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Cooking For Fun
Mexican Appetizers

My husband and I love to visit the east side of New York and Queens where many little Mexican restaurants are located, fragant with the spicy aroma of their delicacies. We love tacos, nachos and tostados, and we love to fix them for our friends.

This recipe for a layered dip with nacho chips is a favorite of all the village people.
And it's a made with low fat ingredients!

Fat-Free Flour Tortillas
Makes 12 tortillas
4 cups All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp  Salt
4 tablespoons Fat-free mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups hot water
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. Add fat-free mayonnaise and use pastry blender (or fork) and blend until flour mixture appears to be coarse throughout.

Add hot water and stir well. Knead in extra flour. Cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes.

Set iron griddle over medium to medium-high heat. Tear off a piece of dough, roll into a ball (approximately 2 1/2"). On well-floured board, roll dough out into a circular flat form as thin as possible (less than 1/8" thickness) approximately 6" inches in diameter. Add more flour if dough is sticky. Place tortilla on heated griddle and allow it to bubble slightly. Cook for approximately 1-2 minutes. Flip tortilla and brown other side approximately 1 minute longer. If tortilla has browned in variable spots and does not have a dough-like texture, then it is done.

Nacho Nacho Man
Serves 8

Creamy Bean Stuff
The Bottom Layer

1 cup canned low-fat refried beans
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons salsa
1 tablespoon lime juice.

Combine all ingredients for bottom layer in a medium bowl. Spread evenly over the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate.

Guiltless Guacamole
The Second Layer

1/2 cup peeled and chopped avocado
1/2 cup frozen green peas, cooked
1/4 low-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped red onions
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chooped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all guacamole ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse on and off until mixture is well blended, but still slightly lumpy. Spread over bean mixture.

Sour Creamy Stuff
The Third Layer

1 cup low-fat sour cream ( a thick brand)
1 teaspoon taco seasoning

Combine sour cream and taco seasoning. Spoon over guacamole and spread evenly.

Simple and Spicy
The Fourth Layer

1 cup salsa ( preferably chunky style)

Pour salsa evenly over sour cream. Spread to sides of pie plate.

Cheesy Decorations
The Top Layer

1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese( 2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 bag baked tortilhas chips

Sprinkle cheese over salsa and top with green onions. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Serve with baked tortilha chips.

Hot Bean Dip

1 can  refried beans
1 package taco seasoning
5  scallions, chopped
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
1 can  chopped chiles
20 drops tabasco sauce
8 oz   package cream cheese
1 cup  shredded cheddar cheese

Soften cream cheese.  Mix together all ingredients in a microwave-safe serving dish.  Microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until heated through.  Mix well before serving.

Serve with dip-sized corn chips.

Yield: 2 servings

1 pound beef file
1/2 cup extra virgin oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine
1 tablespoon fresh shallots, minced
2 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz fresh mushroom
2 tablespoon grated cheese

Trim fat from beef, wrap in foil, and place in freezer for 30 minutes to facilitate slicing. While meat is in freezer, make sauce by combining lemon juice, wine, shallots,  capers, mustard,and parsley.  Gradually whisk in olive oil by pouring in as a small stream. Add salt and mushrooms and toss. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.  Remove meat from freezer and with a very sharp thin knife slice on a diagonal into paper thin slices. Place beef slices on platter or individual plates. Top with sauce with
additional sauce served on the side.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the filet slices. Serves 2 as an entree, and 6 as an appetizer.

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