This ain’t no Alto Cinco. . .It’s Home Cookin’

By Leah Rocketto

Bienvenida! Bienvenue! Benvenuto! Welcome!

As college students, most of us don’t have the money to travel the globe – or even off the East Coast. We may be broke, but that doesn’t mean we can’t experience other cultures. Through Around the World in 80 Plates, I will help you travel without losing too much money or leaving your kitchen.

This week, we will go south of the border to Mexico!

Authentic Mexican cuisine uses ingredients from the original occupants of Mexico.  The Mayans cultivated corn, beans, and squash, also known as the “three sisters.” Years later, the Aztecs added some sweet ingredients to the cuisine, like chocolate and vanilla. When the Spanish conquered in the 1500s, they contributed protein, like pork and lamb, and dairy, like cheese and milk. While these ingredients are simple, the spices add complexity to the tasty cuisine.

So it only makes sense to take my meal of the week back to its roots. Using the “three sisters” and some extra ingredients, you can make a meal that will please anyone who frequents Mexican restaurants.

Three Sister’s Vegetable Stew:

–        2 Tbsp. olive oil
–        1 large onion, chopped
–        2 garlic cloves, halved
–        2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
–        2 cups butternut squash, chipped (fresh or frozen)
–        4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
–        1 can (15 oz) red or white kidney beans
–        Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic till transparent, about 7 minutes. Remove garlic.
  3. Stir in corn, squash, and broth. Bring to boil, about
  4. Reduce heat and simmer until squash in tender, about 15 minutes
  5. Add beans.
  6. Continue cooking until stew is warm or until you are ready.

Mexican Confetti Rice:

–        4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
–        1 large onion, chopped
–        1 garlic clove, halved
–        2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
–        1  15 oz. can peeled, chopped tomatoes
–        1  4 oz. can green chilies
–        2 cups chicken broth

  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until softened, about 4 minutes. Remove garlic
  3. Stir in rice until well-coated by onions.
  4. Add tomatoes, chilies, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, about
  5. Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer until rice is tender, about 25 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and serve.

Level: So simple, a frat boy can do it.
Rating: ¾ forks!
Serves: Four

Total cost = $10.92
Cost per person = $2.73

** Costs are based on Wegman’s prices at time of purchase

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