The Tex-Mex of Fusion Cuisine
What is Fusion Cuisine and Tex-Mex?
The Tex-Mex of Fusion Cuisine will describe the terms of fusion cuisine and Tex-Mex; and then provide some delightful recipes. Fusion cuisine or as it is playfully termed “confusion cuisine” is just as it sounds; it’s a blend of culinary traditions that come from two or more nations where someone has created an innovative and or interesting combination of dishes. Examples of fusion cuisine would be Asian fusion, Pacific Rim, and Tex-Mex cuisine. This could possibly happen when a cook of different backgrounds comes up with a unique dish that celebrates both heritages. Or maybe it occurs when a mother is looking for a way to create a healthy meal that celebrates the entire family’s palates.
Tex-Mex is very popular throughout Texas and the Mexico borders. This popular cuisine was originated from a mixture of authentic Mexican and Spanish dishes that are prepared Texas style. However, some historians say what I was told when I first moved here, "that it is anything influenced by both Texas and Mexico cuisines." However, many chefs believe that Tex-Mex is neither authentically Mexican nor Texan.
Well, I am neither a historian nor a chef so I cannot intellectually argue either point. I can only say that Tex-Mex is one of my favorite cuisines to eat since arriving in Texas many years ago! While I love Mexican cuisine, many of the dishes are way too spicy for me, and some Texan foods do not seem to have enough spice; however, I like the unique dishes from a Tex-Mex menu! They can be interesting while providing a nice unique blend of spices that are not too hot, unless you choose to have it that way.
The History of Tex-Mex
Sources of food history state that the first evidence of the term, “Tex Mex” occurred around the 1040’s. Around 1945 this term was deemed a combination of the words, “Texan and Mexican” and was referred to as Mexican dishes that have been adapted by Texas cooks. Then Tex Mex restaurants started being established in the southwest region in cities that have large Mexican populations.
Diana Kennedy, a Mexican culinary expert, is credited for the Tex Mex fad that began in the ‘70s which appealed to a younger generation. In 1976, a food critic wrote, “Tex-Mex food might be described as native foreign food…for it does not exist elsewhere; it was born on this soil. But it is foreign in that its inspiration came from an alien cuisine…”
more Tex-Mex History
- Food Timeline--Mexican and TexMex food history
Food Timeline--Mexican and TexMex history details and notes of..
Beef and Chicken Fajitas
Ingredients for Beef
- 1 1/2 lbs beef, cut into strips, for stir fry
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle Lawry's mesquite marinade (for beef)
- 2 green peppers, julienned
- 2 onions, julienned
- 1(20 ounce) package flour tortillas
- 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Ingredients for Chicken
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken, cut into strips, for stir fry
- 1 (12 ounce) bottle Lawry's mesquite marinade (for chicken)
- 2 red peppers, julienned
- 2 onions, julienned
- 1(20 ounce) package flour tortillas
- 1-2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- sour cream (optional)
- shredded cheeses Monterey Jack or Cheddar (optional)
- diced tomato (optional)
- shredded lettuce (optional)
- jalapeno peppers (optional)
- salsa (optional)
- guacamole (optional)
Instructions - Rinse off beef strips; marinate in Mesquite Marinade for at least 30 min, however I prefer to marinate overnight. Julienne peppers and onions. Add oil to pan and heat. Add beef strips and brown 3-4 minutes; add peppers and onions; cook until veggies are softened. Remove from heat; serve in warm tortillas with toppings. Note: 8 servings
Alternatives – When cooking this meal there’s always at least one individual that wants beef while others want chicken. So I usually fix it this way and let group just choose what they want. It is easier to use just one recipe for both beef and chicken however, I do not mix the two meats together when marinating nor while cooking. If one chooses to do so, you could use two different types of seasoning.
Another alternative is to marinate meats covered in wine or beer. It helps to tenderize the beef especially. In order to make this meal healthier one can grill meats instead of frying them. That way one can illuminate the vegetable oil. Also one can purchase low-fat tortillas, sour cream, and cheese. And pile on more of the veggies in order to get full faster.
