Here are fresh ideas for dinner. The theme is Mexican but the only dish that fits the familiar concept of Mexican food is rice. And instead of the usual red Mexican rice, the menu calls for plain white rice.
The entree is chicken and vegetable seasoned with a tomato sauce pepped up with chorizo. Fried bread crumbs go over the top.
Marinated garbanzo beans on lettuce serve as the salad, and there also is a side dish of zucchini cooked with tomatoes and chilies and topped with cheese.
For dessert, try an unusual strawberry ice spiked with tequila. The ice is made with sliced frozen strawberries sweetened with honey. If you prefer a non-alcoholic mixture, substitute orange juice for the tequila.
If desired, French rolls could be substituted for the white rice. POLLO EN RELLENO DE PAN (Chicken with Bread Sauce) (4 to 6 servings) 1 chicken (3 pounds) broiler-fryer, cut in pieces 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 3 carrots, cut in chunks 2 zucchini, cut in chunks 1/4 onion, sliced in rings 1 clove garlic, minced Oil 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce 1 can (15 ounces) whole tomatoes 2 tablespoons golden raisins 2 tablespoons slivered almonds 1/2 small green pepper, diced 3 to 4 ounces chorizo, crumbled and fried 3/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
Place chicken, salt and pepper in a Dutch oven. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add carrots and cook 15 minutes. Add zucchini and cook 10 minutes longer. Strain chicken and vegetables, reserving stock. Place chicken and vegetables in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish and keep warm. Cook onion and garlic in 2 tablespoons oil until tender but not brown. Add tomato sauce, whole tomatoes and 1/2 cup reserved stock. Simmer 10 minutes. Add raisins, almonds, green pepper and drained chorizo. Simmer 10 minutes longer, stirring often. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a skillet, add bread crumbs and fry until golden brown. Pour tomato sauce mixture over chicken and vegetables. Top with bread crumbs. Serve at once. CALABACITAS CON QUESO (Zucchini with Cheese) (4 to 6 servings) 1 pound zucchini, diced 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped 1/4 cup canned jalapeno strips 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut into thin strips
Combine zucchini, onion, garlic, tomatoes, jalapeno strips, coriander, salt and pepper in saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat 10 minutes, or until zucchini are tender-crisp. Drain well and place in 1-quart heatproof serving dish. Top with cheese strips. Place under broiler just until cheese begins to melt. Serve at once. ENSALADA DE GARBANZOS (Garbanzo Bean Salad) (4 to 6 servings) 1/4 cup oil 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon vinegar 1 tablespoon parsley flakes 1 can (1 pound) garbanzo beans, drained 1 can (4 ounces) pimientos, drained and chopped 1 cup chopped celery Lettuce leaves
Combine oil, Worcestershire, vinegar and parsley flakes. Combine beans, pimientos and celery. Add dressing and toss lightly. Serve on lettuce leaves. NIEVE DE FRESAS (Strawberry Ice) (Makes about 1 1/2 quarts) 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced unsweetened strawberries 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin 3/4 cup cold water 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup tequila or orange juice 3 tablespoons lemon juice
Thaw strawberries until icy but not frozen solid. Turn into blender jar and blend until smooth. Sprinkle gelatin over water in small saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat, stirring, until gelatin dissolves. Stir in honey, tequila and lemon juice. Add blended strawberries and turn into loaf pan. Freeze until firm. Cut in small cubes and turn into chilled mixing bowl. Beat at low speed until smooth, then increase speed until fluffy. Return to freezer until serving time.