Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mexican Feast

When Olivia was growing up, chicken fajitas, tacos and occasionally burritos were a staple in our household.  While they were good, they were never particularly spicy because her father wasn't big on spicy food.  As an adult, Olivia has become more creative and adventurous when it comes to Mexican fare.  She made these fabulous tacos for friends who dined with she and her husband recently.  She included wonderful refried beans, Mexican rice, and Mexican corn.  All homemade and very good stuff!  Hope you think so too!

Shredded Beef  Tacos

1 (2.5 lb) chuck roast
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 Tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Juice of 1 lime

Serve with:
Warmed corn tortillas or warmed fresh flour tortillas
Green or Iceburg lettuce, chopped
Monterrey Jack or Cheddar cheese, shredded
Guacamole or diced avocados
Sour cream
Fresh salsa Cilantro
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Hot sauce

In a small bowl whisk together chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Place roast in a slow cooker, pour beef broth over roast then squeeze with fresh lime juice.  Sprinkle roast with spice mixture.  Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low heat 8-10 hours.  Remove roast from slow cooker, shred beef (remove fat) and return shredded beef to slow cooker.  Cover with lid and cook additional 30 minutes.  Remove beef from slow cooker with tongs to remove juices when plating or drain in a colander.  Serve with desired toppings.  

We set up our lazy Susan with the following tacos for a make your own taco bar:

*  Tomatoes
*  Lettuce
*  Salsa
*  Sour Cream
*  Cheese
*  Green Onions
*  Cilantro
*  Jalapenos

Spicy Refried Beans  (Olivia tripled this recipe in order to have leftovers!)



  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 serrano chile, whole
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper



Melt the butter with the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the serrano chile and cook until the chile begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender and translucent.  Add the beans and chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, frequently mashing only the beans (not the chile), until the beans are a thick paste, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the chile and serve. 

Mexican Rice

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water   (3 cups some say)
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar


In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rice, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until the rice is browned and vegetables are tender. Stir in the water, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 15 to 17 minutes. Stir in the cheese and transfer to a serving bowl. 

Mexican Corn

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3  cans of corn (Olivia used her home canned corn.  You can also use frozen.)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • chili powder to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add he onion and bell pepper.  Saute until softened.  Add the corn, salt, and chili powder, and heat through, stirring often.  Serve!

(From left to right:  Mexican rice, Mexican corn, and refried beans)

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