The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Food

June 12, 2013

Zesty Mexican Meals Made Fast

TARBORO — Flavors from south of the border are always a crowd favorite. They're also a quick, easy way to get dinner on the table in a hurry. Celebrity chef AarÛn S·nchez shares his favorite weeknight recipes, which use easy, flavorful ingredients to get families out of the kitchen and at the table in record time. "As a chef with a young family, I love creating delicious dishes that are quick and easy to prepare," S·nchez said. "My new Ortega recipes bring that flavor and simplicity together. Enjoy."

Fundido Fiesta Flats

Servings: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

1     pound ground beef

1     1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix         or 40% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix

1/2     cup water

6     ounces American cheese, cubed

1     16-ounce jar Ortega Salsa, any variety

12     Ortega Fiesta Flats Taco Shells

Chopped fresh cilantro

Brown beef in large skillet over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in taco seasoning and water. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened.

Meanwhile, combine cheese and one cup salsa in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds, until smooth.

Evenly spoon meat mixture into Fiesta Flats and top with cheese mixture. Top with additional salsa and sprinkle with cilantro. If desired, also top with Ortega Taco Sauce and Diced Green Chiles.

Mexican Lasagna

Servings: 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

1     tablespoon vegetable oil

1     medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2     garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2     pounds lean ground beef

1     1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix

1/2     cup water, divided

1     16-ounce can Ortega Refried Beans

9     Ortega Flour Soft Tortillas

2     10-ounce cans Ortega Mild Red Enchilada Sauce

1     16-ounce jar Ortega Thick and Chunky Salsa

8     ounces shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar

    cheese

Preheat oven to 350?F. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat and cook onion and garlic for 4 minutes or until softened. Add ground beef and cook for 4 minutes or until browned. Stir in taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 2 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Heat refried beans in microwave or small saucepan and stir in remaining 1/4 cup water to thin slightly.

Cut one tortilla in half and fit cut ends at either end of a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange two tortillas, slightly overlapping, to cover the bottom. Layer 1/3 refried beans, 1/3 meat mixture and 1 can enchilada sauce. Repeat to make a second layer.

Repeat to make a third layer using salsa instead of enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until lasagna is bubbling and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

If desired, top servings with sour cream and diced green onion.

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