I adore Mexican food. Give me all the nachos, tacos, guacamole, fajitas, margaritas, burritos, enchiladas you can give me. When I go to a Mexican restaurant with its 12 pages of entrees, I have the hardest time deciding what I want (because I want it all). I probably make some sort of dish for the family every single week and I secretly love when there are leftovers so I can eat more for lunch the next day.
One of the best things about Mexican dishes is that they are fairly simple, full of fresh ingredients and are quick. I remember a restaurant my husband and I used to go to when we lived in western NY that would practically have your dish to you before you were able to put your napkin on your lap.
It is very easy to stock your pantry with the basic tex mex ingredients so you can whip up something delicious anytime. I always try to have these on hand in the pantry, fridge or freezer:
You can do SO MUCH with this shopping list.
Cinco de Mayo is my excuse to eat all the tex mex food I want and not feel guilty about it. I am a huge fan of chips and dips, but frankly, my family could care less about anything but guacamole. Don’t get me wrong, guacamole is my go-to dish so I love it like a 4th child. But, I also love a hot cheesy melty dip too. Not the queso kind, that is the one thing I do not like about Tex Mex food, just the real cheesy melty kind….with lots of stuff. Bring me all the stuff.
Today I am going to try out a Hot Mexican Corn Dip. I am halving the recipe I found from The Cookie Rookie because I know it will just be me eating this. While I bake the Dip, I am also going to make some homemade Tortilla Chips to go with it. They will all be ready at the same time so I can completely blow my mind with yummy goodness.
But, wait, there’s more! I will also be making some sweet and simple Churros and a tasty Mojito to round out this meal of meals. Or should I say, meal of calories. No guilt, be quiet, just enjoy.
Let’s get cooking….
CORN DIP INGREDIENTS: (remember, this is half the full recipe and it is still a substantial amount)
Blend the softened cream cheese, half the shredded cheese, sour cream, red hot, squeezed lime juice and garlic in a blender or (to be honest) just use a spatula. I got out my Vitamix to do this and it seemed like overkill and kinda sucked to clean. Next time I am just going to mix by hand.
Add the cream cheese mixture to a large bowl and add the corn, the rest of the shredded cheese, the feta, the cilantro, the jalapeno and the red onion and mix together.
Throw it all into a baking container, sprinkle a little more cheese on top and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes (20 would work better for me since my baking dish was small and deep).
⇒While the dip is baking, cut your corn tortillas into 8 little wedges with a pizza cutter. Lay them out onto a baking sheet and use a mister to spray them with some oil. I used avocado oil….duh. Sprinkle them with some salt and throw into the oven with the dip for the last 7-8 minutes that the dip has to bake. Keep an eye on them so they don’t brown too much. I like to use a stone baking sheet for these because I can heat the stone up in the oven while the dip is baking during the first half and it guarantees you get a crispy chip on both sides.
Hot Chips with Hot Dip. #winning
Now we need is a refreshing drink.
Most people reach for a margarita when having a taco or guac & chips but my favorite is the almighty Mojito. It goes perfectly with the fresh clean mexican ingredients. Fresh limes, mint and a couple shots of rum. Yes, please.
Let’s make one…or two…or three…
Take a tall glass, add 2 Tbsps of sugar, 4-6 wedges of limes and a whole bunch of mint….be generous…mint is amazing. Now muddle that goodness. Muddling is when you mash the ingredients with a bar tool that is like a pestle to release the flavor of the herbs or fruits. I don’t have a muddling tool but you can use the end of a wooden spoon to muddle your lime and mint. Once you are done muddling, add a generous amount of ice – at least half a glass. Now add your rum – 2 shots will do. Fill the rest with some club soda! Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Delish. This is great served with a stainless steel straw so you can continue to muddle the mint and lime in your glass as you drink to release more fresh flavor. Mmmmmmm.
Time for some dessert…
When my kids were young, they would always beg for a churro from Costco so it became and bargaining chip for me. Now that they are all in school, I can shop alone so they never get churros anymore. I am not a dessert person really, but these are so easy to make, I can’t say no.
Roll out your crescent rolls, but leave them in rectangles instead of triangles. Brush 2 of them with melted butter and sprinkle with Cinnamon & Sugar mixture. Normally, the cinnamon to sugar ratio is 1 tsp to 2 Tbsp but my kids are getting a 1:1 ratio instead because sugar is a treat and they are sweet enough. Now put the other rectangle on top so you basically have a cinnamon sugar sandwich – my kids would eat these daily if I let them. Use a pizza cutter to slice them into 6 long strips. Twist each strip a few times and place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 9-12 minutes. When they are done cooking, brush them one more time with melted butter and sprinkle more cinnamon & sugar on top. Eat one to make sure it’s OK before you give it to the family….
There you have it – some Cinco de Mayo dishes that are easy to make and fresh and delicious. I had some leftover fajita fixings, so I made a chicken quesadilla and some nachos as well…..man, mexican food is so easy and versatile. No guilt.
I hope you all have a great Cinco de Mayo this weekend! Make sure to get your avocados soon so they are ripe in time for the weekend.