Tex Mex is the style of cuisine bearing characteristics of both Mexican and Southern US cuisine. It often gets a bum rap as being inauthentic Mexican food but that doesn’t stop people from buying frozen burritos and taco making kits promoted as authentic Tex-Mex. Though southwestern cuisine seems to consist of a complex formula of spices and sauces, it’s not as difficult to recreate as you think.
Take this speedy dinner.
At first glance, this is just a quick rice bowl. Dig your spoon into it and you’ll discover the deliciousness of the southwest.
It’s simple, quick, easy, and guaranteed to wow friends and family who won’t believe you recreated these flavors in such a short period of time.
Please note that while this recipe calls for a long list of spices that you probably already have, feel free to use any store-bought Tex-Mex spice mix but remember that they’re LOADED with salt.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Easy
Prep time: 5 - 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 2 or More
½ Pound Lean or Medium Ground Beef, Pork, or Veal
½ Teaspoon Salt or To Taste
½ Teaspoon of Pepper
1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon of Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon of Paprika
½ Teaspoon of Cumin
½ Teaspoon of Crushed Dried Chilies OR to Taste
½ Teaspoon of Oregano
1 Cup of White Rice – Basmati or Jasmine Rice works well.
1/2 Cup of your favorite jarred or Homemade Salsa – Want to make your own from scratch? Click here for my recipe.
½ Cup of Grated Cheddar Cheese – I prefer old sharp cheddar, but use what you like. You can buy cheese already grated in store, but if you have the time, remember that buying a block of cheese and grating it yourself is WAY cheaper.
½ a Cup of Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
1 Cup of Clean, Finely Chopped Lettuce – Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce works best.
1 Frying Pan
1 Wooden Spoon
1 Knife and Cutting Board
Prep your rice as you would to cook on the stove or in a rice cooker and add 2 Tablespoons of salsa to the cooking liquid. Give it a quick stir and cook your rice.
While the rice is cooking, dump your meat in a pan coated with a little cooking spray and cook on high heat, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon and cooking it until it’s no longer pink.
If you’re minding your cholesterol, feel free to pour off some of the fat that came off of the meat while cooking.
Turn off the heat and mix your spices and salt and pepper in a regular bowl. Add some water and stir the spices around with a wooden or regular spoon. This will help to evenly distribute them among the meat.
Turn the heat back on high and pour in the spice-and water mix.
Stir everything around and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until most of the water has evaporated.
Turn off the heat.
When the rice is ready start assembling the bowls.
Put a nice helping of rice in the bottom of the bowl and top with a tablespoon or 2 of grated cheese.
Top the cheese with a tablespoon of salsa.
Top that with a tablespoon or 3 of the meat mixture.
Add a heaping tablespoon of yogurt or sour cream and top with the lettuce.
Serve and Enjoy!
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
Bring it on!
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