Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mexican Buffet

Ingredients: Shopping/garden list

3-4 scallions (green onion)

1 fresh sweet pepper, seeded

1 small hot pepper (optional)

2-3 tomatoes

½ head (Boston red leaf) lettuce

Guacamole – see recipe

4-6 oz. sour cream

4-6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

or tofu “cheese”

½ can black olives, whole or sliced (pitted)

black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can refried beans

hot sauce

6 -8 oz canned or fresh corn (optional)

optional: white chicken meat,

lean ground beef,

or soy protein crumbles,

such as “Smart Ground”

(soy will require a TLBS cooking oil)

taco seasoning

Taco Shells


Coarsely chop scallions, peppers, and tomatoes. Tear lettuce into bite-size pieces. Refrigerate in zip lock baggies, plastic storage containers, or in small, covered serving dishes. Prepare salsa and guacamole according to recipe.

When ready to serve prepare meat or soy protein by cooking in skillet with cooking oil. If using ground beef add taco seasoning according to directions on packet. I have not tried adding taco seasoning to chicken or crumbled tofu.

Place each ingredient; guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese or tofu “cheese”, pitted black olives, black beans, heated refried beans, and corn into small serving containers. Heat refried beans, covered, in microwave for a couple of minutes and don't forget the hot sauce. I serve it in the bottle.

My experience eating Mexican food such as this has been that the meat or protein portion goes on the taco or burrito first, followed by vegetables, then topped with guacamole, salsa, sour cream and finally shredded cheese, but I don't thing there is really a wrong way to layer the food. It is probably layered this way for easier handling. It all tastes great.

Serving Suggestions: Serve buffet style with Citrus Fruit Punch (see recipe) or Dos Equis. This is a simple enough meal, but it does take time to prepare, however, it can serve a lot of people by increasing the amounts, and it makes great leftovers for another evening meal. For dessert, try cut up“ papaya, mango, banana and pineapple OR “Flan” really rounds out an evening of Mexican fare.

FOODNOTES: I find it fun to make when a few friends come over and pitch in to help cut up vegees or open cans of olives and corn niblets. I use small pudding bowls, soup bowls and an old Lady Susan that has three curved serving containers with room for a small bowl in the middle. I serve the cut-up vegetables in one of the curved dishes and fill the other two with olives and cheese, etc.

I think this makes a great summer evening meal to share with family or friends. There is something for everyone. The list of suggested ingredients serves mainly as a reference for shopping for Mexican foods. There are so many variations and choices and I seem to forget something unless I have my list with me at the grocery store. I hope my list helps anyone who loves Mexican food. I love having a full array of choices and toppings when making Tacos. Enjoy!

©Wilma Carolyn Johnson Short

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