Quick and Easy Chicken Salsa with Corn and Black Beans
- 1-1/4 pounds shredded chicken or chicken tenders
- 2 T. chili powder, divided
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (16 oz.) jar salsa
- 1 (12 oz.) package Fresh Corn, (spicy southwestern corn optional)
- 1 (15 oz.) can ranch style black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 or 3 cilantro or parsley leaves, for garnish
- 2 cups hot cooked rice
- kosher salt and pepper, season to taste
Instructions - Spray a 12-inch chef's pan or wok with a nonstick vegetable cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Put the chicken pieces and onions into the pan and sprinkle with chili powder. Brown the chicken on the first side and turn to the second side and brown. Add the salsa and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add the prepared corn and the black beans. Return the heat to medium-high and heat through. Serve over a bed of rice and enjoy!
Alternatives – This is a recipe that can be cooked in a crock pot. If using chicken tenders one does not even have to brown unless you choose to do so. You can just throw all the ingredients in a crock pot and let cook on low for about 4 hours to 6 hours. Prepare rice in rice cooker if you prefer to have meal separated. Or you can mix rice in with other ingredients along with about 1 to 1 ½ cups of water and have the entire dish slow cooked for dinner. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.
more Tex Mex Recipes
- Simply Recipes: Mexican and Tex Mex Recipes
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- Top Southwestern Tex-Mex Food Recipes - FoodieView Recipe Search Engine
You can find thousands of the web's best category:southwestern_us or Tex- Mex recipes...
- Tex Mex Recipes | ifood.tv
Enjoy our collection of tex mex recipes submitted, reviewed and rated by ifood.tv community. Meet people who are looking for tex mex recipes.
Tex Mex Refried Beans
Healthier Tex-Mex Recipe Options
- Tex-Mex Black Bean Burgers | Hot and Healthy
If your family eats at least two meat-free vegetarian dinners each week, then a Tex Mex Black Bean Burger recipe can add spice to your meals
- Tex-Mex Recipes : Recipezaar
Recipes for Recipezaar's member for healthy Tex Mex recipes and a free nutrition analysis...
- The Recipe Doctor Takes on Tex-Mex Cuisine
Tex-Mex has more than a few things going for it, nutritionally speaking. But despite those basically healthy ingredients, Tex-Mex cuisine can easily cross the border into high-calorie, high-fat...
Crockpot Slow Cookers
Chili con Carne with Beans in a Crockpot
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) red kidney beans or small red beans, drained (or dried beans can be used, cooked to amount to equal portions)
- 1 large onion, quartered, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pound ground round beef (or ground chuck)
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes
- 1 can mild green chile peppers (or dried chile peppers 2 to 3)
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chile pepper, optional
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- dash cayenne pepper, or to taste
- dash ground cloves
- 1 small bay leaf
Instructions - Prepare beans unless using canned beans. Rinse dry beans, cover with cold water, and let soak overnight. To be placed in crockpot slow cooker the next day.
In a large skillet, brown the onion, pepper, and ground beef. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, peppers, and seasonings into crock pot. Drain beans from the night before, cover, and cook on low heat for 7 to 9 hours. Serves 6.
Alternative – Of course this recipe can be cooked on the stove. However if you have been reading my hubs on crockpot cooking in a slow cooker then you know why I’ve included this recipe instead. It’s fast, easy, and convenient.
El Paso Pizza - A Tex - Mex Pizza
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In closing, The Tex-Mex of Fusion Cuisine, is not one of my hub on strictly healthy eating and longevity. However, one can see there are numerous healthy benefits by cooking these meals at home and choosing less fattening ingredients or methods of cooking.
I have provided some examples of healthier choices within this hub. For instance the above salad could easily be made from the Chili con Carne with Beans leftovers. I have also included recipes for the regular way of preparing Tex-Mex recipes, as well as links to healthier ways of preparing the same type fusion cuisines. So go and enjoy the Tex-Mex experience!
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