Mexican Weeknights: Fast Recipes for Hungry Kids

If there’s anything I love more, it would have to be Mexican-themed recipes. Now, please hear me, these recipes I have provided you this week are not altogether authentic Mexican, but they come very close. They’re actually good hearty recipes—richly spiced up! And perfect to feed your hungry kids and teenagers on a busy weeknight! The first recipe is a wonderful macaroni and cheese that is a hearty supper meal for your hungry kids—and it’s a Mexican-style macaroni and cheese! Cheesy, rich, delicious and super fun! My second recipe I have for you this week is a wonderful chili dog casserole, made with Pillsbury crescent rolls—one of my favorite things in the world! It’s a very interesting dish, and your kids will flip over this tasty casserole. And my final recipe—my aunt Robin’s delicious recipe for homemade Mexican Chicken! We grew up on this stuff when I was a child—my cousins and I used to clean our plates when we had this! And we always came back for seconds and thirds! I have printed my version of this wonderful dish previously, and it is very similar to my aunt’s. But I’ve provided you the original recipe this week! And, believe me, with some homemade rolls, a nice vegetable and some fresh southern iced sweet tea—you’ll have your kids satisfied and ready for bed in no time flat! Enjoy, readers!

Brock’s Mexican Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb. uncooked macaroni

1 stick butter

8 oz. grated Mexican style cheese blend

1 can whole kernel corn (Green Giant)

1 can cream style corn (Green Giant)

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

1 tsp. salt, depending on your preference for salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 small jar mild salsa

8 oz. grated mild cheddar cheese (for top)

Cook macaroni and drain. Add remaining ingredients except for cheddar cheese, allowing all ingredients to melt together and blend. Sprinkle evenly with cheddar cheese. Transfer to a 13×9 casserole dish that has been greased. Bake covered for about 35-40 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Serve with any type of meat or just simply by itself with some hot homemade rolls.

Brock’s Chili Dog Casserole

2 pkg. Pillsbury crescent seamless dough (or rolls)

1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 stick butter, melted

1 can hot dog chili (no beans)

8 oz. grated cheddar cheese (mild)

1 pkg. Bryan hot dog wieners (red color)

Cook meat with onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper, and chili powder, and drain. Set aside. Press one package of crescent dough to fit the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish that has been greased. Spread meat mixture evenly over the crescent roll dough. Evenly spread the chili over the meat, and cut up hot dog wieners into small pieces and evenly spread over the chili. Sprinkle all this evenly with the cheese. Layer remaining package of crescent dough over all this to form a top crust (does not have to cover completely). Melt butter and pour evenly over this crust. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees covered or until crust is lightly golden brown on top.

Aunt Robin’s Mexican Chicken

Note: If there ever were a dish that was more awesome for kids and teens, this is the one! I, along with my sister and cousins, used to lap this dish up when we were growing up. It is kid and teenager friendly, and it will certainly please anybody! It is so good! You must try it, readers! I like to add sour cream to my casserole, but you don’t have to.

1 lg. pkg. leg quarters

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies (mild)

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

8 oz. sour cream (Brock’s suggestion)

Nacho cheese Doritos

8 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Three fourths cup chicken stock (from leg quarters)

Dash each salt and pepper

Boil or bake leg quarters, remove from bone and dice. In separate bowl, combine bell pepper, onion, tomatoes and soups, and sour cream. In a 13×9 greased casserole dish, layer fourth of soup mixture, half of chicken, layer of Doritos (enough to cover), remaining chicken and then remaining soup mixture. Put all of grated cheese on top. Season with dash of salt and pepper. Pour chicken stock around sides. Cook, covered on 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until bubbly.

Editor’s note:

Brock Wetherly Rogers is an experienced southern food writer, educator, overseas traveler and passionate student of the culinary and pastry arts. Please e-mail him at brockrogers1@gmail.com, or find him on Facebook.