A Quick Little Fiesta

With Cinco de Mayo tomorrow, there is no better time to share my quick little fiesta dinner with you!  Working a part time job and being a full time mom, I am always trying to think of quick dinners that I can get on the table in about 30 minutes or less.  Tacos can be a pretty easy weeknight meal to add to your recipe collection and since this is a perfect spread for a Cinco de Mayo celebration, I’ve also included a recipe for a quick and spicy Mexican Mule.  I am not a fan of tequila so this is a good replacement for a margarita.  This dinner has a little bit of prepping involved, but with my easy shortcuts of store bought carne asada and salsa, that’s 2 less things you have to make yourself.  Once again, if you know you will be pressed for time the next day while trying to prepare dinner, you can do some of the prepping the night before.

kristen wong, food blogger

 

Prep work (the night before or the day of):

Chop 1/2 onion in small dice

Chop about 3 Tbsp cilantro

Chop 1 tomato in small dice

Slice 3 limes into wedges

Slice 3 radish

Slice 2 jalapeno

* if prepping the night before you can either put each of these ingredients in a separate air tight container or separate ziplock bags

Now let’s get ready to make a yummy taco dinner for Cinco de Mayo!

One of my family’s favorite sides to go along any Mexican inspired meal is Mexican rice.  You might think that it’s way too complicated to make but actually it’s quite easy if you follow my simple recipe.

Mexican Rice

2 cups long grain rice

2 cloves of garlic

8 oz can of organic tomato sauce

1 box of organic chicken broth

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground tumeric

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil

About 30 minutes before cooking, wash the rice under cold water and let sit in a strainer to dry.  While waiting for the rice to dry, smash 2 cloves of garlic and set aside.  Heat pan to medium high,  and add the oil and garlic.  Let the garlic infuse the oil for about 30 seconds and then add the rice.  You want to keep an eye on the rice because you want it to toast but not burn.  If the rice is browning too fast you can lower the stove temperature.  When the rice is a light golden color, add the tomato sauce.  Use that same can and measure 2 3/4 cans of chicken broth and add to rice.  Then add the garlic powder, turmeric, and salt.  You want to keep stirring the rice until almost all of the liquid dissolves.  Once most of the liquid is gone turn the stove down to low and top with a lid.  Let it cook for 20-25 minutes and then stir.  The rice should be nice and fluffy.  If the rice is still too wet, you can cover the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes.

While waiting for the rice to be done, you can start on my favorite part of the meal, the guacamole.  If you don’t have time, you can always use a store-bought one which you can find at any local market.

Easy Peasy Guac

2 large avocados

1  chopped tomato

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp garlic powder

1 lime (depending on how juicy it is you might need only 1/2)

Sea salt to taste

Cut and scoop avocado into a mixing bowl and add the next 3 ingredients.  Cut and squeeze 1/2 a lime at a time depending on how juicy the lime is and then add salt to taste.  Mix everything up and give the guacamole a try.  Everyone likes their guacamole a little different so you can adjust the seasonings to your liking since this is a pretty basic recipe.  Sometimes I like to add roasted corn or a chopped jalapeño.

**Tip: I learned this from my mom, but when making guacamole, save the seed/pit and add it in after your done mixing everything together.  It helps slow down the browning that occurs when air touches avocados.

We are getting closer to dinner!

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Ingredients: serves 4-6 people

2-3 lbs of marinated carne asada (I bought mine at Costco)

Corn or flour tortillas, which ever you prefer (I love these uncooked tortillas with no preservatives)

You can either bbq or cook the carne asada meat in a cast iron skillet which I do when I’m simply too lazy to go outside and turn the bbq on.  Cook the meat for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  I like to get a good charr on the meat for my tacos.  Let the meat rest for about 5 minutes so the juices redistribute back into it and then chop/slice it up.

Heat the tortillas in a pan until they are soft and warm.  I like to keep my tortillas warm in one of these.

Dinner is pretty much ready to serve but don’t forget the toppings: onions, cilantro, radish, jalapeños, salsa (I’ve been buying Organic Jack’s Cantina Style Salsa from Costco for Cody because it’s mild and he seems to love it) , and hot sauce (my fave is Cholula).

If you wanted to add a quick cocktail to your Cinco de Mayo celebration or any taco tuesday dinner you can make my spicy Mexican Mule (recipe below).

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Mexican Mule serves 2

Vodka (Tito’s Vodka is my fave)

Fever Tree Ginger Beer

4 limes

simple syrup

1 sliced jalapeno

ice

2 8 oz mason jars

Fill each glass up with ice to the top.  Add 2 oz of vodka in each and then pour ginger beer to about 3/4 full.  Squeeze 1-2 limes in each cup depending on how juicy the limes are and add a splash of simple syrup to each as well.  I added about 5 jalapeños to each and stirred. This had a pretty good kick to it but if you like it a little spicier, you can always add a couple more jalapeño slices.  Garnish with a lime wheel and a sliced jalapeño. Enjoy!!

*Simple syrup can be made by adding even amounts of water and sugar to a pot and and let simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.

 

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* had to post this because somebody’s little hand was trying to steal some salsa while I was trying to get a good pic!

Please share your Cinco de Mayo fiestas with me.  I would love to see how you all celebrated!

 

xoxo-k10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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