Growing up in Dallas it would be difficult to avoid the enchilada. The Tex-Mex beauties delicately filled, rolled and sauced for your dining pleasure. And what great memories most Texans have as children growing up noshing on the humble enchilada each Wednesday in our public schools, the same day that El Fenix offers their inexpensive deal on enchiladas. Perhaps some lay in puddles of grease, but we know how to sop that up with a tortillas for an extra side-car treat.
This past week we craved enchiladas and sought them out with vengeance. This began as our five favorites, but as we started in on them the list grew. Enjoy these enchiladas are in no particular order because Cinco de Mayo and all.
By the way, the list does not include marvelous Mexican restaurants such as Jose. We certainly do not consider them in the same category as Tex Mex.
Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip and arrived at the restaurant after it had already closed for the day. The maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, fried them, added shredded cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, added sliced pickled jalapeño peppers, and served them. Continue reading →
From chili and nachos to fajitas and enchiladas, Tex-Mex could be called the ultimate comfort food. Despite its enormous popularity all over the United States, it’s an understatement to say that Tex-Mex has struggled to get respect as a regional cuisine in its own right, rather than a lower-quality, corrupted version of traditional Mexican food. But with deep roots in both Spanish and Native American culture, the history of Tex-Mex cuisine—and the stories behind some of its most famous dishes—is worth another look.
Native Americans lived in the area that is now Texas for thousands of years before the first European settlers arrived in the early 1500s. For more than 300 years after that, Texas (like Mexico) was part of the Spanish colony known as New Spain, and Texas and Mexico remained linked after 1821, when the latter separated itself from Spain. Texas, of course, won its own independence 15 years later, and became part of the United States in 1845. Throughout this complicated history, and in the years since, a number of cultures—and culinary traditions—have been inextricably combined to produce what is known as Tex-Mex cuisine today. Continue reading →