Friday, April 3, 2009

Mexican Night

Last night was Mexican night at our house. Tim had asked me to make beef enchiladas and Spanish rice, but I don't like beef enchiladas so I made Steak Fajitas instead. My kids are not picky eaters, but they don't do spicy foods. Well, they weren't too pleased at last night's dinner options. The fajitas were a bit spicy and the rice had red and green peppers in it, so they wouldn't eat it. Rugby ate the fajitas and liked them, but said he didn't like the spicy part. I was so happy that he tried it!! Riley tried it, but just barely. Rugby had 3/4 of his gone before he came up for air. :) So, with the modifications, here's two more new recipes for you! Enjoy!

Spanish Rice

1 cup chicken broth
1 cup tomato sauce
4 slices bacon, cut into small chunks (a scissors works great to do this!)
1 large onion, chopped/diced
1 cup minute rice (using this takes a ton less time! If you want, use basmati or jasmine rice, but cook 35-40 minutes at the end...)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (or 2 chopped fresh tomatoes)
1 (or 2) bell pepper, diced and your choice of colors. I used red and half of a green
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can corn, drained
handful of chopped fresh cilantro, add to your taste.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring broth and tomato sauce to a boil.

In a LARGE skillet, cook the bacon chunks until browned. Scoop out the bacon and set aside. In the bacon grease, saute the onions until tender. Add the rice and cook until lightly browned (I kinda skipped that step and it was ok). Pour in the boiling broth/sauce, tomatoes, peppers, corn and bacon. Stir in the spices. Cover and simmer until rice is cooked (I didn't cover and it only took 10ish minutes.

Steak Fajitas
WARNING: If you are used to and expecting this to be like "normal" fajitas that you have big chunks of meat that you have to tear with your teeth, this isn't it. Don't expect that. It's gonna be shredded steak but completely yummy!

1 1/2 pounds beef flank steak (I used boneless country beef ribs), sliced into strips
small-med jar of salsa (I used some home canned spicy salsa)
1 jalapeno, diced WITH seeds (or without the seeds if you don't want the heat)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 medium onion, julienned
1 green pepper, julienned
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
1/4 c butter
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced (I used more...probably about 3 tbsp or better)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
juice of one lime, microwave the lime for 30 seconds before juicing to give you the most juice you can get!
sour cream
pepper jack or cheddar cheese, grated

In a SLOW COOKER, layer meat, salsa, spices, jalapeno. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until meat is fall apart tender.

When meat is ALMOST ready, whisk the cornstarch into the water and stir into the slow cooker. This will help thicken the juices.

In a skillet, melt the butter and saute the onion and peppers until tender.

Before serving, stir the cilantro and lime juice into the meat.

****I serve this from the stove like a buffet. Each person can top with their choice of toppings. I use the burrito size tortillas. The spanish rice is good wrapped right in with the other toppings also or served on the size with sour cream on top.

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Welcome and thanks for visiting Cafe Jessica! Please let me know what you think and leave a comment! I'd love to know if you try any of the recipes you see and what you thought!