Mex.
Texas has it's own cuisine and if  Texans move out of Texas, it's the food that we miss the most.
There's nothing like it anywhere in the States.

When we visit our friends in France...... it's food that we take and recipes that we share while we're there.
Over the years we've had the privilege of enjoying the recipes and the cuisine of our French friends and we have also shared recipes and cooked our Tex - Mex food for them. We all gather around a large table in the South of France and have great food and drink and share our life experiences with great friends and family! If you want to get to know someone in another country..... eat with them!

I've previously posted some of my favorites:
Tex - Mex Torte
Tex - Mex Tomato Soup
Papas con Chiles
Tex - Mex Pull Apart Bread
Tex - Mex Corn Cakes
Slow Cooker Mexican Casserole
Vegetarian Tamale Cobbler
Sweet Pepper and Jalapeno Relish
Tex - Mex Rice Casserole
Tex - Mex Corn Dip ( 3 versions)
Texas Cranberry Sauce
Tex - Mex Layered Salad
Cowboy Squash Casserole
Another Texas Bean Cheese Chiles and Stuff Dip

The following are some additional basics!


Nachos:

They are tortilla chips on a baking sheet and layered with our favorite toppings, baked in a 350 degree oven until the cheese melts.
Here are some of the options for Nachos:

Shredded Cheese ( plenty of layers)
Refried beans
Chorizo sausage ( I use Vegetarian Chorizo )
Hamburger , Fajita meat or Chicken ( pre - cooked ) I use a Vegetarian Burger or Chicken
Jalapeno slices
Chopped Tomato
Chopped Onion

Begin with Cheese and layer the ingredients you like and always end with a topping of the Cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until the Cheese in completely melted.



Chile Con Queso Dip:

6 TBS Butter
3 TBS Flour
3 C Milk
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
3 C Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese
3 (4 oz. ) cans of Diced Green Chiles
4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced

Melt the butter in a saucepan
Whisk in the Flour
Gradually whisk in the Milk
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly
Add Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
Mix well
Reduce heat to a simmer
Add Cheese , Diced Green Chiles and Jalapenos
Cook until thick and all of the cheese has melted.

Serve with Tortilla Chips..... dip them in it and enjoy!


Jalapeno Bean Dip:
Also served with Tortilla Chips
I previously posted another version of Tex - Mex Bean Dip

2 TBS Vegetable Oil
2 15oz. cans of Refried Beans mixed with 1/4 C Water  ( I use Vegetarian Beans)
2 TBS Diced Onion
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Garlic Salt
1 C Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and diced

Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat
Add the Beans , mix well
Add Onion, Salt, Garlic Salt
Add Cheese and cook until the Cheese is melted, stirring constantly
Add Jalapenos
Cook until the dip is slightly thickened.

Serve with Tortilla Chips


Guacamole Dip:
I previously posted my favorite recipe for Guacamole Dip

Pico de Gallo:
I previously posted my favorite recipe for Pico de Gallo

Both of these are served with Tortilla Chips


Corn Salad:

1 can of Corn
1 small Onion diced
1 Tomato, diced
1/2 C Chopped Green Onion
1 TBS Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/4 C Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
1 Avocado, diced

Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl
Refrigerate until Cold


Quesadillas:

These are simply Flour Tortillas filled with your favorite ingredients and cooked on a cast iron griddle , in a frying pan or even on a grill.
My favorite of course is a vegetarian version with Shredded Cheddar or Shredded Queso Quesadilla Cheese and Roasted Hatch Green Chiles, or you can use Canned Diced Green Chiles.
Place Cheese and strips of Chiles in the center of a Flour Tortilla, top it with another Tortilla and heat it until the cheese melts. Cut the Quesadilla into wedges and serve with Salsa or Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream and Guacamole.


Vegetarian Grilled Jalapeno Peppers
For this recipe you need a Jalapeno Grill Rack that is placed on a Barbecue Grill to cook the Jalapenos
These are absolutely delicious.

Here's what you need:

1 Jalapeno Grill Rack ( I'll post a picture later)
A Barbecue Grill
Large Jalapeno Peppers, cut off the top, remove the seeds. ( I have a tool for this)
Vegetarian Bacon Bits... or Soy Chorizo Sausage... you know what you can do for the non Vegetarians!
Cream Cheese, softened
Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Queso Quesadilla Cheese
Adobo Seasoning

Stuff the cavity of each Jalapeno with the ingredients in the following order, pressing each layer firmly.

