I love having themed dinners even when it's just a couple of us at home. I think it makes dinner so much more fun and you kinda feel like you're eating out. I think it's important, especially if you have children, to appreciate a good home-cooked meal. Don't get me wrong...I love eating at my favorite restaurants....but to me....nothing is better than a home-cooked meal. Pretty much anything can be recreated at home....even some of your favorite ethnic dishes. Here's a couple quick recipes that will allow you to have an impressive Mexican Feast without hours of work!
Easy Mexican Rice
2 cups long grain rice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small white onion, diced small
3 cups chicken broth or water
1 small can diced tomatoes (best if they're Mexican flavored, like cilantro or garlic, lime, etc)
In a medium sauce pan, saute onions in the butter and oil until tender, add the uncooked rice and mix well. Add the broth or water and the can of diced tomatoes and stir well. Lower the heat to a simmer and and cover the pan tightly. Do not disturb the rice for 20-30 minutes then remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Turn the heat off and cover the pan again and let sit for another 15 minutes before serving.
I love making fresh fried taco shells whenever we have a Mexican Feast. They taste so good and they're really easy!
Just lightly fold your 6 inch tortilla in half before putting it in the hot oil to fry, make sure not to break the tortilla in half. You can use flour or corn tortillas.
I use a deep fryer without the basket to fry my shells. You can use a deep pan on the stove if you do not have a deep fryer. Use tongs to help the taco keep it's shape while it's frying.
Fry the tortilla just until it's golden brown.
In no time, you've got yourself a fresh taco shell.
For one of the meats, I made grilled fajita chicken tenders on a grill pan. I seasoned them with a little garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin and paprika or you can use store bought fajita seasoning to sprinkle on top. I used chicken tenders rather than whole breasts because they grill up faster and stay very tender and moist. I squeezed some fresh lime juice on top when they were done cooking.
I also served seasoned ground beef for the buffet.
1 pound lean ground beef
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
Saute the ground beef with all the ingredients until fully cooked.Some Options For Your Fixins:
Greens Onion or Chives
Try using Queso Fresco on the buffet. It crumbles like Feta but is very mild and is so good to sprinkle on top of any Mexican dish.I found these Mexican serving bowls for $1.00 each in a discount store. I love putting my shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheeses & sour cream in them. It really makes the buffet have that authentic Mexican feel to it. It really does help to serve your food in bowls or platters that go along with the theme you're having and you don't have to spend a lot of money to do that!