There is a very good reason why is common to think that Tex-Mex food is not real Mexican food. The truth is that it is not. Tex-Mex was born thanks to a geographic and cultural mixture that created dishes and flavours of their own. Does it have influences on Mexican food? Of course! This, however, doesn’t put them one against each other, they can thrive together and shine independently. Here’s a little story about it.
Origins of Tex-Mex
TexMex was first used to abbreviate the Texas Mexican Railway, back in 1875. In the 1920s it was used to describe Texans of Mexican ancestry. It was only until the 1960s that the term was used related to food when describing dishes such as chilli and enchiladas.
The origins of modern Tex-Mex food starts way back to a time where Texas and Mexico shared the same territory and where Mexican and Spanish foods were mixed with what was available in the area. The US-Mexican border as we know it today wasn’t established until 1848.
Tex-Mex food relies heavily on cheese, rice, beans, sour cream and flour tortillas. Large burritos or burrito bowls are always present in their dishes. A very common spice to use is cumin, which even when it is used in Mexican food, is not present in most recipes.
Fajitas, chill con Carne, brisket, queso and enchiladas are, to name just a few, some of the most common Tex-Mex dishes. The popularity of a lot of Mexican food around the world comes first, from the popularity of Tex-Mex food.
To celebrate this fusion, let’s make something easy, super tasty and made with our beautiful ingredients. How do you feel about some amazing enchiladas?
Enchiladas Rojas (Chile Colorado Enchiladas)
Red Gravy Sauce:
-2 garlic cloves
-enough boiling water to cover the chillies
-2 tbsp vegetable oil, butter or lard
-2 tbsp flour
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp dried oregano
-2 cups chicken or beef stock.
-salt and black pepper to taste
1 Rinse the guajillo chillies to remove dirt. Cut the chillies open and remove their seeds, veins and stem.
2 Place the chillies in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
3 Once the chillies have softened, blend them with the garlic cloves, flour, cumin, oregano and the stock. Add a little bit of the chilli water if needed, this should be more like a paste so don't add too much liquid. Blend until smooth.
4 Add the oil, butter or lard to a saucepan set to medium-high heat and melt it, add the sauce to it and cook it for 15 minutes on low heat.
6 Add salt and pepper to taste and reserve.
-8 to 10 corn tortillas
-3 cups of shredded chicken or cheese to make them vegetarian
-1 medium white onion, diced
-2 cups of cheese such as gouda, mozzarella, cheddar or a combination of your favourite cheese.
1 Set the oven to 200C
2 Add a little bit of oil to a frying pan and lightly fry the corn tortillas. This process should be quick, just until the tortillas have softened. Transfer the tortillas to a plate lined with paper towels and drain any excess oil.
3 Add half of the sauce to a large baking dish and spread evenly to the bottom of it. Place one tortilla in the baking dish and add chicken or cheese in the middle and sprinkle some onions. Roll the tortilla until the seam is facing down and assemble the remaining enchiladas next to each other.
4 Laddle the remaining sauce over the enchiladas until they are completely covered with it. Sprinkle with generous amounts of cheese on the top.
5 Bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the enchiladas are bubbly and the cheese completely melted.
- Using lard to fry and cook the salsa gives it another level of delicious depth in flavour, use it instead of butter or vegetable oil if available.
- These enchiladas are so good! They are ready to serve as soon as they come out from the oven but you could add some fresh diced onion and cilantro on top.
Do you like Tex-Mex food? We have other recipes that you might like! Take a look at our previous recipes such as:
- Veggie Chilli - Full of awesome veggies and intense flavours. Warming and wholesome food in a bowl.
- Taco Friday with a Mexican Twist - Our version of the Tex-Mex style Friday Tacos & Bowl. Deliciously seasoned beef with lovely veggies to go with.
- Chicken Fajita Bowl - This one is such a gem! Screams summer on a plate but you can tailor it any way you like.
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