Get the Tex-Mex Restaurant Flavor at Home! Get the Tex-Mex Restaurant Flavor at Home! by Patrick Carpen

Do you often strive to squeeze in a meal at your favorite Tex-Mex restaurant? The good news is that you don't have to go out to enjoy the flavors of the South! With a bit of time and some typical household ingredients, you can whip up your own Tex-Mex feast in the comfort of your own kitchen! What's better than kicking back on the sofa with a steaming plate of enchiladas and a good flick? Not much! Take a look at some of my favorite recipes and don't be afraid to experiment with the spiciness to suit your own tastes.

Chicken Enchiladas

4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
1 large package Mexican-style shredded cheese
3 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
1 white onion, chopped
6 jalapeno pepper slices, chopped
1 package corn tortillas

Cut the chicken breasts into large chunks. Add to a pot of boiling water and cook until no longer pink. Chop the onions and jalapenos and sauté them in a skillet for about 3 minutes, then set aside. In a large bowl, combine the cans of cream of chicken soup with the sour cream. Mix well and then remove about 1/3 of the mixture to set aside for later. When the chicken is cooked, shred it with a fork and add to the (2/3) cream of chicken and sour cream mixture. Also add the onion and jalapeno mixture. Mix well. Spread a very thin layer of the cream of chicken mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13-in baking pan. Put two spoonfuls of the chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it up. Place the tortillas, side by side, in the pan until it is full. Cover the enchiladas with the remaining cream of chicken mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling).


12 frozen corn tortillas
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 can pinto beans
3 tbsp shortening
shredded lettuce
3/4 lb. cheddar cheese, shredded
3 tomatoes, chopped
taco sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Put the ground beef and onion into a large lightly-greased skillet and bring to a medium heat. Cook the beef until thoroughly browned, then drain the excess grease. Add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper and reduce the heat to low. Add the beans to the meat and onions, then cover with a lid and simmer for half an hour. Heat the shortening in a skillet and fry the tortillas very lightly on both sides. Wipe the excess grease off using a paper towel, then stack on an oven-safe plate. Keep these warm in the oven. To assemble, place three spoonfuls of the meat mixture in the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle with grated cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Drizzle a bit of taco sauce on top, if desired.

Chicken Quesadillas

12 oz. cooked chicken breast halves
2/3 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
8 (8") flour tortillas

Chop or shred the chicken, then add to a bowl with the salsa. Spread the chicken mixture evenly over four tortillas. Top with cheese and onions. Cover each with another tortilla (it will resemble a "sandwich"). Heat a large, lightly greased skillet to medium heat and fry each quesadilla for about 5 minutes, or until both sides are golden. Serve with sour cream and/or guacamole.

Mexican Rice

1 cup long grain rice
3/4 cup of tomato sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups cold water
2 tsp salt
1 tsp. garlic powder or 2 tsp garlic salt

Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and cook until lightly browned. Add the water, tomato sauce, salt, and garlic powder or garlic salt and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a low heat. Allow the rice to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

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