By Tarun Kapoor
There is a good chance that if you eat out a lot with friends and family then someone in your group must have suggested going out for Mexican food one day or the other. That is the popularity of Mexican food now a day. Mexican cuisine is known for its simplicity and unique flavours and has something to offer for everyone. One word that is mentioned along the Mexican cuisine is ‘Tex-Mex’ so what exactly is Tex-Mex? You may think that it may be a Texas inspired Mexican food or fake Mexican food. The history of Tex-Mex is more complex than some poached and reinvented dishes from across the border. Tex-Mex should be recognised as a regional food that has expanded itself across neighbouring states and even across the United States and now recognised all over the world, morphing and changing along its way influenced by different group of people.
Today Tex-Mex is one of the most prominent scenes of food in Dallas area. Diners are almost never too far from their favourite Tex-Mex restaurant. It is interesting and important to know that before Tex-Mex began to spread across the state of Texas, native Americans living in the state has a significance influence in the area, lending culinary influence of spices and technique to famous Tex-Mex dishes today. Tex-Mex as a term started to show up around 1940’s denoting the Texas and Mexico and later to denote the Mexican people living in Texas area after they both separated, and Texas became a part of the United states of America. Now the word Tex-Mex denotes Mexican food in the style of that Texas region.
Tex-Mex, as a style of cuisine, has its roots in the 19th century in San Antonio. While some kind of meat stew has been around since the time humans initially started cooking. Chili Con Carne came into being in Texas some time in 1800’s. Chili stands were popular in several Texas cities including Houston and Galveston but it was The San Antonio chili queens that made Chili Con Carne the bedrock of Tex-Mex cuisine. Chili is the mother of all Tex-Mex dishes. Early Texans used the ingredients that were readily available, which is why traditionally chili is beef based.
Now you will ask what is the difference between the Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine? To make it simple to understand I would say that use of four key ingredients make it different from the traditional Mexican cuisine. The four key ingredients in Tex-Mex cuisine is cheese, cumin, flour tortilla and beef.
Cheese – great globs of yellow cheese in and on everting is very Tex-Mex. Another cheese related item is queso dip, which is not traditional Mexican. Although you will find it in all Mexican restaurants because if you do not provide it, the customers complain about its non-availability.
Cumin – cumin isn’t traditional Mexican spice. It came to North America with people of Canary Islands who were brought by Spanish to work in San Antonio area.
Flour Tortilla – traditional Mexican tortillas are made of corn. It wasn’t until the tortilla migrated to north where wheat flour was widely used to make tortillas.
Beef meat – Texas being an area heavy in cattle meat, beef was more readily available and made ground beef in a hard taco shell as a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine.
There are many simple and easy to make dishes in Tex-Mex cuisine, but today I’ll introduce you to Migas, as dish which is easy to make and can be made using some ingredients.
Migas is the Spanish word for ‘crumbs,’ and in Spain it’s a dish typically comprised of stale bread and other ingredients. In Texas, Migas are made with tortillas or corn chips, scrambled eggs, and, in true Tex-Mex fashion, plenty of cheese. It’s nothing fancy – just great, hearty comfort food for breakfast, late-night, or any time, enjoy with friends and family.
Flour tortilla 4 nos
Eggs 8 nos
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Yellow onion, chopped ½ cup
Jalapeno peppers 2 no
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Cumin powder ½ tsp
Salsa ¼ cup
Cheddar cheese ½ cup
Monterey jack cheese ½ cup
Pico de Gallo to garnish
Sour cream to garnish
Guacamole to serve
Heat oil in a large heavy bottom pan.
Add diced onion and jalapenos and cook till soft and translucent.
Meanwhile, place the eggs and salsa in a bowl and season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine well, set aside.
When the onion is translucent add the tortillas and cook for one to two minutes or until soft.
Reduce the heat to low and add the eggs mixture.
Scramble until the eggs are almost set.
Sprinkle cheese when cooked and remove from heat.
Garnish with choice of garnish and serve hot.
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