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The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos Paperback – June 15, 2004

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The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos + Texas Eats: The New Lone Star Heritage Cookbook, with More Than 200 Recipes + The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 1 edition (June 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767914880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767914888
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Walsh, the Houston Press's restaurant critic, lifts the veil on the often misunderstood, widely undefined concept of authentic Tex-Mex, providing the nuts and bolts of one of America's finest—and oldest—indigenous cuisines. While Tex-Mex is loosely described as a fusion of Texan and Mexican cuisines, Walsh sheds a much needed light on the intricacies of the food he calls "that loveable ugly duckling." He outlines Tex-Mex's main ingredients (chile peppers, lard and cornhusks), and along the way not only gives the history behind the proliferation of Mexican ingredients into American cuisine, but unapologetically rationalizes the need for unrefined staples such as Velveeta cheese and Fritos corn chips in customary Tex-Mex recipes. Walsh fills the pages with stick-to-your-ribs fare like chili-slathered Truck Stop Enchiladas and Chili Mac (spaghetti and chili con carne), along with basics like Ninfa's Showcase Fajitas and Frozen Margaritas. As the chapters progress, Walsh builds upon earlier dishes, offering alternatives and tips. Sidebars and vintage photographs lend a personal feel, transforming this cookbook from a mere reference guide to an inviting memoir and social history of a food most Americans forget is unique to their homeland. Walsh deserves credit for taking on the difficult task of organizing the desires, beliefs and strife of the people who made Tex-Mex the respected cuisine it is today. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Robb Walsh is the author of Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, A Cowboy in the Kitchen, and Nuevo Tex-Mex. He is also the restaurant critic of the Houston Press, an occasional commentator for NPR’s Weekend Edition, and has served as the food columnist for Natural History. He has been nominated for six James Beard awards, including for last year’s Legends of Texas Barbecue, and has won twice.

Customer Reviews

Contains nice pictures, interesting history, and great recipes.
Sarah Penk
If you are new to the San Antonio area or south Texas, you should read this to understand why we eat the way we do and why we eat what we eat.
Every recipe I've tried has been absolutely wonderful, and the history makes the book that much more interesting.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Michael K. Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
I grew up in San Antonio and spent nearly forty years in Dallas, and I've been a devotée of Tex-Mex food all that time. This amazing, engrossing, mouth-watering volume is far more than a "cookbook," the modest title notwithstanding -- it's a history of why Texans eat the way they do, why most Mexicans south of the Sonoran desert are contemptuous of chips-and-salsa, and where chile con carne really began. There are decades of photos of the best chili joints and upscale restaurants in the state, many of which I've eaten at over the years. The frontispiece is of the gondola at Casa Rio, where my high school senior class held parties, and there's even a picture (along with a bit of oral history) of Lucille Quiñones (whose family owned El Rancho restaurant), and whom I also knew in high school. (She went to Incarnate Word and many of the guys from my school dated girls there.) The chapter on the "chili queens" is fantastic and exceedingly well-written. The lengthy discussion of the "myth of authenticity" is spot-on, absolutely accurate, and will upset some self-righteous Texans, but who cares? The great food is the thing! And the recipes themselves, scattered among the history and the pictures, are excellent, including the classic method of making chili gravy at Molina's in Houston, and the pre-yuppified cheese enchiladas at Larry's down in Richmond, and the swooningly delicious version of chiles rellenos at Darios in Austin, and the justifiably famous puffy tacos at Henry's in San Antonio (where they were invented and don't let anyone tell you different).Read more ›
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Terry the Cook on July 28, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received my copy of your Tex-Mex cookbook in the mail today. My goodness it takes me back to my

kidhood in San Antonio. To me this is real *real* comfort food. I adore that it's

full of history and pictures of great people. So interesting with great

recipes that touch my heart. I could almost cry it's so wonderful.

I haven't been in San Antonio since I was a kid, I'm 67 now, so there is a huge amount of nostalgia working here. When I first came to Washington, DC there was no Tex-Mex food at all. One little "mexican" restaurant near the White House. $1.25 got us a plate with two cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, a chulupa, and guava paste for dessert.

It took years and years before you could even get a chili.

Even though I can now get almost decent tex-mex food in a few restaurants and get the ingredients to make some of my favorite dishes at home any book that talks about the food and it's history in a loving way tugs at my heartstrings.

Thank you for a walk down memory lane and many wonderful recipes to awaken the child in me.

I am happy to say that I got a lovely response from Mr. Walsh only a few hours after I sent him this letter.
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78 of 86 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on July 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`The Tex-Mex Cookbook' by Robb Walsh, the Southwest's answer to Maine's John Thorne, is a truly remarkable book, in that it presents the history from the beginning, in pictures, narrative, and recipes, of a complete cuisine. The credit for this accomplishment cannot be given to Walsh alone, as part of the ability to write such a history is based on the fact that the `Tex-Mex' cuisine is so young, with many of its defining events happening within living memory. And, no events in this history predate the colonization of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona by the Spanish in the 1500's.
One critical `defining moment' in `Tex-Mex' cuisine occurred just thirty years ago, according to the author, when Diana Kennedy, the renowned interpreter of Mexican cuisines identified the style of cooking north of the Mexican border in `The Cuisines of Mexico' as something distinctly not part of Mexican culinary heritage. Having been cut loose from Mexican cuisine by such a distinguished authority left this style of food to establish its own identity.
While other writers may not take the `Tex' part of the term literally, Robb Walsh wishes to define the extent of `Tex-Mex' cuisine as truly that which is done or which originated within the boundaries of Texas, or some location very close by. This rules out several popular gringo dishes such as fish tacos so prominent in San Diego. Ground Zero for Tex-Mex cuisine appears to be San Antonio, in the shadow of the Alamo. Only fitting that the defining venue for Tex-Mex eating is the most memorable location in the battle for Texas independence from Mexico. The word `Tex-Mex' was not invented for the cuisine and may not have been applied to the cuisine until Diana Kennedy banished it from Mexican food styles.
Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Naomi Manygoats on May 11, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Time to toss out every other Tex-Mex cookbook. This one is the real deal. Having lived and cooked in Texas all my life, and south texas most of it, and a constant search for the true flavors of tex-mex, a reading tells me the recipes are authentic, the stories alone worth the price of admission.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Robb Walsh is a three-time James Beard Journalism Award winner, the author of a dozen books about food and a partner in El Real Tex-Mex Café in Houston's Montrose neighborhood. Walsh is also a co-founder of Foodways Texas, a non-profit dedicated to preserving Texas food history headquartered at UT Austin.