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The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photosby Robb Walsh
Synopses & Reviews
Nobody knows Tex-Mex like Houstonian Robb Walsh, who has spent much of his career researching the vibrant Mexican-American-and-Texan kitchen. Now he shares all the savory details in a comprehensive Tex-Mex bible, filled with outsize characters, fascinating stories, rare archival photographs, and of course great recipes for making an easy-to-elegant range of classic and nuevo dishes.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook takes readers from the Spanish missions of the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century’s short-lived Republic of Texas and beyond, capturing the flavor of old San Antonio’s Chile Queens as well as the distinctively homespun inventions of rural border towns in lively prose and historic photographs. From the birth of corn chip mania to the booming Tex-Mex aisles in supermarkets across America, The Tex-Mex Cookbook reveals how "America's oldest regional cuisine" became a nationwide passion. Recipes include tacos, enchiladas, and authentic Texas chili, as well as fajitas, nachos, and Frito pie. Upscale contemporary selections such as Wild Mushroom Chalupas and Prickly Pear Margaritas bring this western saga up-to-the-minute.
A food fiesta that will delight home cooks and history buffs alike, The Tex-Mex Cookbook celebrates this inimitable culinary culture with the fact-filled, fun-filled tribute it deserves.
"Walsh, the Houston Press's restaurant critic, lifts the veil on the often misunderstood, widely undefined concept of authentic Tex-Mex, providing the nuts and bolts of one of America's finest — and oldest — indigenous cuisines.
While Tex-Mex is loosely described as a fusion of Texan and Mexican cuisines, Walsh sheds a much needed light on the intricacies of the food he calls 'that loveable ugly duckling.' He outlines Tex-Mex's main ingredients (chile peppers, lard and cornhusks), and along the way not only gives the history behind the proliferation of Mexican ingredients into American cuisine, but unapologetically rationalizes the need for unrefined staples such as Velveeta cheese and Fritos corn chips in customary Tex-Mex recipes.
Walsh fills the pages with stick-to-your-ribs fare like chili-slathered Truck Stop Enchiladas and Chili Mac (spaghetti and chili con carne), along with basics like Ninfa's Showcase Fajitas and Frozen Margaritas. As the chapters progress, Walsh builds upon earlier dishes, offering alternatives and tips.
Sidebars and vintage photographs lend a personal feel, transforming this cookbook from a mere reference guide to an inviting memoir and social history of a food most Americans forget is unique to their homeland. Walsh deserves credit for taking on the difficult task of organizing the desires, beliefs and strife of the people who made Tex-Mex the respected cuisine it is today." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Join Texas food writer Robb Walsh on a grand tour complete with larger-than-life characters, colorful yarns, rare archival photographs, and a savory assortment of crispy, crunchy Tex-Mex foods.
From the Mexican pioneers of the sixteenth century, who first brought horses and cattle to Texas, to the Spanish mission era when cumin and garlic were introduced, to the 1890s when the Chile Queens of San Antonio sold their peppery stews to gringos like O. Henry and Ambrose Bierce, and through the chili gravy, combination plates, crispy tacos, and frozen margaritas of the twentieth century, all the way to the nuevo fried oyster nachos and vegetarian chorizo of today, here is the history of Tex-Mex in more than 100 recipes and 150 photos.
Rolled, folded, and stacked enchiladas, old-fashioned puffy tacos, sizzling fajitas, truck-stop chili, frozen margaritas, Frito™ Pie, and much, much more, are all here in easy-to-follow recipes for home cooks.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook will delight chile heads, food history buffs, Mexican food fans, and anybody who has ever woken up in the middle of the night craving cheese enchiladas.
About the Author
ROBB WALSH is the author of the acclaimed Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook and is the restaurant critic for the Houston Press. Winner of two James Beard Awards, he has written for Gourmet magazine and National Public Radio. Also the author of A Cowboy in the Kitchen and Nuevo Tex-Mex, he lives in Houston, Texas.
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