One of the things I have missed since living on this side of the pond is easy access to good Mexican food.
Actually, I’d be happy with difficult access to mediocre Mexican food….
The best I can do is the Old El Paso section of the International Food Aisle at the supermarkets and make my own.
When I was offered a guest post on Mexican food I was happy to accept. While I, personally, might make my own cheese sauce, the thrust of this article is to make home cooking attractive to people who don’t normally cook at home. That being said, there is a lot of good info here…..
It is no secret that Americans love Mexican food. What they love even more is to have good Mexican food prepared and served to them at restaurants, relieving them of their duty to prepare a home-cooked meal. There are currently more Mexican-style restaurants in the USA than there are Chinese kitchens, Italian Bistros, seafood shacks, and burger dens. With as few as 15% of Americans believed to enjoy cooking according to research findings published in the Harvard Business Review, it is easy to see how nearly $785 billion is being spent on restaurant tabs in the country annually. Could the ability to replicate some restaurant favorites at home make frequent restaurant visits less appealing?
Why do Americans love Mexican food so much?
Mexican food has become a huge part of American food culture with an increasing number of Mexican restaurants popping up all over the country. The love for Mexican cuisine dates as far back as the 1920’s when small Mexican cantinas (restaurants) started opening up in Southern California and Texas. Today, the popularity of authentic cuisine such as burritos and tacos is the reason why eateries such as El Hefe in Scottsdale, founded by restaurateur Ryan Hibbert, has become so popular.
Mexican food that speaks to the soul
Some of the top-rated Mexican food franchises in the USA include Chipotle, Baja Fresh and, of course, Taco Bell. Of all the Tex-Mex dishes served in all the restaurants in the USA, these Nacho Fries and 5-Layer Burritos is undoubtedly two of the favorites. Good news for all Mexican food lovers is that these two delightful dishes can easily be replicated with two easy-to-follow recipes.
Taco Bell-Inspired Nacho Fries
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1 package (28 ounces) frozen French fries
- 1/4 cup low-fat milk
- 1 tin condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- Pinch of Paprika
- Preheat the oven to 450°
- Place the French fries into two well-greased oven trays in a single layer.
- Bake for 16 – 20 minutes or until soft and golden brown
- In the meantime, mix the milk, soup, onion and garlic powder together in a small pot.
- Stir gently until heated through
- Drizzle the sauce over the fries and sprinkle with Paprika and chopped chives.
- Serve warm
5-Layer Taco Bell Beef Burrito
Total time: 40 minutes
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 packet taco seasoning mix of your choice
- 1 cup refried beans
- Salsa Con Queso or nacho cheese
- 6 tortillas
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Chopped parsley or chives to garnish
- Brown the beef and drain off any excess fluid
- Prepare the taco as indicated on the package and add to the beef,
- Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
- Heat the refried beans
- Start building your burrito by spooning the refried beans on one half of each tortilla.
- Top with generous portions of beef mixture, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
- Spread the Salsa Con Queso or nacho cheese on the opposite half of the tortilla
- Fold the burrito as tight as you can, starting with the fuller end
- Garnish with chopped chives or parsley and serve with extra sour cream and guacamole
Whether you are a die-hard Taco Bell fan or prefer the authentic cuisine dished up at Moe’s Southwest Grill or Qdoba, chances are you will be able to put your own spin on some of their most popular dishes right in the comfort of your own kitchen. Even if you can’t find a copy-cat recipe online don’t despair, as long as you can identify the basic components of the dish, you should be able to replicate it without too much trouble.