Making May More Mexican

Ever since Cinco de Mayo, I’ve been feeling like having more Mexican food! I made my favorite, Queso Grande, for Cinco de Mayo and had delicious soft tacos at a friend’s house, but it somehow hasn’t been enough. So, I remembered that I picked up an old Mexican cookbook at a garage sale recently.

It’s called Favorite Mexican Cookin’ and it was published in Amarillo, Texas in 1972. I cracked it open looking for a new favorite dish. But, alas, many of the recipes are not very Mexican. They contain ingredients like crushed saltine crackers. Huh?

But I kept looking, and think I’ve found a couple to try. Both are served cold, so they will be great additions to my summer menu.

Pinto Bean Salad

2 15-ounce cans cooked pinto beans, drained

4 tablespoons hot chili sauce

1/4 cup chopped bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup pickle relish

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon piniento, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients then chill thoroughly. Serves 6 to 8.

The use of pickle relish as an ingredient should still disqualify this as an authentic Mexican recipe, I think, but it sounds like it may be tasty. Worth a try.

Here’s another recipe that’s a Mexican twist on an American favorite.

Mexican Cole Slaw

1 medium head cabbage

1 small can pinientos

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 teaspoons chopped bell pepper

2 teaspoons hot chili sauce

Dressing:

2/3 cup salad oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

It is better to prepare slaw 3 or 4 days in advance. Combine dressing ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to boil. Pour immediately over cabbage, onions, pepper, pimiento and chili sauce. Slaw will keep for weeks.

I suspect that I will want to add a bit more sugar to this recipe because I like my cole slaw a little sweet.

I’m excited to try out some new Mexican recipes. These should be great side dishes when I make quesadillas, too. Ole!

For great quesadilla ideas check out 25 Quick & Easy Quesadilla Recipes available online for only $1.99 cents at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony or Smashwords.

Devil those Easter Eggs

Easter is just around the corner so it’s time to gather the deviled egg ideas to use all those hard boiled eggs!

First, to have Easter Eggs, you need hard boiled eggs. For anyone who doesn’t know how to hard boil eggs, here’s the easy way:

Place a dozen eggs in a single layer in a large saucepan then add enough cold water to cover them by about an inch. Cover the pan and heat to full boil then turn off the heat. Let eggs stand in the hot water for 20 to 25 minutes then run cold water over the eggs to cool.

After the Easter Egg Hunt, you may be left with lofts of eggs. We always check them carefully and only use eggs that have no cracks in the shell, then make deviled eggs. Our favorite recipe follows.

But if you have lots of hard boiled eggs and want to get adventurous, try adding an extra ingredient or two to the deviled yolk mixture. If you make a ham for Easter, dice up a bit of ham and include it. Or if you are an onion fiend, try mincing up some chives for festive-looking deviled eggs. You could even add both ham and chives for a special treat!

Southern Deviled Eggs

12 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish

2 teaspoons prepared mustard

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Paprika

Cut eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Mash yolks with a fork then stir in mayonnaise, relish, and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fill egg whites with yolk mixture. Garnish with paprika. If made in advance, store covered in refrigerator until serving.

Note: Spoon filling into a sandwich baggie and snip off the corner to create a dispenser. This makes it quick and easy to fill the egg whites.

Southern Deviled Eggs recipe is from Family Holiday Favorites: 50 Delicious Dishes, available online for only $2.99 at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, Kobo or Smashwords.

Peanut Recipes from Oklahoma

Found an interesting old recipe book at an estate sale, “It’s Easy to be a ‘Gourmet’ with Peanuts.”

It doesn’t have a date on it, but looks to be from the 1950s. It says it is “brought to you by the 7,000 peanut growers of Oklahoma and their families.”

The cookbook is filled with recipes that use peanuts, from main dishes to soups, breads, cakes and more. Here are a couple of recipes from the Salads section.

Peanut-Carrot-Orange Salad

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated carrots

3/4 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts

1/3 cup raisins

Lemon juice, if desired

Mayonnaise, or any peanut butter salad dressing, as needed

2 oranges, cut in sections

Combine carrots, peanuts, and raisins with mayonnaise or peanut butter salad dressing to moisten. Add lemon juice to taste, if desired, Arrange on lettuce with orange sections around edge. Serves 4.

Never heard of peanut butter salad dressing? Here you go:

Quick Peanut Butter Dressing

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons peanut butter

Mix mayonnaise with lemon juice, sugar and peanut butter.

Or if you want to get fancy:

Peanut Butter Fruit Dressing

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup pineapple juice or pineapple-grapefruit blend

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons honey or sugar

Blend peanut butter with part of juices until smooth. Gradually add remaining juice, salt and honey, stirring until blended. Store in covered container in refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups dressing. Excellent with fruit salad.

If you try and enjoy these recipes, say a word of thanks to the Oklahoma peanut growers!

Note: For those who enjoy historical recipes, check out “Carver’s Tomatoes” from Lakehouse publishing. It includes all 115 tomato recipes from George Washington Carver’s historic agriculatural bulletin – all updated for today’s cooks and kitchens. “Carver’s Tomatoes” is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Itunes, and Kobo for only $2.99.