(Family Features) For Mexican food lovers everywhere, Cinco de Mayo provides the perfect excuse to host a fiesta. This year, try spicing up your party menu with Mexican-inspired bold flavors and fresh ingredients using these tips and recipe. With a little planning and some key fresh ingredients, you can host a fiesta everyone will enjoy.
Cinco de Mayo Menu Planning
Here are a few authentic dips and dishes to liven any party spread:
- Green, Green Guacamole - This flavorful dip embodies the festive flavors of the holiday. To make fresh guacamole, add green onions, cilantro and Tabasco green jalapeño pepper sauce to ripe, mashed avocados.
- Mexican Caviar - Not your average salsa dip, this hearty and zesty recipe combines black beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes and cilantro for a muy bueno party starter that is sure to please.
- Spicy Taquitos - Packed with genuine flavor, these savory appetizers can be served all year long. A satisfying blend of chicken, red beans and shredded cheese is rolled into buttery phyllo dough and baked until golden and crispy.
To add more authentic flavor to your table, be sure to serve Fiery Fiesta Empanadas. With a soft cornmeal crust, ground beef, cheese and olive filling, this dish boasts bold notes of cumin, garlic, and mild Tabasco green jalapeño pepper sauce - making these empanadas a sure-fire way to spice up your menu.
For more sizzling, south-of-the-border recipes, visit www.tabasco.com.
Fiery Fiesta Empanadas
Makes 4 empanadas
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup taco sauce
- 1/4 cup pitted ripe olives, chopped
- 4 teaspoons Tabasco green jalapeño pepper sauce, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Combine flour, cornmeal and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough sticks together.
- On lightly floured surface with lightly floured rolling pin, roll out half of dough until 1/4-inch thick. Cut dough into two 7-inch rounds. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps. Cover; set aside.
- Cook ground beef and garlic in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally to break up beef.
- Stir in scallions, taco sauce, olives, 3 teaspoons green jalapeño pepper sauce, oregano, cumin and salt until well blended. Stir in cheese.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease large cookie sheet. Spoon about 1/2-cup filling on 1/2 of each round, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Stir together egg and remaining teaspoon green jalapeño pepper sauce.
- Brush border with egg mixture.
- Fold dough over filling, pressing out air. Crimp edges with fork or fingers to seal.
- Place on baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes or until golden.
(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is a fun and festive holiday that's celebrated with music, dancing, family and delicious food. To bring great Mexican flavors to your fiesta, take a lesson from Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega - also known as Mama Ortega.
In the 1800s, Mama Ortega created a loving home for her 13 children, and it centered around a tiny kitchen. From her small charcoal-burning stove, Mama created memorable meals her family loved. Everything for each meal was homegrown, handpicked and homemade.
You may not be able to grow your own ingredients, but you can take advantage of the way Mama did things - through authentic ingredients such as the line of Ortega Mexican Foods products. Fire-roasted chiles, authentic taco seasonings, crisp taco shells made with whole kernel corn and America's number one taco sauce are just a few of the ways that Ortega brings authentic Mexican flavor and fun to your family's dinner table.
For more delicious Mexican recipes to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo - or any day - visit www.ortega.com.
Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Start to Finish: 6 hours
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 Ortega Grande Taco Dinner Kit
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
- Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded mild cheddar cheese, sour cream
- Place beef and onion in 4-quart slow cooker. Combine water and seasoning mix from kit in small bowl. Pour over beef and onion. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or until fork tender.
- Transfer beef to cutting board; shred beef with two forks. Place in large bowl. Stir in taco sauce from kit and chilies.
- Fill warmed taco shells and tortillas from kit with beef mixture. Top with cheese sauce from kit. Garnish with desired toppings.
Smothered Beef and Bean Burritos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 10 burritos
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit
- 1 cup Ortega Refried Beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced tomato
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine soups and sour cream in small bowl; set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat. Add water and seasoning mix from kit. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in refried beans.
- Wrap tortillas from kit with clean, lightly moistened cloth or paper towels. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 minute, until hot and pliable.
- Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold ends of tortilla to middle, then roll tightly around mixture. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Spread soup mixture evenly over tortillas. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with taco sauce from kit, cilantro and tomatoes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 12 empanadas
- 1 cup prepared refrigerated barbecue shredded pork
- 2 tablespoons Ortega Taco Sauce, any variety
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chilies
- 1 can (12-count) refrigerated biscuits
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 cup black bean and corn salsa
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix pork, taco sauce and chilies in small bowl.
- Separate biscuits into 12 pieces. Flatten each biscuit into 6-inch round, using rolling pin. Divide filling evenly among biscuits, spreading over half of each round to within 1/4 inch of edge. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal well. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with salsa for dipping.
Chili Con Queso Dip
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 package (16 ounces) pasteurized processed cheese spread, cut into chunks
- 1 cup Ortega Thick and Chunky Mild Salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
- 1 package (10 count) Ortega Tostada Shells or 1 package (12-count)
- Ortega Taco Shells, broken into pieces
- Additional Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles (optional)
- Chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Combine cheese, salsa and chilies in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until fully melted and blended.
- Serve warm with tostada or taco shells. Garnish with additional chilies and tomatoes, if desired.
Chocolate Chile Brownies With Spiced Frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Makes: 9 servings
- 1 package (18 to 19 ounces) brownie mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles, undrained
- 1 cup powered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over sides of pan; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare brownies according to package directions. Stir in chilies; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or use time recommended on package. Cool on wire rack. Using foil "handles," remove from pan.
- Blend powdered sugar and seasoning mix in small bowl. Stir in milk, adding more if necessary, until desired consistency. Spread on brownies. Slice and serve.
(Family Features) When school is in session, it's the perfect time to renew your family's healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing.
While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By taking the free Power Your Lunchbox Promise, you can gain access to customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes, which creatively include servings of fruits and veggies to keep kids' brains charged all day.
Making the promise not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices this year, it also helps those in need. For every promise made, health-focused partner brands will collectively donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. In addition to kid- and registered dietitian-approved breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, the promise website features coupons, health tips to help your family during the school year, lunchbox ideas and giveaways.
Additionally, teachers have a special section of the site where they can make the promise as a classroom and download free fruit and veggie themed classroom decor and lesson plans.
To find your lunchbox inspiration and make the promise, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.
Rainbow Bento Box
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 2 red mini sweet peppers, sliced
- 1 mandarin, peeled and segmented
- 1 kiwi, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 large spinach wrap
- 1 tablespoon hummus
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 2 ounces low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
- 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
- Assemble two lunchboxes each with half of the peppers, mandarin, kiwi, snap peas, blueberries and grapes.
- Lay wrap on flat surface. Spread with hummus and top with cheese, turkey and spinach. Roll up tightly and slice into 1-inch thick rounds. Add half to each lunchbox.
Black Bean Empanadas
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 mini sweet peppers, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
- 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
- 12 frozen empanada discs, thawed
- 3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- 6 guacamole minis
- 6 packages crispy fruit
- In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Lay empanada dough out on parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill with black bean filling and 1 tablespoon cheese. Fold dough over filling to create pocket. Use fork to press down sides to seal. Brush with egg whites. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, cheese and egg whites.
- Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Serve two empanadas with guacamole, for dipping, and crispy fruit on side.
Source: Produce for Kids