Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tex-Mex From Scratch, review.

I have never been to Mexico or Texas yet (I will be visiting Mexico later on this excited) but as so many, I am a big fan of Mexican food. The Mexican or Tex-Mex fare we eat in well known chain restaurants or the fajita packs that can be brought in supermarkets are not truly authentic. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but a couple of my amigos have back-packed all over Mexico and informed me that how I cook and bake my well-loved Mexican favourites are not commonly eaten in Mexican homes.
Tex-Mex From Scratch is a delightful colourful book as it teaches and guides the reader to make authentic cuisine from the Texas/Mexico border. I particularly enjoyed reading Foreword by Jonas Cramby how he fell in love with this food from travelling around this region and his delight in recreating some of the well-loved dishes he ate. He also shared the history behind the cuisine that many of us have come to love. All the recipes in this book are mouth-watering, I have pencilled in so many to try on a lazy weekend and also as a quick mid-week meal - who says Tex-Mex food is complicated, it surely is not.

There are 7 chapters in this book which means all bases are covered here, Tex-Mex food can be eaten from dawn to dusk, made from scratch with easy to follow recipes. The chapters are:

  • Basics - does as the chapter states, standout recipes include homemade wheat tortillas, various recipes for guacamole, salsa and spice rubs. 
  • Breakfast - The most important meal of the day, recipes include Tex-Mex pancakes and breakfast taco.
  • Antojitos - Truck stop enchilada and naco de nachos
  • Tacos - Beef chili taco, baja fish taco and crispy prawn taco.
  • Barbecues - Pulled pork, chill cheeseburger, beer can chicken and apple coleslaw. 
  • Desserts - salty pecan apple crumble pie, chocolate meringue pie, 
  • Drinks - mango margarita, Mexican mojito.
I have made two recipes from this book which may I add was delicious. I made the beer can chicken and apple coleslaw on a sunny Sunday which I served with Jamaican rice peas (to ensure I covered all of the Americas).
Beer-can chicken
The rendez-vous rub was delicious in ensuring the chicken was flavoured.
Beer-can chicken pre bake

Beer-can chicken, apple coleslaw and rice n peas

Apple coleslaw

Recipe for Beer Can chicken.

Serves 4
1 whole chicken
Corn oil
500ml/18fl oz/generous 2 cups beer.
For the rendez vous rub (8 tbsp paprika, 4 tbsp garlic powder, 4 tbsp chili powder, 3 tbsp ground black pepper, 3 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp whole celery, 1 tbsp crushed fennel seeds, 4tsp yellow mustard seeds, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp thyme, 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds, 1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds, 1 tbsp knoor aromatic seasoning). Mix together the dry rub in a bowl. Stored airtight it will last a long time.

Put the chicken with the oil and the spice mix. Leave to marinate for 1 hour in the fridge. Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking - fill one half with charcoal, in the other half place a pan of water. Drink half the beer and place the bird on top with the can in its cavity. Then place the can on the half of the barbecue that hasn't got any charcoal in it. Throw a couple of handfuls of mesquite chips on the coals and close the lid. After 30 minutes, throw it another handful. Leave the chicken to slowly and steadily for 3-4 hours at around 100-112 c 230-234 F. The inside temperature of the chicken should be 75-80c/167-176F. If it is not barbecue weather (as many days in the UK), this can be cooked on a conventional oven at gas mark 6 for around 1hour and 15 minutes, ensuring that the roasting tin is turned around once.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book if you fancy a taste of sunshine and spice on your plate. I love Tex-Mex food so am slightly biased but this book is a wonderful addition to make homemade traditional Tex-Mex food with vibrant and colourful pictures.

Easy to follow recipes, beautiful pictures, recipes made so far were delicious.

Can there be any cons in Tex-Mex food?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Tex-Mex from Scratch to review, I was not required to write a positive review.

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