Bacon Bits or Sausage
Cream Cheese
Shredded Cheese
Top it off with a thin layer of Cream Cheese
Sprinkle the top with Adobo Seasoning

Place the Peppers in the Jalapeno Grill Rack and put the rack on the Barbecue Grill at 350 to 400 degrees.
Grill them for about 30 minutes.
If there are hot spots on the grill, rotate the rack at least one time.
I haven't tried these in the oven, but I suppose you could bake them in a pre heated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
I would place the Grill Rack on a Baking Sheet in case the cheese drips.

Serve with my favorite Salsa or Pico de Gallo.



Salsa:
I haven't posted any recipes for Salsa because my Best of the Best Recipe was given to me by a friend that asked me not to share it. It's their family recipe that has been passed down through generations.
I've made it for our friends in France, but I have never shared the recipe.
If I ever get permission to share it, I will.
Until then, here is another recipe.
I happen to love fresh, non cooked, non roasted and very simple Salsa.
I think this one is very close to a traditional Mexican version.

30 Plum or Roma Tomatoes ( I prefer these to others because of the firm texture. I don't peel them) roughly chop them, they'll be processed in a food processor or blender.
6 - 8  Fresh Jalapeno Peppers, cut off the tops, I left the seeds in. You don't have to if you prefer a less spicy Salsa.
1 Large White Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper,roughly chopped
1 dozen garlic cloves , peeled and cut in half
1 C of packed chopped fresh Cilantro
1 TBS Salt
4 TBS Adobo Seasoning
2 tsp Sea Salt
2 TBS Cider Vinegar
1/4C  Olive Oil
Juice of 3 Limes
Juice of 3 Lemons

In a Food Processor or a Blender:
Pulse the Jalapenos, Onion and Garlic
Scrape down the sides to incorporate everything
Remove this to a large bowl
Pulse Red and Green Peppers, transfer to the bowl
Without cleaning the processor or blender, add the tomatoes in batches and pulse them and transfer them to the bowl with the Jalapenos
Stir in the Adobo Seasoning
Add the Cilantro
Season to taste with Salt
Stir in the Vinegar
Stir in the Oil
Add the Juice of the Limes and the Lemons
Mix well
Refrigerate


Chicken Casserole:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

I like this one because of the noodles. I rarely see a Tex - Mex Casserole with Noodles.
I use  homemade Amish Noodles that we get at an Amish Bulk food store.

2 C of noodles that have already been cooked.
2 Tbs Butter, melted
1/3 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 tsp of an herb mixture. Your choice or you can mix the recipe at the end of this and use it. It can also be used in Salads and in other Pasta recipes.
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS Diced Onion
1 Garlic Clove , minced
1 Large Tomato, diced
2 (4oz. cans) Diced Green Chiles, not drained
2 (4oz. cans) Sliced Mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp Paprika
1/2 C Vegetarian or Regular Chicken Broth
4  Sauteed Vegetarian Quorn Chick'n Cutlets, cut into strips, or 1 12oz. bag of Quorn Chick'n Tenders, sauteed. Saut√© in  2 TBS Olive Oil. Non Vegetarians use the equivalent.
2 C Shredded Cheddar or Queso Quesadilla Cheese ( I prefer the Queso Quesadilla)
2 TBS of Diced Pimientos ( from a jar)

Drain the cooked Noodles and toss them with the Butter , Parmesan Cheese and Herb Mixture and set aside.
In a saute pan:
Heat the Olive Oil and cook the Onion and Garlic until tender.
Add Tomato, Green Chiles and Mushrooms.
Season with Salt, Pepper, Thyme and Paprika.
Add Broth and Chicken
Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
Remove from heat
Combine the Noodles and the Chicken and add 1 1/2 C of Shredded Cheese and the Pimientos and mix well.
Pour the mixture in the Casserole, top with remaining Shredded Cheese  and Bake for 20 minutes.

Herb Mixture:
Makes 1 cup
1/2 C Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese
1 TBS dried Parsley
1 tsp dried Basil
2 tsp dried Chives
2 tsp Paprika
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Blend together and store in an airtight container.


Enjoy!
Peace in the Kitchen!























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