Mexican is a popular cuisineThe Mexican cuisine staples are corn, beans, chili peppers, avocados,tomatoes, honey and chocolate. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire,Mexican cuisine has a strong Spanish influence. They introduced meats(beef, chicken, goat and sheep) and dairy products, mainly cheese and various spices and herbs and grains like wheat and rice.Traditionally, the inhabitants of Mexico were nomadic hunters and gatherers. Corn tortillas with bean paste was a common meal. They also ate wild game, fish and local fruits. During the slave trade era the cuisine was influenced also by African and Asian elements. Most rural areas still prepare meals using corn, beans and chili peppers as their main ingredients. Dishes vary from region to region. The most popular food in Mexico is enchiladas. What we know as Mexican cuisine is also popularly known as TexMex cuisine. Mexican cuisine is as popular as Chinese, Italian, Indian and Japanese cuisines.
Did you know that the the popular salsa is the Spanish word for sauce? Salsa can be smooth or chunky, cooked or uncooked. Tomatoes, tomatillos, chipotle and avocados are popular ingredients for salsas.
Traditionally Mexicans did not cook in an oven but over open fires, using skillets and ceramic wares. They also steamed their food by wrapping it in banana or cactus leaves and suspended over boiling water.
My preparation for the 48th #FoodieMonday#Bloghop theme #Mexican Cuisine is not a typical traditional preparation but a modern preparation, Taco boats. These boats are prepared by the popular Mexican style food brand Old El Paso. My initial plan was to make burritos. I was browsing done the aisle at Metro, a supermarket in Montreal, I first saw all those different flavoured tortillas and got excited. I picked up the cheese and chipotle flavoured ones. As I walked a bit further looking for black beans I saw these packets of cute mini taco boats. So put the tortillas back and grabbed a packet of the boats. These are things I don't get back home easily. I have to make my own tortillas. So preparing this dish was easy for me. Hubby and my son loved it and its on the menu again soon.
The advantage of using these boats is that one can serve them as finger food without getting too messy, any filling can be used. To fill salads the boats can be wrapped in foil and baked for a while. On cooling fill with your favourite salad. Use them as dessert cups too.
Makes 12 mini boats
12 ready made mini taco boats
1½ cups cooked black or red beans
1½ cups cooked sweet corn
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup diced bell pepper, any colour
¾ cup tomato salsa sauce
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro/coriander
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup sour cream
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium low heat. When it is hot, add chopped onion, garlic and bell pepper and saute till they are soft.
- Add beans, corn, salt and the sauce.
- Cook the mixture for 5 minutes. The mixture should not be runny. Take the pan off the heat.
- Add chipotle powder and cilantro and mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Lay out the mini boats on a baking tray.
- Fill the boats with the prepared filling.
- Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
- Bake the boats for 15-20 minutes or till the cheese melts and the rim of the boats turn light brown.
- Serve the boats immediately topped with sour cream.
- Make a filling of your choice.
- Serve the mini boats with guacamole if your like.
- You can use ready made salsa sauce if you like.
You may want to check out the following:
|mini taco salad cups|
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