Sunday, March 2, 2008

Main Dishes - Mexican

Julie's Chicken Burritos ala Baja Burritos

There is a restaurant in Nashville where my daughter Annie likes to eat. It is Baja Burritos. They make delicious burritos cafeteria style, where you tell them what you want on your burrito.

I begin this dish by assembling the rice and pico de gallo the day before, or early in the day.

One ingredient that makes the burritos very tasty is their rice. Although my rice recipe is made up, it sure adds to this recipe.

Mexican Rice

Make 1 C dry long grain rice. To the cooked rice add about 1/4 C salsa and 2 T chopped up cilantro.

We also like to add 1 can of black beans, rinsed, to the rice before assembling the burritos. I heat it in the microwave for about 2 minutes right before everyone makes their own burritos.

The pico de gallo is an added special ingredient to these chicken burritos.

Pico de Gallo
2 cups diced red tomatoes
1/2 cup diced white onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons seeded and finely chopped jalapeno peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


Toss all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve chilled.

Chicken for Burritos

Saute 1 medium chopped onion and 1 chopped green pepper in a little butter until tender. Add cut up chicken tenders, to the onion and green pepper and cook about 10 minutes, turning the chicken at least once. Add 1 package of taco seasoning and about 1/2 C water to the mixture and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through.

Create an assembly line to build your chicken burritos with all the trimmings, salsa, Mexican rice, lettuce, pico de gallo, cheese, fresh squeezed lime juice, chicken mixture and warmed tortilla shells.

Place your choice of ingredients in which ever order you prefer on the tortilla shell, fold and eat!

Julie’s Taco Salad


1 avocado, peeled and sliced (optional)
2 cans Ranch Style Beans
1- ½ pound hamburger, cooked and drained
1 wedge extra sharp cheese, grated
2-3 tomatoes cut into small pieces
½ C chopped onion
1 head of lettuce, washed and torn apart
1 small bottle Catalina or French dressing
¼ C salsa
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Tostitos or Doritos chips


Brown hamburger with chopped onion. Drain off grease. Add 2 cans of beans (you may substitute other beans of your choice), ½ of the cheese, salsa, all of the dressing and garlic powder to taste, with salt and pepper. Prepare salad with tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and the rest of the grated cheese. Place chips on each plate. Top with lettuce mixture then hamburger and meat mixture.

Mexican Fiesta Salad

1 box dried penne or rotini (I like the tri-colored rotini.)
1 small can shoe peg white corn, drained

1 cup mild or medium chunky salsa
1-2 tablespoons
snipped fresh cilantro (don’t leave this out, it really makes a difference)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium plum tomatoes, chopped (1 cup) (home grown would be good too!)

1 10 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles (This adds a nice hit bite, but you can also add jalapenos if you really want a kick!)
1/2 medium zucchini, chopped

1/2 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 C fresh broccoli flowerettes, chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Italian Dressing as needed
(Sometimes I like to add a pre-seasoned and pre-cooked pkg. of chicken. If you want you can season it Mexican style by tossing it with some taco seasoning and water. )

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta. Rinse with cold water; drain again.
2. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a small mixing bowl stir together salsa, cilantro, and lime juice. Set dressing aside. (The original recipe called for sour cream added to dressing, but I didn't find it necessary.)
3. In a large bowl combine pasta mixture, black beans, tomatoes, squash, cucumber and cheese. Pour dressing over pasta mixture. Toss lightly to coat. Add enough Italian dressing to coat pasta. Cover and chill.

Enchilada Casserole
From Cooking Light

3 tablespoons diced green chiles, divided
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (11-ounce) can corn with red and green peppers, drained
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1/2 cup egg substitute
1 (8 1/2 ounce) package corn muffin mix
2 tablespoons chopped bottled roasted red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
6 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh cilantro

1. Place 2 tablespoons green chiles and next 6 ingredients (through enchilada sauce) in a 3 1/2-quart electric slow cooker; stir well. Cover with lid; cook on low-heat setting 4 hours.
2. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon green chiles, egg substitute, muffin mix, and roasted bell peppers in a bowl. Spoon batter evenly over bean mixture in slow cooker. Cover and cook 1 hour or until corn bread is done.
3. Sprinkle cheese over corn bread. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Top each serving with sour cream; sprinkle with cilantro.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup casserole, 1 tablespoon sour cream, and 1/4 teaspoon cilantro)

One-Minute Salsa
from Cook'

1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 clove garlic , peeled
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño peppers , drained
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes , drained

Pulse onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeños, and salt in food processor until roughly chopped, about five 1-second pulses. Add tomatoes and pulse until chopped, about two 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to fine-mesh strainer and drain briefly. Serve.

