Save this 'sombrero' for Cinco de Mayo
You have to figure that if it's the fifth of May for we Norteamericanos, then it's bound to be Cinco de Mayo for those folks of Mexican heritage.
Cause to celebrate?
In that case, Camano Island cook JoBee has a timely recipe to share.
"The origin of the original recipe is unknown," she writes, "but it may have been one of the original 'war-time' meals printed in the 1945 'Frito Recipe Book.'
"This stovetop meal is a family favorite that satisfied that urge to dine on great Mexican food, but with less fat and calories."
JoBee adds, "I called Frito-Lay in Plano, Texas, to try to find the origin of the above recipe that my mother routinely served to our family in the 1950s. No luck.
"Their online history states that they have been sharing recipes with consumers since the invention of the Frito in 1939, when the Frito Co. launched its first recipe book.
"In 1945, the Frito Co. offered a 'big recipe book for hundreds of ways to vary your war-time meals.'
"I am not sure if there is a connection of my recipe to their cookbook or not, but it makes a good story. ...
"My recipe for Western sombreros or a similar variation is not in their current recipe collection online -- most skillet recipes now have salsa and taco sauce and a lot more calories than my recipe, but readers may want to know that there are lots of recipes to look at on their site."
The site JoBee is talking about is www.fritolay.com; click on "meal planning." Right now, though, here's her recipe for:
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
Few hot red pepper flakes or dash liquid hot-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 can (about 141/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 package original Frito corn chips
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded lettuce
In skillet, saute celery, onion, green pepper and ground beef in butter. Add salt, pepper flakes or pepper seasoning, black pepper, chili powder, tomatoes and tomato sauce; mix thoroughly, cover and simmer 1 hour.
To serve, ladle mixture over corn chips and sprinkle evenly with cheese and lettuce.
The next Forum will appear in Wednesday's Food section.
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