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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: More Mexican (Food), Please!

By Sherrie Norris

I got ahead of myself last week, apparently thinking we needed a two-week notice for Cinco de Mayo, but I was relieved to hear someone request, “More Mexican, please!”

As Mexican-Americans continue to observe their 1862 victorious battle over French invaders, everyone, it seems, has gotten into the great food, music and fun of the festive Cinco de Mayo celebration, whether we hail from south of the border, or not.

I absolutely love Mexican food and am happy to say that Boone is blessed with some of the best authentic Mexican food found anywhere.

If, by chance, you don’t want to fight the crowds on May 5, plan to have your own celebration at home with a few “hot” ideas from our recipe collection.

Start with a tortilla: corn, flour, soft or crisp — and simply stuff it! Tortilla is the star in many southwestern dishes; it is considered the “Mexican bread,” a thin, flat, unleavened and amazingly versatile food that can be used as a plate, shaped into a bowl, wrapped, folded, but most of all — enjoyed. That is what we hope you do as you celebrate this fun time with friends everywhere!


Chicken Quesadillas

“The Mexican Sandwich”

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken

1 cup shredded taco-flavored Cheddar cheese

2 cups Salsa, (thick and chunky works best)

2 Tbs. margarine or butter, softened

8 large flour tortillas

½ cup sour cream

Heat large skillet. In large bowl, combine chicken, cheese and 1 cup of the salsa. Spread margarine on 1 side of each tortilla. Place 1 tortilla, buttered-side down, in hot skillet. Top with ¾ cup chicken mixture. Place second tortilla, buttered side up, on chicken mixture; cook until bottom is lightly browned. Turn quesadilla over; cook on second side until quesadilla is lightly browned and chicken mixture is thoroughly heated. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture.

To serve, cut each quesadilla into fourths, top with remaining 1 cup salsa and sour cream. Makes 4, but can easily be doubled as needed.


My Favorite Layered Dip

(Always a hit!)

1 can refried beans

2 cups sour cream

1 cup of salsa

½ chopped red onion

chopped chilies

1 cup cheddar cheese

1 cup mozzarella cheese

Sliced black olives

Layer in a 9 x 13-inch glass dish with ingredients in order as listed. Keep in fridge until time to serve. Great with corn chip scoops, tortilla chips or just about any kind of chip you choose.


Garden Fresh Salsa

2 lg. tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 or 2 hot chili peppers, seeded and chopped

1/3 cup chopped green onions

2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

2 Tbsp. lime juice

¼ tsp. salt

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Can be stored in refrigerator up to a week.



1 medium peeled, mashed avocado

¼ cup finely chopped onion

¼ cup chopped tomato

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. hot sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

Combine all ingredients, stirring until blended.