Monday, November 26, 2007

Tex-Mex food

"You know how I feel about tacos. It's the only food shaped like a smile. A beef smile." ~Danielle Sanchez-Witzel

Oh man, Oh man! I LOVE Tex-Mex food. It's like my comfort food, something that has always been available and it is distinctly regional. There is nothing better than warm tortilla chips with homemade salsa (especially when made by a friend that makes it just like her Mom made it, and just like her Grandma made it). So, let's go over some good food stuffs that I consider Tex-Mex.

1. Burritos - Here in my town we have a local family that has opened a few breakfast/lunch burrito shops. They are small, simple, lovely places to go and get fresh potato and egg burritos on warm tortillas. My husband also makes a killer grilled burrito!

2. Chili con carne - Oh man is this stuff good with tortilla chips! It's usually made up of beans, sauce, and ground beef. I read up on it and found that the dish is believed to have been invented in San Antonio.

3. Chimichangas - I don't prefer them, but my husband loves them. It's basically a deep-fried (and really what WON'T we deep fry) burrito.

4. Enchiladas - Enchiladas can be made lots of different ways, with different tortillas, different fillings, and different sauces. I like corn tortillas with a cheese filling. Simple and so yummy!

5. Fajitas - mmmmm...fajitas. Steak that has been marinated and grilled up with green peppers and onions. It's usually served on a sizzling plate with a warm batch of tortillas.

6. Quesadillas - another of my husbands specialties. Again, simple but good. Two tortillas filled with chicken or beef, veggies, and cheese and then quickly baked in a pan. Cut into pizze like slices! Serve with sour cream and salsa. My husband also makes them with tuna and cheese. Very good!

7. Refried beans - its a basic staple of Tex-Mex food. You can't order a meal without it including refried beans and rice. The name 'refried' sort of evoled with the translation of words. The beans are not fried twice, they are just very well fried once.

8. Salsa - I mentioned salsa already. I love, love, love salsa and tortilla chips. You can get fancy or keep it simple. The easiest one I know is this..take three medium size tomatoes and one jalapeno (with the stems cut off), place in a pot of shallow water and put a lid on them. Heat until the tomatoes are peeling. Then dump it all, sans water, in the blender with some garlic salt for seasoning. That's it!!

9. Tamales - I have no idea how they are made...something about corn husks and maize (a corn mixture) and shredded beef. All I know is that they are good. My family has them every Christmas.

10. Tortillas - Since I've mentioned them a gazillion times already, I thought I would put them last. Store bought tortillas (which we use all the time) do not come anywhere close to homemade tortillas. It is a skill, which I do not have...sadly. There is a place called Rosa's here where you can go and actually just buy a package of their tortillas. And people do...along with their refried beans. They are just soft, and squishy, and fluffy, and smell of flour. They are wonderful!

Welp, there's my list. Shew...if I hadn't already had a huge dinner I would be drooling. Maybe we will go to Rosa's for dinner tomorrow.

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