It’s mexican night

Arriba!  Break out the tequila and limes! It’s Mexican night!  And what better way to celebrate the food than by eating it.  What you see above is the makings for refried bean, cheese, and vegetable quesadillas.  Arroz rojo ( red rice or Mexican rice) with ground beef  and a broccoli salad.  Oh yes, and we can’t forget the fresh tomato salsa!  So, let’s not waste anymore time chatting, let’s make some food. There will be plenty of time later for shooting the breeze and shots of tequila.

First things first…we’re going to make the broccoli salad because the longer it marinates the better.

  • One big head of broccoli- cup up into small bite size pieces 
  • 1/4 of a red onion – sliced fine
  • 3-4 slices of bacon – cubed and fried nice and crispy
  • 1/4 cup of roasted salted sunflower seeds
  • Homemade dressing :  1 clove of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 2 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp of dried oregano,  1 Tbsp of mustard, 1 tsp of brown sugar, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, and 3/4 cup of olive oil.  Put all ingredients into a bowl and whip it up good.

Directions:  

Place the broccoli, onion, bacon, and sunflower seeds into a bowl then add the homemade dressing and toss.  Set aside, there is no need to refrigerate as you will be eating this salad in a few hours and it’s better at room temperature. Also, give it a good stir periodically while you’re preparing the other dishes.

Next, we will prepare the refried beans.  You can always buy a can of refried beans but in my opinion they suck!  So, here’s what you need to make your own.  You will be glad you did!

  • One can of black beans- drained and rinsed 
  • One small onion -small dice
  • One large clove of garlic – minced
  • One medium size tomato- diced
  • 1Tbsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium size frying pan add about a Tbsp of oil and heat on medium, then add your diced onions.  Sauté until they are translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.  

Now add the diced tomatoes and cook until they are soft.  Add the chilli powder and  cumin, cook for another minute.  

It’s time to put the beans into the frying pan with the onion, garlic, and tomato  mixture.  Pour enough water into the beans so that it looks a little soupy.  Grab yourself a potato masher and mash those beans.  Don’t worry about making a fine paste out of the bean mixture just break them up enough so that they no longer look soupy. Add some salt and pepper and continue to cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Okay, refried beans are done.  Place them in a bowl and set aside for later.

For the arroz rojo or Mexican rice you will need the following:

  • 2 cups of white rice – rinsed to get rid of some of the starch
  • One medium size onion – diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 Tbsp of Montreal steak spice
  • One can of diced tomatoes (341ml)
  • Fresh cilantro – one small bunch choppped up
  • 1 lb of ground beef ( keep in mind, you don’t have to use ground beef.  You can use chicken or no meat at all.  I am adding beef because I just happened to have some on hand and I thought it sounded like a good idea.)
  • 1 Tbsp of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium size sauce pan add a couple of Tbsps of olive oil, heat on medium then add the diced onions and cook until translucent.  Now add the garlic and sauté a few more minutes.

Add the rice to the pot with the onions and garlic and mix together with the Montreal steak spice.  Now add the water to the rice as per the instructions on the rice package.  Bring to a boil then turn down the heat to low put a lid on the pot and cook until rice is done, probably 15-20 minutes depending on what type of rice you are using.

While the rice is cooking,  sauté the ground beef in a large frying pan until it is cooked through and has a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, drain off any excess fat.  Spice your ground beef up with salt and pepper.

Now, add the rice to the ground beef along with the tomatoes, cilantro, and chilli powder. Give it a good stir and warm it through for about 5 minutes or so.

Good!  Now the rice is done.

It’s salsa time!  Don’t be lazy now,  bought salsa is okay but fresh tomato salsa is the bomb and it’s easy to make.

  • 2-3 medium size tomatoes- diced
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro 
  • 1 jalapeño or some kind of hot pepper – small dice
  •  1-2 Tbsps fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Put everything into a bowl and stir.  Simple as that!  One of the reasons I say 1-2 or 2-3 of this and that is because; let’s say you cut up 2 tomatoes and it doesn’t look like enough then add another one.  1 clove of garlic if that’s enough for you but if you want it more garlicky then add another one. As with the lemon juice add 1 Tbsp and have a taste if it needs more add more until you get it the way you like it.

Last but not least, the quesadillas……typically I use 10 inch flour tortillas, shred some medium cheddar, and for vegetables I sauté some bell peppers and onions seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder.

Then I assemble them by spreading the refried beans on half of the tortilla, sprinkle the cheese on top of the beans, and then add the peppers and onions.  Fold the tortilla over so that it looks like a half moon.  When you are done assembling the quesadillas, fry them in a large frying pan with a little bit of oil.  Remember to fry both sides.  As you are frying the quesadillas place them in a baking dish and keep in a low temperature oven until you have cooked all the quesadillas.  

Now you simply cut the quesadillas into wedges and serve with all the other lovely dishes you made.

Have a shot of tequila!  You deserve it!  Buen provecho!

Note:  Beer pairs well with Mexican food

Remember, cook with love in your heart. The food will taste better!  

If you try these recipes please gives us some feedback in the comment section. Thank you


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