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franklin county times

Sweet and spicy: Try a Tex-Mex feast to tickle the tastebuds

Recipes and photos by Amy Dolan McCollum

Crescent Roll Taco Bake

Many of my favorite Mexican recipes are from my 20-plus years of teaching Family and Consumer Sciences. We entered the Franklin County Beef contest each year and found that Mexican recipes were very successful. This recipe is  simple but delicious. It won first place in the junior beef division and was a classroom favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet Vidalia onion
  • 10-oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 8 oz. can refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat until beef is browned and crumbly; drain and return to skillet.
  3. Stir in enchilada sauce and taco seasoning; cook five minutes or until slightly thickened.
  4. Meanwhile, press the crescent rolls into a greased 13×9-inch baking dish, pressing perforations to seal. Bake 15 minutes.
  5. Spoon meat mixture over crust and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and additional cheese if desired before serving.

Dorito Casserole

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sweet Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or ground chuck (I prefer ground chuck)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 14.5-oz. can Rotel tomatoes
  • 15-oz. can cream of chicken soup
  • 9.25-oz. bag Doritos Nacho Cheese-Flavored Tortilla Chips
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • Fresh cilantro to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium skillet, brown the beef, breaking it up with a spatula, with the onion. Cook until beef is completely browned.
  2. Add taco seasoning and stir to incorporate.
  3. Mix in the Rotel tomatoes and cream of chicken soup and stir occasionally over medium-high about five minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
  4. Transfer chips from the Doritos bag to a large bowl. Use your hands to break up the chips until the pieces are small but not quite crumbs.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Pour one-third of the meat mixture in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese over the layer of meat. Sprinkle half of the crushed Doritos evenly on top of the shredded cheese. Pour another third of the meat mixture on top of this Dorito layer and spread evenly over the chips.
  7. Repeat the layering process with another 1/2 cup cheese and remaining Doritos. Pour remaining meat mixture over top and spread evenly.
  8. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup shredded cheese on top.
  9. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the aluminum foil and bake until the cheese begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly before serving with fresh cilantro to garnish.
  12. Serve with a tossed salad, sour cream and Doritos.

Taco Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef or ground chuck
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 15-oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 15-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 16-oz. cans of chili beans, undrained
  • 15-oz. can white kernel corn, drained
  • 15-oz. can yellow whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
  • Toppings: crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced green onions

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium skillet, brown and crumble ground beef along with diced onion. Drain off excess grease and return to the skillet.   
  2. Add the taco seasoning to the beef, along with 1/3 cup of water.  Cook for about five minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Transfer ground beef and onion mixture to a slow cooker.
  4. Add Rotel, diced tomatoes, both cans of corn, chili beans and taco seasoning to slow cooker.
  5. Cover and cook on low for six to eight hours.
  6. Serve with corn chips, sour cream and shredded cheese.    

Mexican Taco Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

3/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese

1 packet taco seasoning

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup mild red taco sauce, or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together beef, onion, tortilla chips, pepper jack cheese and taco seasoning in a large bowl until combined.
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk and taco sauce in a medium bowl. Add to beef mixture and stir until well combined.
  4. Press mixture into a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
  5. Pour a strip of taco sauce down the center of loaf.
  6. Wrap the dish in aluminum foil. 
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 more minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of loaf should read at least 160 degrees.

Mexican Cornbread Muffins

Consider serving these instead of corn chips with your taco soup.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups self-rising corn meal mix
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup. prepared, diced jalapeños (depending on taste preference)
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 15 oz. can cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Generously spray two 12-cup muffin tins with cooking spray; set aside. (Do not use paper liners.)
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, jalapeño peppers, onion, sugar, salt, and cheese.
  4. In another bowl, break three eggs and beat lightly with a whisk.
  5. Add the corn, milk and canola oil to eggs and stir.
  6. Add this mixture all at once to the dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Do not over mix!
  7. Evenly divide the batter among the muffin tins.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1-2 minutes before removing from the muffin tins.
  9. Serve immediately or place in zip-top bags when cool and freeze to use later.

Mexican Wedding Cookie Recipe

This recipe belonged to my mama. I remember her making these for us when I was growing up. I love these delicious cookies!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup finely-chopped pecans
  • Extra confectioners’ sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.
  3. Add egg yolks and vanilla, beating until combined.
  4. Add flour and cinnamon, beating until combined.
  5. Stir in pecans.
  6. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown.
  8. Sift confectioners’ sugar over hot cookies and let cool on pans for three minutes.
  9. Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.
  10. Sift confectioners’ sugar over cooled cookies.
  11. Store in airtight containers for up to one week.

Mexican Wafer Cookie Bark

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 10-12 oz. bag white chocolate chips
  • 12 Mexican pink wafer cookies, broken into pieces

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Brush with melted butter.
  2. Microwave white chocolate chips on high until melted; stir until smooth.
  3. Pour melted chocolate onto prepared pan and sprinkle with broken wafer cookies.
  4. Set aside for at least two hours until firm or refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Break into pieces and serve at room temperature.

Mexican Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 7 oz. jar marshmallow cream
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat two 8×2-in. round cake pans with non-stick spray.
  2. Prepare cake mix as package directs, adding the cinnamon, and stir in the white chocolate chips.
  3. Evenly divide batter into prepared pans and bake as package directs.
  4. Cool cake layers in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Invert and remove from pans. Cool completely.
  5. Frosting: Beat butter in a large bowl with mixer on medium until creamy. On low speed, beat in cocoa, marshmallow cream and then confectioners’ sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until fluffy, about three minutes.
  6. Place a cake layer on a serving plate. Spread with 3/4 cup of frosting. Top with remaining cake layer. Frost sides and top of cake.

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