The salsa will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator. Reseason to taste before serving. Make sure to drain both the tomatoes and the jalapeños before processing. Makes about 1 cup.

Chicken Fajitas for Gas Grill
from Cook'

1/3 cup lime juice , from 2 to 3 limes
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 jalapeño chile , seeds and ribs removed, chile minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
Table salt and ground black pepper
Chicken tenders (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed of fat, tenderloins removed, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
1 large red onion (about 14 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (do not separate rings)
1 large red bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded 1 large green bell pepper (about 10 ounces), quartered, stemmed, and seeded
8 - 12 plain flour tortillas (6-inch)

1. In medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, 4 tablespoons oil, garlic, Worcestershire, brown sugar, jalapeño, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Reserve 1/4 cup marinade in small bowl; set aside. Add another teaspoon salt to remaining marinade. Place chicken in marinade; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 15 minutes. Brush both sides of onion rounds and peppers with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Light all burners on gas grill and turn to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes; scrape grill grate clean with grill brush. Leave one burner on high heat while turning remaining burner(s) down to medium.
3. Remove chicken from marinade and place chicken smooth side down on hotter side of grill; discard remaining marinade. Place onion rounds and peppers (skin side down) on cooler side of grill. Cook (covered) chicken until well browned, 4 to 5 minutes; using tongs, flip chicken and continue grilling until chicken is no longer pink when cut into with paring knife or instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers about 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, cook peppers until spottily charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or twice as needed; cook onions until tender and charred on both sides, 10 to 12 minutes, turning every 3 to4 minutes. When chicken and vegetables are done, transfer to large plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
4. When grill is empty, set all burners to medium. Working in batches, if necessary, place tortillas in single layer on grate and grill until warm and lightly browned, about 20 seconds per side. As they are done, wrap tortillas in kitchen towel or large sheet of foil.
5. Separate onions into rings and place in medium bowl; slice bell peppers lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips and place in bowl with onions. Add 2 tablespoons reserved unused marinade to vegetables and toss well to combine. Slice chicken into 1/4-inch strips and toss with remaining 2 tablespoons reserved marinade in another bowl; arrange chicken and vegetables on large platter and serve with warmed tortillas.

The chicken and vegetables in these fajitas are only mildly spicy. For more heat, include the jalapeño seeds and ribs when mincing. When you head outside to grill, bring along a clean kitchen towel or a large piece of foil in which to wrap the tortillas and keep them warm as they come off the grill. Although the chicken and vegetables have enough flavor to stand on their own, accompaniments (guacamole, salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, and lime wedges) can be offered at the table. For our recipes for salsa and guacamole, see related recipes. The chicken tenderloins can be reserved for another use or marinated and grilled along with the breasts.Serves 4 to 6

Santa Fe Tamale Pie

1 pound ground beef
1 C chopped onion
1 C chopped green pepper
1 1 pound can tomatoes
1 (8 3/4 oz.) can corn, drained
1/2 C chili sauce or ketchup
3 t chili powder
3/4 t salt
1 C cornmeal
1 t salt
1 C cold water together
3 C boiling water

Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet cook beef and onion. Drain off excess fat. Add pepper, tomatoes, corn, chili sauce, chili powder and salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir cornmeal, salt and 1 C cold water together. Gradually pour cornmeal mixture into 3 C boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Spread about 2/3 of the cornmeal mixture in the bottom of a 2 qt. casserole. Pour beef filling over. Spoon remaining cornmeal mixture around the edges of the casserole. Bake for 20 minutes. Yield: 6 servings

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This web site is from my years of collecting recipes that I have enjoyed. You will find recipes I've clipped from newspapers, copied out of cookbooks, recipes from relatives and friends. I've given credit when I remembered from whom or where I got the recipe. The recipes that say "Julie's" in front of them, do not mean I created it. I've just made it so many times, I now claim it as my own. Others' names in front of the recipes only mean they gave me the recipe. They may not be the original creator. I have not tested all of these recipes except the ones with my name in front of them, but I'm sure they are GREAT!


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