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Houston Texans

Cooking with Larisa and Marisa


The Texans cheerleading twins were at work together again, but this time in the kitchen instead of on the sidelines. On Thursday, Larisa and Marisa prepared a dish that has been in their family for decades.

"Today, we're preparing cheese enchiladas and arroz, which is Mexican rice," they said. "This recipe has been passed down from our great-grandmother to our grandmother to our mother and now to us."

Growing up, Larisa and Marisa picked up pointers from their mother on how to prepare the dish.

"When we were younger, we kind of had the little jobs," they said. "We used to help grate the cheese and chop the onions and have that ready for our mother so she wouldn't have to do that.

"And then as we've gotten older, we learned a little bit more step by step and learned how to do it all by ourselves, so we'll make some for her now and vice versa."

Unlike Edith's strawberry roll cake that she usually reserves for family birthdays, the twins have no reservations about cooking their enchiladas and arroz.

"It's a favorite dish because we'll cook them even just during the weekday," they said. "I know we had them for our birthday, because that's what we wanted for our birthday.

"And of course when all the family comes over, we're used to making large portions. They go quick."

And while Texans fans may be wondering how the twins decide which one does what part of the cooking, Larisa and Marisa shrug off any notion of the kitchen being too crowded. The twins have developed a routine over the years.

"I guess we're used to having a lot of people in the kitchen with our families here," Larisa said. "And if it's just me and Marisa, we know that I'll chop and she can do the turning, because she's comfortable with her fingers getting hot like that."

After the dish was completed, the twins' mother, Terry, entered the kitchen to test the food. After one bite, she gave a resounding stamp of approval.

"Your family would be proud," she told her daughters.

Happy to have their mother's endorsement, the twins offered some advice for first-time enchilada makers.

"Don't get discouraged the first time if you think maybe something didn't come out right," Larisa said. "Sometimes the look isn't how it tastes. Sometimes it tastes better than you may think it might turn out."

Marisa agrees.

"I think it's a great dish," she said. "And I know that once you start making it you'll want to keep making it because you'll start getting faster once you know all the steps."

The twins' tutorial is the second of three segments with Texans Cheerleaders that FSN Houston will air on Texans TV in August. Stay tuned for part three on, coming soon.

Cheese Enchiladas & Arroz
Submitted by: Larisa and Marisa

Arroz (Mexican Rice)
1/3 cup oil
2 cups rice
½ cup fresh tomatoes (chopped)
½ cup green & white onion (chopped)
2 tsp. whole comino & 3 garlic cloves (crushed together with water)
5 cups water
2 tsp. salt & 1 tsp. pepper or to taste
Cilantro (half a handful) – optional

Heat oil in pan. Pour rice in pan and cook until brown over medium heat. Add tomatoes and onions in pan. Mix slightly. Add comino and garlic mixture to pan. Add water and season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro if desired. Cover pan and cook over medium heat for approximately 25-30 minutes or until water evaporates. If pan needs more water during cooking time, add more and continue to cook until rice is brown in color and water has evaporated. Serves about 10.

Cheese Enchiladas
1/3 cup oil to soak tortillas; 1/3 cup oil for sauce 2 cups Colby cheese (grated)
12 corn tortillas ½ cup white onion (chopped)
4 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup chili powder
2 cups water
½ tsp. salt or to taste

Mix grated cheese with chopped onion and set aside. Heat 1/3 cup oil in pan. Soak tortillas quickly one at a time in hot oil placing all tortillas stacked on a plate and set aside. Add 1/3 cup oil and heat. Pour flour in hot oil and mix until brown. Pour chili powder in pan with flour and mix quickly. Pour water and stir until the gravy is consistent. Add salt and mix. Cook until mixture thickens. Soak individual tortilla in mixture. Place on oven-proof platter, put some cheese and onion in the middle of tortilla and roll tortilla. Continue same procedure with the rest of the tortillas. Pour any remainder of sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle cheese and onion on top of all enchiladas. When ready to serve, place platter with enchiladas in oven uncovered at 350 degrees and heat until cheese melts. Makes 12 enchiladas.

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