Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cookbook Geek- TexMex Foodways
Talking with a fellow foodbuzz'er today about my newest history lesson in my 'White Yam' blog reminded me of how cooking is not just a passion, but learning about each ingredient and dishes origin. I am fascinated to watch, read, hear about new dishes; then run home and try their way, and then do it my way!
The TEX-MEX Cookbook, A History In Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh
Thanks to my hubby's brother who is a world traveler and doctor for the W.H.O. for one of my favorite books to date. He said he bought it in of all places, Egypt! The book was published in the United States. Makes some sense...one of my favorite history lessons in this book is where did the exotic tastes of Tex-Mex originate? In the early 1800's it was simply called Mexican food, but it all was debatable...as long as it taste good to me.
Traces of the Berber people where recruited from the coast of Africa, due to lack of land, and they came from the Canary Islands settling in the Bexar, San Antonio area. Bringing with them their exotic spices, slow meat cooking methods, and thus descendants began to inter mingle with the local Indian population and it exploded from there. One of those dishes...Chili came about...
I am from Texas and have always loved 'Chili', and becoming the fusion cook I am today is how I came up with my Chai Marinated Lamb recipe that turned into Chili. I taught a class on the history, cooked it in a Tagine, and out came this fantastic dish I still make for myself and clients. Simply it is slow cooking meat, or poultry with tomatoes, onion and your own crazy various seasonings, that all can be traced back to the middle eastern areas, and more. I do make a vegetarian version as well!
I tell anyone who even thinks of giving me a gift for my birthday or other holidays to look for unique cookbooks that hold as much history on the foods, traditions, regions, as they do recipes. If that doesn't work just buy me a gift certificate for any internet site that I can buy some unique cooking pots like the one I want now that is called a 'Marmita' dish...I saw the french guy cooking in that got me started on my next creation; that lead to this...yada yada yada
Someday I will have my own chili stand, and this will be the 'Portrait Of A Chili Queen'....