I think that holidays like this are a fun opportunity to expose the family to the cuisines of different countries. I don’t know if you have picky eaters in your household, but when you link a new food to an event or make it kind of a party, often you’ll have more success in getting them to try something new. So if you’ve been wanting to get your kids interested in Mexican or Tex-Mex foods, today could be the day!
(Another hint for picky eaters: Let them help you cook! Kids are way more likely to eat something that they’ve had a hand in putting together.)
Tonight I will be making a seven-layer taco dip for an appetizer and homemade chicken chimichangas for our entree. For dessert I’ll be making some churros (fried dough coated in cinnamon sugar).
Seven-Layer Taco Dip
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 (16oz) can refried beans
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (16oz) container sour cream
1 (16oz) jar salsa
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 (6oz) can sliced black olives, drained
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 bags Tostino Scoops (or other tortilla chip)
- In a medium bowl, blend the taco seasoning with the refried beans; spread over the bottom of your serving dish (a 9×13 pyrex dish works well).
- Mix the sour cream and cream cheese together until blended. Spread over the refried bean layer.
- Top that layer with the salsa. Follow the salsa layer with the tomatoes, and then cover with cheese (I love cheese, so I end up using a little more than 2 cups, and I often blend different mixes of shredded Kraft cheddar, Mexican and Jack cheeses).
- Sprinkle the sliced olives over the top of the cheese for garnish.
- Serve with the Scoops.
2-3 chicken breasts
4 10″ flour tortillas (I use the Chi-Chi’s ones labeled “Burrito size”)
1 sm. can diced tomatoes with jalapenos or green chilies
1 pkt burrito seasoning mix (if you can’t find burrito, taco seasoning would work, too)
8 oz bag of shredded Mexican cheese (Kraft has some with jalapeno in it that I like)
1 can refried beans
4T olive oil
1/4 C sour cream
- Put the chicken breasts in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil; reduce the heat a little and simmer for around 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Drain and return chicken to pan; shred the chicken. You could also get a rotisserie chicken and shred that.
- Over medium-low heat, add 1-2T oil to the chicken and then the contents of the seasoning mix packet. Stir to coat the chicken. Add 1-2T of the liquid from the tomatoes to help it coat, as well.
- Add in the tomatoes to taste; I only used half a can, but if you really love tomatoes, go wild and use them all!
- Warm through for 2-3 minutes, then add in 1/4 C sour cream and stir well. Warm through for another 1-2 minutes and then set aside.
- Spread 2-3 tablespoons of refried beans in the middle of each tortilla, leaving 2″ at each end. On top of that, spread about 1C of the chicken mixture, then about 1/4 C of shredded cheese over the chicken. Fold the ends up, then roll the edges in.
- Melt 2T of the butter and mix in 2T of oil. Brush some over a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chimichangas seam-side down on the sheet and brush the tops and sides with some more of the oil-butter mixture.
- Bake in a 450 oven for 8-10 minutes, then flip over and brush again with the oil mixture. Bake for another 8-10 minutes until golden.
- Top with the additional cheese and anything you might like: sour cream, shredded lettuce, additional tomatoes, salsa. My husband tops his with queso.
1 C water
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T vegetable oil
1 C flour
oil for frying
3/4 C sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
- In a small saucepan, mix together the water, sugar, salt and oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat; as soon as the mixture starts to boil, remove from heat, and stir in the flour until it forms a ball (about 30 seconds). Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star or open-star tip (I used Wilton Open Star Tip 6B) with the dough. Using the star tip creates those creases down the sides of the churros that help them brown and crisp more easily. But if you don’t have a star tip, or even a pastry bag, you can use either a zip-top plastic bag with the corner cut off, or just roll out with your hand. The results won’t be quite the same, but they’ll still taste good! Please BE CAREFUL! The dough will be VERY hot. I recommend using a pastry bag made of parchment paper or a reusable featherweight bag, as the plastic ones may burst due to the heat.
- Heat the oil used for frying to about 360 (use a frying thermometer to determine, or use an electric skillet). Pipe strips of the dough into the hot oil. You can make them any length, but I make mine about the length of my fingers, and was able to cook 5 at a time. Fry until golden, then remove to a paper-towel lined tray to drain. Test one from the first batch and adjust the heat up or down as needed; you want the outsides to be golden and crispy, but the inside to be cooked through.
- Mix together the sugar and cinnamon; roll the drained churros in the mix. If you happen to have a small paper bag, like a lunch paper sack, you can put the cinnamon-sugar mix in the bag, drop in the churros, and shake.
Enjoy your Cinco de Mayo meal! A piñata would also be fun for after dinner!
Do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? And if so, how do you celebrate?