Tex-Mex is not Mexican food! That's right..."Tex-Mex is a cuisine of its own!"
The cuisine evolved during the 1950s in Mexican restaurants, whose popularity coincided with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants and created the style of Tex-Mex food, the mix of Northern Mexican peasant food with Texas farm and cowboy fare. Chili was unknown in Mexico and derived from the use of beef in Texan cooking. Refried beans were a mis-translation of the Mexican dish, frijoles refritos, which actually means well-fried beans.
With this followed the combination platters, replete with enchiladas, tacos, and tortillas, which have now become the standards of the Tex-Mex menu. New dishes, like chimichangas and nachos were created to please the American palate. One of the most successful ethnic Tex-Mex dishes to date is the fajita.
Tatchos=(tators and nachos)
1 package tator tots
1 cup canned pinto beans
1/2 lb ground meat
1 small onion
Shredded Cheese (colby jack blend)
Add favorite traditional nacho or baked potato toppings.
Prepare ground meat with taco seasoning and saute the onion, set aside. Heat pinto beans.
Place tator tots in oven and season generously with taco seasoning.
1/2 through heating tots, top with beans, meat/onion mixture and lots of cheese.
My tips is to use more of the seasoning and cheese than you think may be necessary. The potatoes really absorb the flavors.
Recipe by prissycook
CHORIZO, BLACK BEAN & CORN QUESADILLAS
4 chorizo sausage links
1 can drained black beans
1/2 cup frozen whole kernal corn
1/2 t ground cumin
1/3 cup cilantro pesto
6 flour tortillas
8 oz shredded cheese
Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat 5 minutes or until browned. Add black beans, corn and cumin and cook stirring occasionally. 3 to 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Spread cilantro pesto evenly on each tortilla; sprinkle with cheese. Sppon chorizo mixture on half of each tortilla and whip skillet clean.
Cook, tortillas side down in lightly greased skillet over medium high heat 1 minute or until lightly browned. Fold tortilla in half. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
3 bunches fresh cilantro, stems removed
1 1/2 T fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
2 T water
Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Store in refrigerator up to one week.
Recipe from Southern Living
TEX-MEX SQUASH CASSEROLE
If you have zucchini in your garden, you’re well aware of the bounty these plants produce—it can be staggering. And right about now, you’re probably begging friends and neighbors to help you eat some of this prolific vegetable
2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini, cut into coins (4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained or two cups of diced fresh tomatoes with 1/4 cup of diced green chiles, such as a jalapeno
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of flour
1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped
2 cups total of grated pepper jack and cheddar
2 cups crushed tortilla chips
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat the butter in a large skillet on medium heat. When melted, add the squash, onion and jalapeno, and sauté until onions are translucent and the squash is soft, about ten minutes.
Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, salt, pepper and cook for a minute. Then stir in the flour and cook until a light-brown past forms, about a minute.
Now add the broth and tomatoes and stir until the mixture thickens, which should happen in a couple of minutes. Add the half and half, sour cream and cilantro and turn off the heat.
In a greased casserole dish, layer the bottom with the crushed tortilla chips. Pour on top of the chips the creamy squash mixture and then cover the whole dish with the grated cheese.
Cook uncovered for thirty minutes, or until top is brown and bubbling
Recipe from Homesick Texan
CHILI GRAVEY (from Robb Walsh)
A must have! Chili gravy is a mash-up between flour-based gravy and Mexican chile sauce. It’s a smooth and silky substance, redolent with earthy cumin, smoky chiles and pungent garlic. It's not fiery, as it was originally created by Anglos, but it does have flavor. And there's no meat in chili gravy—it's just fat, flour, chicken broth and spices. If you eat Tex-Mex outside of Texas, the lack of this chili gravy is what makes the food taste wrong.
1/4 cup lard (or vegetable oil)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano (Mexican oregano is preferred if it’s available)
2 T chile powder (either homemade or a dark brand such as Gebhardt’s or Whole Foods)
2 cups chicken broth (or water)
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
Stir in the flour and continue stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it makes a light brown roux.
Add all the dry ingredients and continue to cook for 1 minute, constantly stirring and blending ingredients.
Add chicken broth or water, mixing and stirring until the sauce thickens.
Turn heat to low and let sauce simmer for 15 minutes. Add water to adjust the thickness. Makes 2 cups.
TEX-MEX CHEESE ENCHILADAS
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 corn tortillas
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (can make it with Velveeta for extra melting oomph and good ol' Tex-Mex authenticity)
One medium onion, diced
2 cups chili gravy
Preheat the oven to 450.
Pour the oil in a small skillet, and heat the tortillas one at a time. Keep them wrapped in a cloth until all 8 are heated.
Pour 1/2 cup of chili gravy in a baking pan.
Take a tortilla, put 1/4 cup of cheese and 1 tablespoon of onion in the center and roll it.
Place rolled tortilla in baking dish, seam side down.
Continue with remaining tortillas.
Take remaining chili gravy, and pour it over the rolled tortillas.
Sprinkle remaining cheese and onions on top.
Bake for 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted.
Makes 8 enchiladas.
Recipe from Homesick Texan
PUFFY TACOS STUFFED WITH GROUND BEEF
Homemade crispy tacos are a cinch to make and if you’ve never had one I highly recommend trying them—you’ll never eat one from Taco Bell again.
2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 jalapeno peppers chopped
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of oil
1 tablespoon of lime juice
Heat oil in skillet on medium heat.
Throw in onions and peppers, and cook for about 10 minutes.
Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.
Add all the other ingredients except the lime juice, stirring occasionally until meat is brown.
Cover skillet, turn heat down to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in lime juice.
PUFFY TACO SHELLS
These delicious puffed shells are airy, flaky and crunchy—a wonderful vehicle for your taco fillings!
2 cups of masa harina
1 1/4 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 quart of peanut or canola oil
Mix masa harina, water and salt together until it forms into a soft ball. If it’s too dry, add a bit more water a tablespoon at a time.
Divide dough into 16 equal balls, and press out with a tortilla press or roll out with a rolling pin.
Keep pressed discs covered with a damp cloth.
Heat up two inches of oil in a pot or skillet to 350 degrees.
Gently place a disc in the hot oil and it should immediately start to puff. After five seconds, with a spatula, make an indention in the center so it forms a V shape.
Gently cook the shell on each side until light brown and crispy (about 20 seconds for each side).
Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.
Stuff with spicy ground beef, shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheddar and salsa and serve immediately.
Makes 16 tacos.
Recipe from Homesick Texan