El Chico is a chain of casual Tex-Mex restaurants with 78 locations found throughout the Southern United States. The business began in 1926 with Cuellar family near Dallas, TX, who sold their mother’s chili and tamales at the county fair. Today, El Chico offers traditional Mexican-style dishes, including enchiladas, quesadillas, and, of course, margaritas.
From the cheesy biscuits at Red Lobster to the amazing sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings, it’s always tempting to go out for a delicious treat at one of the numerous chain and franchise restaurants dotting the landscape. But eating out at restaurants all the time can be a costly proposition. Not to mention the fact that, at restaurants, you have no portion control, and can’t alter the recipes, ingredients or style of cooking to suit your own taste.
Making El Chico Cafe menu items in your home gives you all of these options, while saving you money, and providing the same great diversity and taste that you’d find at your favorite casual dining spot. This list collections the best copycat El Chico Cafe recipes from around the Web.
Chile Con Queso
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
10 large roasted green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup shredded queso asadero (white Mexican cheese)
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup milk
salt to taste
– Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.
– Stir in the onion and tomato; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.
– Add the green chile; cook for 2 minutes then stir in the cheese and milk.
– Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the cheese has melted.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
500g beef mince
300g can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder
35g sachet reduced-salt taco seasoning mix
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
230g packet corn chips
1 cup grated tasty cheese
– Preheat oven to 200°C.
– Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
– Cook onion for 2 minutes, or until soft. Add mince.
– Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned.
– Add kidney beans, chilli powder, seasoning, tomato paste and water.
– Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until thick.
– Stir through coriander.
– Arrange corn chips on a heatproof plate.
– Top with mince.
– Sprinkle with cheese.
– Bake for 15 minutes, or until hot.
– Top with salsa, avocado and sour cream.
Chicken Monterrey Dinner
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
ground black pepper to taste
seasoning salt to taste
2 teaspoons dried parsley
– Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
– Dip chicken in lemon juice, and sprinkle with the onion powder, ground black pepper, seasoning salt and parsley.
– Discard any remaining lemon juice.
– Cook on the prepared grill 10 to 15 minutes per side, or until no longer pink and juices run clear.
Quesadilla Circulo Salad
4 – ounces salad greens
1 – package Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1/2 – cup Quesadilla cheese or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 – Avocado, ripe, peeled and sliced
1 – Roasted red pepper, cut into julienne strips
1/2 – cup Cilantro, chopped
2 – Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 – cup Chipotle Mayo
– In a large salad bowl, top 4 ounces of salad greens with chicken and grated cheese.
– Garnish with the avocado slices, red pepper slices and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
– To make dressing, add fresh lime juice to Chipotle Mayo and drizzle over salad.
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, without tails
4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey cheese blend
2 cups fresh salsa
– In a mixing bowl, combine 4 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, ginger, hot sauce, and shrimp.
– Coat shrimp well with mixture, and marinate 2 hours.
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
– Grease a 9 inch glass pie dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
– Fill flour tortillas with marinated shrimp, cheese blend and salsa.
– Fold tortillas into a roll and place in the greased pie dish.
– Spread a thin layer of salsa on top of the tortillas.
– Bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or until shrimp are pink.
Chile Relleno Enchiladas
4 egg whites
1/3 cup all purpose flour
16 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup evaporated milk
3 cans whole green chilies
1 8 oz. can enchilada sauce
– Spray a 2 quart casserole dish.
– In medium bowl, combine egg whites, milk, and flour; beat until well blended.
– Place 1/2 the green chilies in baking dish.
– Cover with 1/2 of the egg mixture.
– Spread 1/3 of the cheese on top.
– Repeat layers, saving last 1/3 of the cheese.
– Pour sauce on top of casserole.
– Bake @ 350*F. for 25 to 30 minutes.
– Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
– Bake an additional 5 minutes to melt cheese and until casserole is bubbly.
Chicken and Mushroom Fajitas
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, divided
1 Cup Red, Green, and Yellow Pepper Strips
1/2 Cup Celery, sliced
1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
4 Cups Ontario Mushrooms, sliced
1 Pound Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into strips
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
8 Large Soft Flour Tortillas, heated
Grated Cheese, your choice
– In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the oil.
– Saute peppers, celery and onion 3 minutes or until soft.
– Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently; set aside; keep warm.
– Add remaining oil to skillet.
– Coat chicken with seasonings; saute, stirring 6 minutes, or until no longer pink.
– Return mushroom mixture to skillet; toss gently with chicken to mix.
– Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until heated through.
– Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mushroom, chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up.
– Sprinkle with cheese, if desired.
Chicken Fajita Salad
2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
1/4 cup lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into thin strips
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
1 cup whole almonds, toasted
3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 avocado, sliced
– Combine 1 tablespoon oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin and oregano.
-Toss with chicken; marinate at least 30 minutes.
– In a skillet, heat remaining oil on medium-high.
– Saute onion 2 minutes.
– Drain chicken, reserving marinade.
– Add chicken to skillet; stir-fry until it begins to brown.
– Add red pepper, chilies and marinade; cook 2 minutes.
– Stir in almonds.
– Serve immediately over shredded lettuce and top with tomatoes and avocado.