Friday, July 24, 2009

Mexican Fiesta

We don’t do leftover night at our place very often. Most of the time leftovers are used for lunches or maybe an early dinner for the kids. Every now and then, however, we do a leftover night, and it’s almost always what we call, “Mexican fiesta."

Maybe it goes back to my philosophy about adding salsa to almost anything. We put salsa on the table with all the leftovers, buffet style, and there you go – Mexican fiesta. It works especially well if there’s leftover rice or tortillas or even lettuce. Add a little cheese, maybe some beans and you’ve got Mexican rice bowls, quesadillas, or taco salad.
My daughter likes a plain tortilla with a side of beans. My son likes tortilla chips with melted cheese. My husband, Dave, and I each make up our own plates with whatever sounds good. I’m likely to go for brown rice with black beans, grated cheese, and salsa, while Dave might make loaded nachos.
We like it so much we sometimes plan Mexican fiesta. We make more rice than we need for Tuesday’s fish dinner (and maybe an extra fish filet for fish tacos). We reserve some salad stuff from Wednesday night’s big salad. I make guacamole and salsa. Dave grates cheese. We buy black beans and tortilla chips, sour cream and jalapeño slices. I guess you could call it super-deluxe Mexican fiesta because it’s planned, therefore less random, and we’ve got everybody’s favorite fixings. Once again, we each make our own dish: maybe taco salad for me with lots of guacamole, quesadillas for Dave with onions and jalapeños. And the kids – well, they pretty much stick with the same boring stuff every time, but it makes them happy.
Maybe your family would rather have a celebrazione Italiano using leftover pasta, spaghetti sauce, or vegetables. Add a little fresh basil, a little Parmesan – you could make individual pasta concoctions, Italian-style salad, or pizza bread. Do you prefer Chinese? Make a vegetable stir-fry or fried rice (leftover rice is great for fried rice). Anyway, you get the idea.
For my family, Mexican fiesta is fantástico! There’s little effort involved, it’s a great way to use up leftovers, and we all get what we want. Now, if only I had a margarita – then it would be a true fiesta – rocks and salt please!

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