NACHOS

Mexican-food purists simply pour hot cheese sauce over toasted tortilla wedges. However, you can pile whatever you like over packaged tortilla chips and pop them in the oven, for a great appetizer or main course. Here's the easiest way to assemble nachos:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place a layer of tortilla chips on a baking sheet or large, ovenproof casserole or serving platter.
  • Spoon beans over chips
  • Spoon seasoned browned ground beef or shredded chicken over beans
  • Spoon chopped tomatoes, sliced jalapeños or chiles, and green onions over meat
  • Sprinkle generously with shredded cheese
  • Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Image by Gordasm on Flickr.com

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Microwave tortillas for 30 seconds, to soften.
  • Dip tortillas in enchilada sauce poured into a shallow dish.
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup shredded or diced chicken, salsa, sliced jalapeños or chiles to taste, and shredded cheese down center of each tortilla.
  • Cover bottom of 13 x 9 baking dish with enchilada sauce. Fold tortillas over filling and place, seam side down, in baking dish. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until cheese is melted.
  • Serve with chopped tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, sliced green onion, sliced ripe olives, and seasoned refried or black beans

MUST-HAVE MARGARITAS

What would any Cinco de Mayo party or Mexican-themed dinner be without margaritas? Here's the basic formula for any quantity of delicious margaritas:

3 parts Tequila (see Bartenders' Guide: Good, Better, Best.)
2 parts orange liqueur (Note: For an interesting comparison of popular brands, see "Orange liqueur throwdown" by blogger Scott Steeves.)
1 part fresh lime juice.

Shake and strain into a glass with or without ice. Olé!

Image by Darcie on Flickr.com

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