Friday, September 21, 2012

Three Delicious Mexican Sides

I have three delicious recipes to share with you today. I think it's apparent by now how much I love Mexican food, but I always struggle with what, if any, side dishes to make to go along with my quesadillas/tacos/enchiladas/burritos/etc. My default choice is always this Mexican sour cream rice, which my entire family loves, but I've been wanting to branch out for a while. Here are three side dishes I've tried recently that I think would be perfect with any Mexican-themed meal.

I'm a huge fan of the rice served at Mexican restaurants, but I've never been able to duplicate it successfully at home -- and forget trying the packets from the store, which don't even remotely come close. This recipe for Mexican rice is as close as I've ever come to the flavor of Mexican restaurant rice. It has just the right texture and almost the perfect flavor. I did think the tomato flavor was just a little bit too strong, so I've reflected a reduced amount in the recipe below.

I've seen recipes for elote (Mexican streeet corn) all over the internet for a long time now, so I finally decided to try it. I'm only sorry I waited so long to try it! My family all loved this corn. The salty, pungent cheese was perfect with the sweet corn and the creamy sauce.

And finally, I'm not trying to be bossy, but I'm going to tell you right now to TRY THIS BREAD. You need it in your life. It's basically a Mexican version of garlic bread, kicked up a few notches with some sour cream and cilantro. It's so good, I just...I can't even. There are no words.

The next time you're making a Mexican meal, try one (or some, or all) of these recipes out. I think you'll really like all of them!

Mexican Rice
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

1 cup of long grain white rice
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of lime juice, from about 1 lime
2 teaspoons cumin
Salt to taste

1. In a medium-sized pot, add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir. Cover the pot, lower the heat to low and simmer for 17 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and keep the pot covered for 5 more minutes.

2. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions in the hot oil for 10 minutes, until translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and cook for another minute or two. Mix in hot, cooked rice and lime juice. Mix until well combined. Season to taste with salt. Serve immediately.

adapted from Our Best Bites

4 ears corn
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup crumbled cotija cheese 

1. Cook corn by method of choice. While it’s cooking, combine mayo, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice, chili powder, and pinch of salt. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

2. Grate cotija cheese with a fine-hole cheese grater and place on a plate.

3. When corn is finished cooking, immediately spread sauce all over it and then roll corn cob in grated cheese. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing and extra chili powder or cayenne sprinkled on top if desired.

Mexican Cheesy Bread
Cassie Craves recipe

4 bolillo or hoagie rolls, split
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons sour cream
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

1. Slice rolls in half and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Broil until toasted.

2. Combine butter, sour cream, cheese, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and cilantro. Slather the mixture on toasted rolls, edge to edge, and return to broiler until the topping is heated through. Serve immediately.


Katie said...

Thank you for sharing these. Like you, I love Mexican food and cook Mexican themed dishes quite often. I always find myself trying to figure out side dishes to go along with them other than the packets of taco rice or a can of refried beans that I spruce up with taco sauce and cheese.

LisaG said...

I can't wait to try the rice! Looks so delicious

Mel said...

I'm glad you love the wraps, Cassie - I, for one, can't wait to try that bread!