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Mexican Fiesta Dinner Party!

So, my good friend Rachael Rodriquez and her sister, Rosie, and a bunch of friends came over tonight for a birthday party for Rachael. I've had the pleasure of enjoying the amazing Mexican food prepared by Rachael's lovely mother, Lupe, for about 35 years now. Her Fideo recipe is recreated in my cookbook, A Perfect 10. I thought I'd surprise the Rodriquez sisters tonight with my own Mexican-inspired creations - part of a game night/cocktail party. I decided to make a double order my Perfect 10 Chilaquiles, as well as some good old fashioned Flautas.

From A Perfect 10, my Kick Ass Chilaquiles are stupidly easy - and, if I do say so myself, better than any I've had before.

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, simply whisk together one 15-oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups beef broth, one tablespoon chili powder, a teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt. Let those simmer together for about 15 minutes, then stir in a half a stick of butter, cut into slices. Stir, and you have a velvety smooth and delicious sauce that can be used for enchiladas, wet burritos or, of course, chilaquiles.

2. I then take a very large mixing bowl, fill it with a bag or so of tortilla corn chips, and pour the sauce right over the top. Mix until the chips are totally covered with red sauce. Place in a serving dish. I then top with some creamy scrambled eggs, Cotija cheese, cilantro, avocado slices, and finally squeeze lime juice over the top. You will, I promise, completely overwhelm your dining guests with yumminess!

I also made some Beef Flautas. I simply browned a pound of ground beef, and added about 1/2 cup of the chilaquile sauce I just made, and combine well. I put a dollop of the cooked meat onto one side of a flour tortilla, top with a smattering of Monterrey Jack cheese, roll it up burrito style, and secure with a toothpick. Then I fry each flauta in vegetable oil, turning over on all sides, until well browned. Just serve with more Cotija cheese and cilantro, and of course you can always drizzle a crema over the top. (Just take a cup of sour cream and add about a tablespoon of water, and stir - easy peasy). This makes 9-10 servings.

I know it's not authentic Lupe Rodriquez-style cooking, but it's my own version, and this party crowd devoured it!

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