Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Spice Up Your Fall with Some Great Mexican and Tex-Mex Cookbooks!

Cookbooks are awesome!  Tasty, eye-catching, and fun to read!  So, explore the library's huge cookbook collection this month!

Mexican cuisine is primarily a fusion of indigenous Meso-American (area from Central Mexico down to Northern Costa Rica) cooking with European, especially Spanish, elements added after the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the 16th century. The staples are native foods, such as corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, and chili peppers, along with rice, which was brought by the Spanish. Europeans introduced a large number of other foods, the most important of which were meats from domesticated animals (beef, pork, chicken, goat, and sheep), dairy products (especially cheese), and various herbs and spices.

While the Spanish initially tried to impose their own diet on the country, this was not possible and eventually the foods and cooking techniques began to merge.  Mexican cuisine is an important aspect of the culture, social structure and popular traditions of Mexico.

Try some great Mexican recipes from the following authors:

Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America by Gustavo Arellano

Fiesta at Rick's: Fabulous Food for Great Times with Friends by Rick Bayless

Taco Loco!: Mexican Street Food from Scratch by Jonas Cramby

Knack Mexican Cooking: a Step-by-Step Guide to Authentic Dishes Made Easy by Chelsie Kenyon

Planet Taco: a Global History of Mexican Food by Jeffrey M. Pilcher

Simple Food, Big Flavor: Unforgettable Mexican-Inspired Recipes from My Kitchen to Yours by Aaron Sanchez

Antojitos: Festive and Flavorful Mexican Small Plates by Barbara Sibley and Margaritte Malfy

Dos Caminos' Mexican Street Food: 120 Authentic Recipes to Make at Home by Ivy Stark

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordan Rothma

Tex-Mex (from Texan and Mexican) is a term describing a fusion of United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of Tejanos (Texans of Spanish descent). It has spread from Border States such as Texas and others in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country as well as Canada. 

Some ingredients are common in Mexican cuisine, but other ingredients not typically used in Mexico are often added. Tex-Mex cuisine is characterized by its heavy use of shredded cheese, meat (particularly beef and pork), beans, and spices, in addition to Mexican-style tortillas. Moreover, Tex-Mex has imported flavors from other spicy cuisines, such as the use of cumin, introduced by Spanish immigrants to Texas from the Canary Islands.  Tex-Mex is most popular in the state of Texas.

So, if you have a hankering for some Tex-Mex grub, these are some excellent books to try:

Chili Madness: a Passionate Cookbook by Jane Butel

Tex-Mex from Scratch by Jonas Cramby

The Southwest Table: Traditional Cuisine from Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona by Dave DeWitt

Eat More Tortillas by Donna Kelly and Stephanie Ashcraft

Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton

Truly Texas Mexican: a Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes by Adan Medrano

Meatless in Cowtown: A Vegetarian Guide to Food and Wine, Texas Style by
Laura Samuel Meyn

Southwestern Vegetarian by Stephan Pyles

The Tex-Mex Cookbook: a History in Recipes and Photos by Robb Walsh

The Tex-Mex Grill and Backyard Barbacoa Cookbook by Robb Walsh

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