(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is a fun and festive holiday that's celebrated with music, dancing, family and delicious food. To bring great Mexican flavors to your fiesta, take a lesson from Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega - also known as Mama Ortega.
In the 1800s, Mama Ortega created a loving home for her 13 children, and it centered around a tiny kitchen. From her small charcoal-burning stove, Mama created memorable meals her family loved. Everything for each meal was homegrown, handpicked and homemade.
You may not be able to grow your own ingredients, but you can take advantage of the way Mama did things - through authentic ingredients such as the line of Ortega Mexican Foods products. Fire-roasted chiles, authentic taco seasonings, crisp taco shells made with whole kernel corn and America's number one taco sauce are just a few of the ways that Ortega brings authentic Mexican flavor and fun to your family's dinner table.
For more delicious Mexican recipes to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo - or any day - visit www.ortega.com.
Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Start to Finish: 6 hours
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 cup water
- 1 Ortega Grande Taco Dinner Kit
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
- Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded mild cheddar cheese, sour cream
- Place beef and onion in 4-quart slow cooker. Combine water and seasoning mix from kit in small bowl. Pour over beef and onion. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or until fork tender.
- Transfer beef to cutting board; shred beef with two forks. Place in large bowl. Stir in taco sauce from kit and chilies.
- Fill warmed taco shells and tortillas from kit with beef mixture. Top with cheese sauce from kit. Garnish with desired toppings.
Smothered Beef and Bean Burritos
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 10 burritos
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
- 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit
- 1 cup Ortega Refried Beans
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced tomato
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine soups and sour cream in small bowl; set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat. Add water and seasoning mix from kit. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in refried beans.
- Wrap tortillas from kit with clean, lightly moistened cloth or paper towels. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 minute, until hot and pliable.
- Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold ends of tortilla to middle, then roll tightly around mixture. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Spread soup mixture evenly over tortillas. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with taco sauce from kit, cilantro and tomatoes.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 12 empanadas
- 1 cup prepared refrigerated barbecue shredded pork
- 2 tablespoons Ortega Taco Sauce, any variety
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chilies
- 1 can (12-count) refrigerated biscuits
- 1 egg, well beaten
- 1 cup black bean and corn salsa
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix pork, taco sauce and chilies in small bowl.
- Separate biscuits into 12 pieces. Flatten each biscuit into 6-inch round, using rolling pin. Divide filling evenly among biscuits, spreading over half of each round to within 1/4 inch of edge. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal well. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg.
- Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with salsa for dipping.
Chili Con Queso Dip
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes about 3 cups
- 1 package (16 ounces) pasteurized processed cheese spread, cut into chunks
- 1 cup Ortega Thick and Chunky Mild Salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
- 1 package (10 count) Ortega Tostada Shells or 1 package (12-count)
- Ortega Taco Shells, broken into pieces
- Additional Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles (optional)
- Chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Combine cheese, salsa and chilies in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until fully melted and blended.
- Serve warm with tostada or taco shells. Garnish with additional chilies and tomatoes, if desired.
Chocolate Chile Brownies With Spiced Frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Makes: 9 servings
- 1 package (18 to 19 ounces) brownie mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix
- 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles, undrained
- 1 cup powered sugar
- 1 tablespoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
- 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over sides of pan; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Prepare brownies according to package directions. Stir in chilies; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or use time recommended on package. Cool on wire rack. Using foil "handles," remove from pan.
- Blend powdered sugar and seasoning mix in small bowl. Stir in milk, adding more if necessary, until desired consistency. Spread on brownies. Slice and serve.
Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu
(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.
Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.
These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.
Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.
- Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
- Cutting board
- Paring knife
- Dry erase marker
- Kitchen knife
- Cactus cookie cutter
- Small flower cookie cutters
- Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)
Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.
On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.
Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.
One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.
Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.
From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.
Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.
Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.
Fire and Ice Salsa
Makes: 3 cups
- 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
- 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
- 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
- Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa
Makes: 8 servings
- 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
- 2 tablespoons diced red onion
- 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
- 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
- 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
- Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
- Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.
Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.
Blended Watermelon Margarita
Makes: 2 margaritas
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 ounces silver tequila
- 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
- 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
- pinch of salt
- lime slices, for garnish
- In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
- Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.
Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks
Makes: 2 margaritas
Watermelon Simple Syrup:
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 1/2 cup water
- lime wedges
- coarse salt
- 4 ounces silver tequila
- 4 ounces watermelon juice
- 2 ounces lime juice
- 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
- To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
- To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
- To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
- Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.
- 1 pound Bob Evans Original roll sausage
- 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
- 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
- 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
- 1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
- 1 jar (11 ounces) salsa
- 1 can (6 ounces) sliced black olives
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Tortilla chips
- In large skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until browned. Stir in beans, chilies and taco seasoning mix.
- Spread sausage mix into 7 x 11-inch serving dish. Top with sour cream, then salsa. Sprinkle olives, tomato and onion on top. Cover with cheese.
- Serve immediately with chips. Refrigerate leftovers.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Whether you're hosting a watch party, or headed to a tailgate, having the right foods for the big game is crucial. Use these appetizer, side dish and dessert ideas to kick game time up a notch and try this recipe for a delicious dip that will be the hit of the season.