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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Quick Mexican Feast even Charo would like!

Charo is an odd duck, isn't she? On the one hand, watching her perform is a bit jarring. She can play guitar and she can sing, but the whole 'cuchi-cuchi' act is tired, fake and exhausting. She must be AARP now.

Gay men watch her because they want to dress like her; straight men want to see her tits and women loathe her. She's like a trashy Dolly Parton from the wrong side of town. Too much of everything, but a heart of gold.

Why am I bringing up Charo? Because I made a Mexican meal last night and it came out pretty damn good. My hubby has been annoyed lately with all of the fuss I make in the kitchen (it's all for my cooking show, I swear!), so I tried to be 'fuss-free'. I cooked as fast as I could, didn't get picky and perfect and to my surprise, it came out pretty damn good. And healthy.

Of course, it helped I had my usual 3 glass of wine! I swear, Julia Childs and I are sisters of the soul when it comes to drinking while cooking.

Today is busy, so I only have a second to get this posted tonight before trudging along for another day tomorrow.

Let's call this:


Let's cook!

What goes in it:
  • 1 white onion, chopped medium
  • 1/2 red bell, chopped medium
  • 1/2 yellow bell, chopped medium
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 medium burrito wrap
  • 1 8 ounce can no-salt tomato sauce
  • 1 14/5 ounce can no-salt chicken broth
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts roasted (can be made a day or two before)
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons rinsed and chopped pickled jalapenos
  • 1 cup reconstituted pinto beans
  • 1 cup reconstituted white hominy
  • 2 cups Italian blend low-fat/low-calorie cheese
  • Sliced summer radishes
  • Diced Romaine lettuce
  • Low-fat sour cream
Let's cook!

What I did was this - on Monday, I cooked up four large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. Now, stop freaking out when you read 'bone-in' or 'skin-on'. The reason people bake these breasts is the marrow in the bones keeps the meat tender even when you over cook it AND you always remove the skin anyway, so chill.

Also, on Sunday night, I took one bag of dried PINTO BEANS and one bag of DRY WHITE HOMINY (Mexican corn), covered them separately in bowls of water over night, then the next day cooked them in boiling water for 1 hour. Presto! Instead beans which taste like beans with NO SODIUM or FAT or chemicals in them.

I also rinsed them many times, thus removing any chance of farting. You rinse out real beans and corn and you rinse out the gas which causes you to fart and threaten your marriage.

I put them into separate containers and in the fridge on Monday.

For the chicken which I cooked Monday: Heat up an oven to 375 degrees. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Sprinkle liberally with pepper, a bit of salt and a one tablespoon of oil for four large breasts. That's it!

Cook until the juices run clear, about 35 minutes.

Take them out, let them cool, shred with two fork or with your hands and store in Tupperware (make triple sure all bones are out).

For the night you cook the actual burritos: do the following...

* Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

* Cut up a large, white onion (white is milder than yellow, soaks up flavors better, great for Mexican).

* Cut up half of your red pepper, half of your yellow pepper. Put them aside, SEPARATE from the onion.

* Open your can or tomato sauce (is it no salt? It better be!) and chicken broth (is it no salt?) and put aside.

* Get out your chili powder. On chili powder - there are lots and lots of them on the market and most are full of salt and cocoa, which I find distracting from the pure, deep taste of true chili powder. As I've written before, I use Penzey's awesome hot chili powder (I buy at Grand Central; you can get it online). No salt, not additives, no chemicals to make it 'free flowing' (what the hell does that mean?), just chili's, Mexican oregano, cumin and other NATURAL ingredients which don't add salt or calories. What a spice SHOULD do.

* Pour out three heaping teaspoons of the powder. Don't worry, all of the tasty goodies in these will suck of the spice and it won't be overwhelming. Trust me (he said as he came in your mouth).

* Get out your pinto beans and hominy - measure out 1 cup each; 2 cups total of both. Put aside.

*Drain and thoroughly rinse 5-10 pickled jalapenos. Dice up. Rinse to get all of that bad salt out of there.

* Get out the tortillas (the worst part of the meal - 220 calories PER tortilla and way too much sodium but I am so not making tortillas on a Tuesday night, thank you very much) and the cheese. I use low-fat Mexican from Kraft. Very tasty and sorta low-cal.

Just to show you how lazy I was last night, I didn't want to chop garlic, so I said fuck it and made this w/out garlic and it still rocked.

* Get out a Pyrex dish which will hold 8 burritos tightly.

* In a 10 inch NON-STICK skillet, heat up one tablespoon of vegetable oil for a minute.

* Throw in the white onion with a tiny bit of salt.

* Cook for 2 minutes.

*Throw in the chili powder. Toast with the onion for 1 minute.

* Cough and cough and cough.

* Throw in the peppers. Cook 3 minutes to soften.

* Throw in the chicken and cook for 1 minute so you get a good bit of the chili powder on them.

* Dump in the tomato sauce. Cook 2 minutes.

* Dump in the chicken broth. Cook 2 minutes. Let it reduce a tad.

* Throw in that lovely hominy and those plump little pinto beans. Let this all cook for a good 3 minutes.

* Now is the time you want to taste. See what you think. Don't over salt, but do add some pepper.

* Add your pickled jalapenos.

TASTE, TASTE, TASTE. The key to all good cooking is constantly tasting!

* As it reduces down to a nice, thick mixture, spray your Pyrex baking dish with Pam spray so it's nice and wet. The tortillas will stick if you don't and it adds very little calories (if at all).

* Now, remove the skillet from the stove when the mixture is nice and thick. Pour 1/8 of the mixture down each of the tortillas, add a small handful of cheese, fold over and do this until you have 8 in the pan, nice and snug.

* When you have them all nice and snug in the pan, take out a sheet of aluminum foil, spray liberally with Pam and place over the cheese on top. Bake 20 minutes, remove the foil, cook 25 more minutes and dinner is on!

*As they bake, dice up some radishes and romaine lettuce. Serve on the side. Radishes right now are unreal. They are so mild and perfect with Mexican.

These also freeze very well! Up to 3 months in the freeze. When you want to eat them, it's best to defrost in the fridge overnight and heat up in a 350 degree oven (aluminum foil removed, of course) for 35 minutes.

Off I must dash!


Mikey Bryan
Your Food Therapist


  1. Charo is not Mexican... she was born in Spain!

  2. Thanks for the clarification, Anonymous! But I still thought of her when I cooked this dish...hope you had a chance to make it.

  3. Charo has to be....82? That girl has longevity. This looks delicious. By the way, we have a jar of minced garlic...I know, I know....but when you don't want to spend 9 hours cooking you still get garlic :) Radishes and sour cream....I don't know but will try. Love you!