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Cookin' With Leo

By Leocthasme

Mexican Or Tex-Mex

Well, I guess I have been here in Texas long enough to figure out what is Mexican food or what these Texans have done to Mexican food to convert it. Might be a whole lot of folks here from Mexico who like their home cookin’. But, them cowboys turned food lovers have figured out how to take some of those imported recipes from south of the border and turn them into something entirely different. Defining Tex-Mex is like trying to define love, it’s hard to describe it, but you sure know it when you experience it.

One ol’ cowboy might say it’s hotter, but no sooner than he says that his buddy sittin’ right next to him is just as likely to say ’naw it ain’t. Then someone else sittin’ around the grill on the back patio, poppin’ tops on some Colorado Kool Aide might pipe up and say ‘it’s them good Texas beef cows and lots a’ chili powder’. Then another,’ it’s jalapenos, lard and beans, an’ lots a’ eggs’. And, soon everybody would get in a word or two, and then I’d ask “Well, how did it get here, anybody really know”? “Wetbacks”! Most would shout. Then from some more. “Wasn’t them at all, was them high class families what came to San Antonio, real high class they were”.

Well, on and on it would go, without getting any closer to the answer than before the conversation ever began. Just as well to drop it, you will never get the answer. Every Texan has his or her own idea, and not only that every Texan or Mexican has ideas and recipes of their own. Some are top secret and even the CIA couldn’t uproot them. And some are so good that everybody in Texas travels miles and miles to get where it’s at. One thing you can say, it ain’t nothin’ like, New Mexico. It ain’t nothin’ like what my Yankee buddies might think it is and womp up concoctions to serve in a high class joint with a fancy name proclaiming Tex-Mex ‘specialties’. And, it ain’t nothin’ like California. And, it ain’t even like anything you find in Mexico.

So, what is it? Well, it’s just Tex-Mex and that is just about the only description you can put on it.

So, here is a milder Tex-Mex version of

Fried Jalapenos

that Mary’s son used to make for appetizers along with grilled steaks and such. A word of caution before you begin. I figure I better put this here before the Surgeon General swoops down on this here website:

OK, so much for words of warning, here is the recipe.

You can get a large can or jar of whole Jalapenos or you can buy a dozen of the fresh ones. If you buy the fresh ones pick out the big ones.

½ cup grated Longhorn Cheese
2 eggs
½ cup milk
Lard for deep frying (should have enough to fill a 9 or 10 inch iron skillet to at least ¼ to ½ inch).

And, here is what you do to do it:

    Slice the stem tops off the ends of the peppers, be careful when you handle them, if you are not used to handling peppers, or your skin is delicate use some plastic food gloves and above all do not touch your face or get your fingers near your eyes. You may end up in first aid. A true Texan or Mexican may stop there and just stuff the peppers; but, I suggest that you very carefully remove the seeds and membrane, being careful not to split the pepper open. That’s why I told you to get the larger ones so that you can get inside with a very small knife or spoon.
    Stuff each pepper with the Longhorn cheese. Push it down to pack it with your little finger.
    Now set them aside while you mix the eggs and milk.
    Take each pepper and roll it in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then back in the flour.
    Set them aside so the coating sets.

Your skillet of grease should now be hot enough to deep fry the peppers. Be careful not to let the grease burn or smoke, if you have a thermometer it should not read over 360 degrees. Each pepper should take just about 1 minute or so to brown.

Serve one with each grilled beefsteak, if they ask for seconds you are dealing with a real Tex-Mex connoisseur.

And make sure you have plenty of CKA iced up. Texans like CKA, but I prefer Mick or Bud myself.

Take Care Now, Ya’heah!

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