29th January 2012

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Blog :: Good Eats Tex-Mex Style

Everybody who knows me knows I like to cook. Learning to cook decent Asian food has been my obsession for the last couple of years but I've also really enjoyed the Tex-Mex stylings of Lisa Fain at Homesick Texan. I've made a enough of her recipes to trust her recommendation and added her newly published cookbook to my Amazon Wish List before Christmas.

Last week I got a chance to use my new cookbook and made four recipes when we had company over for dinner. I think all four are unique to the book - I hadn't seen them cross the blog at any rate. I had 3 winners and one recipe I may have to retry. Not too bad for the first time.

The "Salsa Fuego" recipe was the least successful attempt - I think I got too much adobo on the chipotle pepper it called for and the salsa was really smoky - too dark to be edible to my palette and I didn't serve it. Waste not however - I plan on using the salsa (with some citrus and olive oil additions) as marinade for a tri-tip next week. If you want a roasted tomato flavored salsa I highly recommend my go-to salsa recipe instead - a knockoff of Papalote's Salsa that features roasted pumpkin seeds. I'll probably give Salsa Fuego another try.

On the other hand the Habanero Carrot Salsa was awesome! Carrots gave a sweet flavor (and great color), the habanero adds spicy/fruity notes, and it's thinned with chicken stock which definitely adds to the meatiness of the taste and texture. This was easy to make and universally praised. Don't be scared off by the habanero - this was only low/medium in heat.

I also made the Red Rice recipe from the book and this was excellent if a touch too spicy for my kids. Those canned chipotle-in-adobo peppers pack a punch! Next time I make it I'll probably throw in some diced carrots and a handful of peas...

Finally the main course was Gas Station Style Pork Tacos. This consisted of cubed pork marinated for a 6 hours in a fantastic sauce - then fried in a skillet over high heat and wrapped in freshly fried corn tortillas. The secret to enjoying this recipe is to feature the pork - I made tacos with just a scoop of pork, a spritz of lime and a pinch of cilantro. Excellent flavor - I'll be making these again.

I've still got all sorts of interesting recipes to make from the book and am feeling pleased already after making 4 first-time recipes for company without disaster. If you're interested in some quality Tex-Mex downhome cooking check out the Homesick Texan.

Posted on January 29th 2012, 09:11 PM

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