It’s that time of year again, when we don our favorite teams jerseys and fill our homes with large quantities of pizza and sub sandwiches. While there is nothing wrong with the traditional culinary choices, sometimes you want to be a little different. Consider a Tex-Mex theme is a simple and affordable option with simple prep work. Don’t worry there is no running around to Mexican Markets required for this plan. Before you start cooking, gather all your ingredients, fondue pot or warmer, dutch oven, steamer basket, and bowls/plates for serving and presenting. All prep work, and cooking takes about 45 minutes.
Our Tex-Mex party plan includes: a nacho and Fajita bar, a queso fondue with tortillas and chips, tamales, and Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies. A shopping list is provided at the bottom for your convenience.
Dessert prep should always come first. Follow the directions on the back of the Hershey’s Chocolate Chips bag for making Chocolate Chip Cookies. You will want to add one 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon and two teaspoons of Chili Powder while beating the ingredients together. If you are feeling a little weary of adding Chili Powder to your cookies, try this-combine all your ingredients, minus the eggs. Adding a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, taste a bit of the dough, if it is to your liking go ahead and add your eggs one at a time. Once all your ingredients have been combined, add in 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. Drop these in two tablespoon size dollops on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
Pre-made tamales are very simple to “prepare”. Do NOT thaw, keep your tamales frozen. You will need a dutch oven and a steamer basket or a large colander. Make sure your steamer basket or colander allows room for roughly three inches of water in the bottom of the dutch oven. Add 3 inches of water to your Dutch Oven, cover and start heating on medium-high heat. Arrange tamales in the steamer basket, standing up. When your water starts to boil and steam, drop the basket in and steam tamales till the dough pulls away from the corn husks.
While the cookies are baking, slice up your Fajita meat. Try to keep your strips under an inch thick, and about all the same size for even cooking. Cook strips in a large pan with two tablespoons of vegetable oil. The strips will need an occasional toss, but will pretty much take care of themselves. While your meat is cooking slice up your bell peppers and onions and place in a bowl next to the stove.
Don’t forget to check your cookies, allow them to cool on a wire rack.
If you are planning on presenting your queso in a fondue pot, now is the time to go ahead and get that heating. Once your queso is warm and easy to work with, add the well-drained Rotel in a little at a time till it reaches your desired consistency and tastes. The benefits of presenting queso in a fondue pot or other type of warmer is that it tastes better warm, and it keeps it nice fluid consistency without clumping.
Check your tamales and Fajita meat. When your Fajita strips are done, go ahead and move them to a presenting plate. Now toss your bell peppers and onion into the same skillet that you prepared your Fajita meat in. You shouldn’t need to add any additional oil. Saute your vegetables till tender.
Finally, you will want to dice your tomatoes, and start placing toppings into presenting bowls and serve.
Tortilla Chips hint-TOSTITOS® Natural Yellow Corn Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips was named best tortilla chip by consumersearch.com
Fajita Meat-one package should feed around 6 people
Shredded Mexican or Fiesta Blend Cheese
1 can of Rotel
2-containers of queso (found in the chip isle)
Tamales-can be found pre-made in the frozen food section, typically in a white “flour sack” style bag.
1 package Hersheys Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Chopped pecans
Pre-made guacomole in the produce section-add some lemon, and cream cheese to give it a boost
Extra Tortillas-to dip into queso