Yesterday, I came across a new website named Homesick Texan. It seemed like every picture was something I loved. She has some really great recipes and fantastic writing. The kind of writing I wish came naturally to me. It was when I got to her post for Texas-style flour tortillas that I got really excited. Last time I visited my Dad in San Marcos he took us to Herbert's Taco Stand. In it I ate my first "Texas" flour tortilla, which they put out on the table with butter. I can't describe it better than the author of Homesick Texan does. Basically it is puffier, it has a fantastic toothsome texture that make you want to tear through the whole stack. The really great thing was that she had discovered a recipe that duplicated them. I immediately went to the kitchen and made them. They were quick and I nearly died when I had my first bite, dripping with butter. I ended up eating so many that I barely had room for the Mexican meal I was making.
I really love Rick Bayless' Mexico One Plate at a Time. I have four of his books but I use this one the most. It introduced me to antojitos, which are snacks made of corn masa. His potato and corn dough sopes filled with a spicy salsa, fresh arugula, and creamy goat cheese still rank as the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. It just surprised the heck out of me that day. It is those moments that lead me to cook like I do.
Another of his popular antojitos for us is his gorditas with classic shredded beef. It is not a gordita that I had ever met before. You make a fat 4-inch tortilla, that has a little added leavening and flour. You griddle cook them like you would a tortilla, but then you deep fry them as well. They puff like a pita and have an inner pocket as well. This recipe fills them with a shredded beef/tomato/chile mixture, cilantro, raw onion, and aged cheese. These also made my day when I discovered them.
I also decided to make a quinoa/black bean salad out of the new Gourmet. I cooked up a pound of black beans for the recipe, and decided to make refritos with the rest. The refried beans made us happier than the salad. With the feta cheese on top we each ate a couple bowls full with the flour tortillas. (Is it normal to make yourself hungry again, blogging a meal you ate the night before?)
I still get more passionate about Mexican food than anything else. Done right it is about extremely fresh mind-blowing goodness.