$10 buck dinners!

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Chile Verde Smothered Burritos

First things first. You need burritos, right? OK, that’s a no brainer. Just use my Saturday night Bean and Cream Cheese burritos (with or without ground beef) and you’re in business!

Next, the main event. CHILE VERDE!!! This meal is a labor of love and each cook puts his or her own stamp on each batch, so take your time and show your style. You decide the texture, the amount of chile, the added spices, etc. All I’m giving you is the basics. A traditional, homestyle chile verde recipe that’s been in my family for generations.  So here it is….

Pork Chile Verde:

1 1/2 – 2 lbs. pork cushion meat, cubed (some fat is ok) – $4.59
6 Green Chile, roasted, peeled & diced (In a pinch, you can use canned green chile) – $1.67
1/2 small onion, diced – $.25
2 – 3 Tbsps flour (until meat is coated) – pantry
3 – 4 cups water
Salt & pepper to taste
(optional) 1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder, cumin, oregano – pantry

COST: $6.51

Cut pork into cubes, about 1 to 2 inch in size. Brown meat, deeply. If there’s not a lot of fat, add a tsp or so of lard or oil. Make sure meat is nice and browned, not just cooked. Do the browning on high heat.

Once meat is browned, add roasted chile and onion. Stir and cook for a bit. Next, sprinkle meat, chile and onions with flour. Cook for a minute or two, but do not brown. Now add water to pan, stir, add garlic powder (if you desire) and bring to simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour minimum. Add salt and pepper to taste, about midway through cooking.

Once chile verde is cooked, it’s time to assemble your burritos. Serve with whatever you have leftover or all alone. You don’t need fixings. I had some leftover lettuce and tomato from a taco night, so I used that, but it’s not necessary. I guarantee, there won’t be a leftover in sight. Chile verde has that tummy power. You just can’t stop!

GRAND TOTAL: $6.51 + $3.47 (Burritos) = $9.98

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Navajo Taco Time

You’ve probably all had a Navajo taco at some time in your life. Whether at a fair, a cultural event, or even on a trip to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve tried more than one, you know, there are so many different styles, versions and recipes. It’s impossible to say whose is the best or more authentic. All are based on a “fry bread” of some kind and most have some very basic ingredients, such as beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sour cream. Since I had leftover Buñuelos, I figured I’d use them instead of traditional Fry Bread. But it’s your choice. If you don’t want to use Buñuelos, visit this link for the history behind Navajo Fry Bread. There’s a great recipe on there as well. Let me know what you think!

Navajo Tacos:

6-8 large Buñuelos (See my recipe) – $1.65
1 lb red or pinto beans (dried) – $.97
1 lb ground beef – $3.32
1/4 onion, diced – $.15
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese – $1.00
1/2 head shredded iceberg lettuce or romaine (it was on sale for .99 – 3 heads!) – $.33
2 medium roma tomatoes, diced – $.50
1 cup sour cream – $.75
*1 Tbsp Red Chile Powder (to your taste) – pantry
*1/2 tsp garlic powder – pantry
*1 tsp salt for meat and 1 Tbsp salt for beans – pantry
Pepper to taste for meat and bean – pantry
Guacamole too! If you have it. I didn’t, but wished I did!
*You could also just use Taco Seasoning to season meat, if you prefer.

COST: $8.17

You can use canned beans for this, but I prefer to make my own and then I can do chili beans with leftovers. Cooking beans is not only cheap, it’s easy. Nothing but a big pot with water covering dry, clean beans. Make sure the water is covering beans by at least 4 inches. Add some salt and pepper and other seasonings you like and bring to boil. Cover, reduce to simmer and cook for 4 -5 hours (less at lower altitude). You can also use a crockpot as well. Don’t forget to keep an eye on them though as you may need to add water on occasion. Other than that, piece of cake! Once beans are done, you can drain and set aside. You can even make in advance.

Time to prepare toppings for your tacos. Shred cheese, lettuce and dice the tomato.

Next, fry ground beef till 75% cooked. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and chile powder (or your choice of prepared taco seasoning). Stir and add diced onion (optional). Cook for 5 more minutes on medium heat or until beef is completely cooked and onions are soft. Drain excess oil (if beef was not lean) and set aside, covered and on a very, very low heat to keep warm.

Assuming you have leftover Buñuelos, such as I did, you can now warm them in the oven and begin preparing your tacos. If you need to make Buñuelos or Fry Bread, do so now and serve while hot.

To build a typical Navajo taco, it goes something like this….Fry bread, beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, cheese and topped with sour cream! Oh, and salsa, of course, but that goes without say. Super simple, yet super delicious!

Just so you know, Bunuelos are just one of many different fry bread styles and recipes. Many cultures around the world make “fry bread” of some sort. You can try any kind you like. Some may be easier than others, so experiment and feel free to comment. I love trying new things, so if you have a great recipe, please share!


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