Prepare authentic Tex-mex food at home!
Mexico and Texas share a 1,800-kilometre border. The North American state and the Aztec country have influenced each other’s histories in many aspects. The food from both territories was also affected by this fusion and this resulted in a whole new style, Tex-mex food.
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We suggest you some recipes for a Tex-mex menu.
Tex-mex cuisine originates from Mexican cuisine, but is adapted to the North American taste. Many Mexicans that live in America, particularly in Texas, brought their culinary customs to the neighbouring country, but had to adjust their food in order to create their dishes with ingredients they could find there. The union of both cuisines created a style of cuisine called Tex-mex that soon reached the West coast and, afterwards, expanded throughout the whole world. Today, eating nachos with cheese, fajitas or chilli con carne is normal in all corners of the world.
Tex-mex food stands out for its strong flavours, originating from Mexican cuisine, although many dishes, adapted to local palates, have lost these extra spicy flavours. Nachos with cheese, crispy tacos, chilli with cheese or meat, chilli gravy, taco rice, Papa Arizona and fajitas are purely Tex-mex dishes. The simplicity of these creations and the fact that children love them, make them easy dishes to prepare at home. If you want to make authentic Tex-mex food, fill your cupboards with these ingredients!
Essential ingredients for Tex-mex cuisine
Original Tex-mex cuisine uses as many ingredients from Mexican cooking as North American ingredients, however, they also brought in flavours from other cuisines, such as the use of cumin which is unusual in traditional Mexican recipes. The main ingredients for this type of cuisine can be easily found in supermarkets.
• Tortillas: made of corn or wheat flour, tortillas are one of the staples in Mexican cooking. They are the equivalent of bread in our diets. With tortillas, you can make tacos, burritos or fajitas by adding meat or vegetables. There is no Tex-mex cuisine without tortillas, they are a must have in every dish.
• Beans: the main ingredient for chilli con carne, one of the most popular Tex-mex dishes you will find pre-prepared in the supermarket, although you can also cook this dish at home using pinto beans, string beans or kidney beans.
• Meat: beef, pork or chicken. Meat is present in most Tex-mex dishes. The ranch culture in the south of Texas and in northern Mexico have a lot to do with it. Beef, very common on both sides of Río Bravo, is an essential ingredient.
• Nachos: triangular or rounded chips made of out fried corn flour tortillas. In Mexico, they are known as ‘totopos’. The most popular Tex-mex dish is nachos with cheese, although they can also be used to ‘dip’ (to taste different sauces).
• Yellow cheese: this is the cheese that accompanies nachos or that covers enchiladas. Initially it was a cheap cheese that was easy to find in America in the 1900s. Today, nacho sauce is made with cheddar cheese and cream so that it keeps its liquid form.
• Jalapeños: a type of spicy chilli that is added to a lot of Mexican dishes and that usually tops Nachos with cheese. Although you can buy them fresh in specialised supermarkets, you can also buy them preserved in vinegar at your usual supermarket.
• Guacamole: a Mexican salsa that is made of avocados, tomatoes, red onion, chilli, lime and coriander. It usually accompanies nachos. It is sold fresh in a bottle. If you are confident in the kitchen, you can also make it at home.
• Vegetables: the most used vegetables in preparing fajitas are red peppers, green peppers and red onions. Tomatoes are also used a lot to create dishes.
• Salsa picante: there is also no Tex-mex cuisine without the spice. Imported from Mexico, it is usually made using chilli and, sometimes, vinegar. It is used as a condiment for burritos or fajitas or for dipping nachos. According to taste, it can be as strong as you like. You can find it pre-prepared but you can also make it at home.