Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Call Me Crazy

But living in the Garden of Eatin' that was Italy didn't exorcise the taco-loving Texana out of me. Even the clams couldn't eclipse the burning in my heart that was my love for Mexican (Texican) food.

I always make nachos/quesadillas/tacos at home. I have convinced myself that I can make them healthy without a hint less of flavor, which is important because my metabolism cooperates less every day closer I get to 34. What I do is make a filling/topping that is versatile and, being forced to confess, I would say damn good.

My DoBianchi has asked me to post a recipe, inspired by our ritual equation of American Idol+nachos=love. I will do no such thing, as I am too willy-nilly with my filling to be precise, but I will tell you what I do and maybe you can too:

*One pound, maybe a bit more, of ground turkey or chicken breast. (HINT: when you can find it, ground chicken breast is quite a bit cheaper.)

*4-5 T of Chili powder, not the authentic New Mexican kind, but that Americanized spice mix. I like Fiesta...it's fancy.

*1 can of drained and rinsed (rinse please!) black beans. I like Progresso and Goya.

*Handful of frozen corn, fresh if you find yourself in the midst of Summer.

*A bunch of fresh baby spinach

*As much cilantro as you can stand to wash and cut, the more the better!

*2-3 limes, depending how juicy they are

*1 minced garlic clove and maybe 1/2 cup of finely diced onion.

1. Put the onion in a heated (mediumish) pan coated with olive oil, saute 5 minutes and add garlic until it becomes fragrant.
2. Add the bulk of the chili powder and stir with onion, garlic, and oil.
3. Add spinach and cook, and this is important, until the water is gone. Add ground meat and brown, putting the balance of chili powder in the mix.
4. Now that the meat is cooked, season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more chili powder if you're not feeling it.
5. Now it's time for the corn, stir it in until it's heated and seasoned. FOLD in the black beans, letting the spices penetrate without breaking them into mush.
NOTE: At this point, you want the mix to be free of running liquid, but not totally dry.
6. Take the pan off of the heat and go crazy with the lime juice and cilantro. Crazy! The lime juice is the secret that totally takes this over the top.

If you're making nachos, top some chips with the filling, low-fat refrieds too should you choose, and a moderate amount of ColbyJack cheese. (I SO know we're not Mexican anymore, but it's "inspired.") Throw them in the oven, melt, and top them with shredded cabbage and more cilantro. The cabbage is delicious, crunchy, and much more nutritious than mere lettuce.

Jeremy and I LOVE Herdez ranchera salsa. Goes great on top of the nachos!

If you make a little more of the mix, you'll have it on hand in the fridge to make quesadillas, tacos, or tostadas at will.

Whew! For all of my hard work, Jeremy surprised me with a bottle of Tempier Rose' (seems to be another emerging pattern, next week Tempier Blanc?), and you can read his thoughts here. It was lovely, very much in the same way as its Rouge sibling that I wrote about two weeks ago, but it's his turn, so go read it please.

My poor guy has to eat this at least on a weekly basis, constantly reminded by the leftovers, but he's still hangin' around so I guess our resident DoBianchi is a sucker for punishment! Who knew?

Now go get your Mex on! And feel good about it.

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Blogger Sicilian said...

I love Texican too. . . . I like it better than the Southwest flavors of Colorado. . . .

4/15/2009 6:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have tasted those nachos and oh I miss them soooooooooo much......although I could make a trip to visit!

Cute post and kudos to J for his book!

4/16/2009 8:32 AM

Blogger Do Bianchi said...

That was a fun Idol, Tracie B and I LOVED how the Bandol paired with the nachos... if there ever were a way to man's heart, you sure found it... :-)

p.s. how fun is tandem bloggin??!!! :-) maybe you're free on Saturday? ;-)

4/16/2009 8:39 AM

Blogger Tracie P. said...

sicilian--i prefer it to SW too

anon--wonder who you are...

2B--i hope so! saturday, where do i sign up?

4/16/2009 8:46 AM


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