After the long, lazy days of summer filled with afternoon cooking adventures, I’m always shocked at how little time there is to prepare dinner once school begins. I’ve got kids in different schools and multiple after-school activities, not to mention the baby needing constant attention. After running all over town, then returning home to help with homework (please tell me I’m not the only one who has to sit next to my kid helping every step of the way), I feel like there’s no time for dinner. That’s when I discovered the beauty of tacos. I marinate the meat in the morning so all I have to do is grill it and prep the side dishes. The kids love it, too, because they get to build their own just the way they like it. Even the baby gets in on the taco action by eating the meat with rice and beans. Sometimes in those spare minutes, because we always have to fill every spare minute, I make a quesadilla to divide amongst the family. It’s a dinner that satisfies adults, kids and babies and it comes together in less than 20 minutes for those busy school nights.
Here’s how you make a full Mexican dinner in under 20 minutes:
1 lb Skirt Steak – this is very thinly sliced meat
Old El Paso Chile and Roasted Garlic Mexican Cooking Sauce
Old El Paso Taco Seasoning
1 cup rice
2 cups mild salsa
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Old El Paso Refried Beans
Old El Paso Taco Shells
On the side: shredded cheese (cheddar and cotija), lettuce, salsa, corn and any other topping you love like pre-made guacamole or sour cream or tomatoes.
In the morning place the meat in a bag or a container, and cover with the cooking sauce and taco sauce and thoroughly coat. Place back into the refrigerator until it’s ready to cook. At dinnertime remove the meat while you start on the rice. For the rice, pour 2 cups of salsa and 1/2 cup of water with the cumin and oregano into a rice cooker, add 1 cup of rice and press cook. Rice should be done in 20 minutes or less. Heat the grill to medium high and cook the meat for 3 minutes, flip and cook an additional 2 minutes or until desired doneness. Place onto a cutting board and allow to rest. Heat the beans in the microwave for 1 minute on high, heat the taco shells according to the package in the microwave or oven. At this point I might make a quesadilla. Place the toppings into bowls, and have the kids set the table and bring toppings to the table. Slice the steak and let the taco making begin. A complete Mexican dinner of deliciousness in 20 minutes or less!
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