By Bill Daley
Consider this dish a Southwestern spin on a sloppy Joe. It’s just as easy to make, especially if you buy commercially prepared salsa, refried beans and, of course, the soft flour tortillas.
Use the Mexican variety of hot chorizo, which, unlike Spanish varieties, must be cooked. To crumble the sausage, cut down the casing with a sharp knife and use your fingers to pull out the meat. You can find chorizo at supermarkets and ethnic food stores.
Ground turkey or ground chicken are lower fat alternatives to the ground beef. You may want to punch up the seasonings a bit to counter the lighter flavor.
If you have the time, consider making this dish as a casserole. Brown the meat first and cook the onions and peppers to soften. Put a layer of tortillas in the bottom of the casserole dish and then layer with the browned meat, the refried beans, the vegetables and the cheese. Top with salsa; bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.
Cold Mexican beers always hit the spot, or consider a California zinfandel. Iced tea and Mexican soda are good non-alcoholic options.
2 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 link hot chorizo, crumbled
1 each, sliced: green bell pepper, yellow onion
1 cup salsa
1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
12 flour tortillas, warmed
1‚Ñ2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1‚Ñ2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Heat the oil in skillet over medium-high heat; cook garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and chorizo; cook until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat with a slotted spoon to a large bowl; set aside.
Remove all but 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet. Cook the green pepper and onion until soft, about 8 minutes. Return meat to the skillet; stir in the salsa. Lower heat to simmer; cook 5 minutes.
Spoon beans over half of each tortilla; spoon ground beef mixture on top. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. Fold tortillas over the filling to eat.
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 726 calories, 41 percent of calories from fat, 33 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 85 mg cholesterol, 69 g carbohydrates, 37 g protein, 1,570 mg sodium, 9 g fiber.