It’s a fiesta!

Our contest winner, Susan Muskopf of Wooster, honed her recipe to suit her family’s tastes.

Get ready to celebrate the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo with winning entrees from Ohio Cooperative Living’s Fiesta! recipe contest.

Susan Muskopf of Wooster, a member of Holmes-Wayne Cooperative, grabbed top honor, beating more than 200 other recipes with her Pork Chile Verde Stew. Runners-up were Katie Dippold of Maria Stein, a Midwest Rural Electric member, with Chimichangas, and Amy Zahner of Fresno, a Frontier Rural Electric member, with Quesadilla Casserole.

“The contest announcement caught my eye, because the theme was Mexican food,” Muskopf says. “My husband and I go on mission trips to Mexico with our church. The stew is similar to the home-cooking we enjoy while working there.”

The retired medical laboratory technologist remembers eating a hearty stew years ago while vacationing in Arizona. She finally located a viable recipe in 2006, but set out to make some changes, adding oregano, cumin, black pepper, and potatoes.

Contest judges enjoyed the hearty flavor, and noted the blend of spices is not overpowering. Muskopf serves the stew with rice and warmed tortillas.

She says she’ll use her prize — a KitchenAid stand mixer — to prepare special treats for her husband, John, their four children, and five grandchildren.

Winning Recipe

Pork Chili Verde Stew
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Pork Chili Verde Stew
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
  • 1 3-pound boneless pork sirloin roast (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp. oil for sauteing (plus more as needed)
  • 4 medium carrots (sliced)
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro (or 2 tsp. dried cilantro)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 large potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes)
  • 2 4-oz. cans diced green chilies
  • 1 28-oz. can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Hot cooked rice for 8
  • Warmed flour tortillas
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a large skillet and sauté pork in batches until browned.
  2. Add carrots, onion, cilantro, and garlic to last batch, sautéing until pork is browned. Add more oil as needed.
  3. Transfer to a 5-quart slow cooker. Add potatoes, green chilies, enchilada sauce and seasonings. Mix well.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or until pork is tender.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir into pork mixture.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm with rice and tortillas.

Runner-Up

Amy Zahner, an office manager for a veterinary practice, found the casserole recipe on the back of a McCormick’s spice package. She adjusted the amount of spices to satisfy the tastes of her husband and their two children. The result is a Mexican-style lasagna that calls for tortillas, instead of noodles.

“I was attracted because all the ingredients were things I had in my pantry,” she says. “I didn’t have to go out and buy a lot of things.”

Quesadilla Casserole
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Servings
8
Servings
8
Quesadilla Casserole
Print Recipe
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean hamburger
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (8- to 10-oz.) can whole kernel corn (or Mexican corn blend)
  • 1 10-oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 8 four tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Brown hamburger and onion in large skillet. Drain and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add tomato sauce, beans, corn, and diced tomatoes; mix well. Stir in all spices except red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add red pepper flakes, if desired.
  5. Spread 1 cup of hamburger mixture on bottom of baking dish. Top with 3 to 4 tortillas, overlapping lengthwise to get even coverage. Then layer half of remaining meat mixture followed by half the cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas, hamburger mixture and cheese.
  6. Bake uncovered 20 minutes or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Runner-Up

Katie Dippold found a basic Chimichanga recipe some years ago and made some revisions, adding beans and spices to the list of ingredients. Fillings feature ground beef or chicken. The tasty pockets are baked in a 475-degree oven and then served on a bed of lettuce along with sour cream and taco sauce.

The retired nurse and her husband, Bob, have four children and 10 grandchildren. The family often requests the special treat at holiday meals.

Chimichangas
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Chimichangas
Print Recipe
Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (or 1 28-oz. can chicken, drained)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 cup canned green chilies (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup taco sauce or salsa
  • 1 cup refried or black beans
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Sliced green olives (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 8 7-inch flour tortillas
  • 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup taco sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
Servings:
Instructions
For chicken filling:
  1. Shred chicken with a fork. In microwave, heat chicken with chilies, taco sauce or salsa, beans, sour cream, olives and vinegar.
  2. Cook until flavors combine, about 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and cool.
To assemble Chimichangas:
  1. In an 8-inch skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Dip both sides of tortillas in butter; drain off excess. Place 1/3 cup of filling in center of each tortilla; fold envelope style.
  2. Place seam side down in a 9 x 14-inch baking dish (may be prepared ahead and refrigerated 24 hours.)
  3. Heat oven to 475 degrees and bake chimichangas until crispy, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and return to oven until cheese melts.
  4. Serve on a bed of lettuce and top with sour cream and taco sauce. Leftovers can be frozen and warmed in microwave oven.