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Enjoy a frugal fiesta at home

By on August 12, 2009

taco pepper
photo by biskuit

Every cook needs a few budget recipes she feels comfortable serving to guests. These south-of-the-border-inspired recipes will satisfy your spicy-food cravings. They are based on familiar recipes and will be well received. Enjoy!

Taco Cups

2 medium bell peppers
1/2 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 (16-ounce) can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons taco-seasoning mix
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup black olives, chopped
1/4 cup shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut peppers in half lengthwise, and remove seeds. Place in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain grease. Add the beans, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Heat thoroughly. Place bell peppers in a baking pan. Fill with meat mixture. Bake for 10 minutes or until peppers are tender. Serve with sour cream, cheese, tomato, salsa, black olives and lettuce for toppings. — C.J., Nevada
taco cups
photo by foodistablog

Mexi-Kick Meatloaf

1 cup tortilla chips, crushed and divided
1/4 cup milk
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 medium onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small bowl, soak 1/2 cup chips in milk until soft. Mix meat with remaining ingredients, except salsa and cheese. Shape into loaf. Place in 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Pour salsa over top. Sprinkle remaining crushed chips over salsa. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to serving platter, and top with shredded cheese. — Darlene B., New York

Mexican-Style Rice

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
2-1/2 cups cold water
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup tomato sauce

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add rice, and cook until lightly browned. Stir regularly to make sure that it all gets brown. Once the rice is brown, add the water and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until rice is tender. The water will cook off, and you will have nice fluffy rice. — Holly, Arizona

Spicy Chicken Swirls

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup cooked and diced white-meat chicken
5 6-inch tortillas

Soften the cream cheese, and beat well with electric mixer. Add the jalapeno peppers and cumin, and beat well with electric mixer. Add the cheese and chicken, and mix well with spoon. Spread mixture evenly on tortillas, and roll up tightly. Trim ends of the roll. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill. Slice roll into 1-inch pieces, and place upright on its side on nonstick baking pan. Bake in 400 F oven until hot but not overly melted, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve. — Lynn, Michigan

One Comment

  1. Kate

    8/13/2009 at 5:29 am

    love the sound and the look of the Taco cups. I’m a vegetarian but these could be easily adapted. they look so impressive too, I can imagine them being served to guests and getting a big wow factor response.

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