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Regional Cuisine

  

Cooking Texican Style

  

As the information age moves forward more and more influences are being shared affecting regional cuisine. I live in Texas now, but grew up in Oregon, California and Colorado. Oregon with it’s abundance of fresh (and cheap!) seafood, California with its amazing quality and breadth of produce, Colorado with its game and now Texas with its barbecue. One of my favorite recipes from the USPCA is Texican Shredded Pork, not only because of its popularity (and pressure cooker ease!) but because of the name. To me, Tex-Mex is one thing, but Texican is another. It seems more regional and not so commercialized. I think of TexMex as Mexican food that has been mainstreamed for the masses, removing much of the authenticity. But Texican! Now there is a food genre! When I think Texican, I think of the following dishes, which have wowed people at my dinner parties for a long time…

  

Salad with Cumin Spiced Vinaigrette

Chorizo Stuffed Pork Loin with Apple Salsa

Fresh Corn Spoonbread

  

Chorizo Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork & Stuffing

3 oz fresh chorizo

1/3 cup toasted breadcrumbs

2 fresh jalapeno, minced

2 scallions, thinly sliced

¾ cup diced granny smith apple

1½ pound pork loin, trimmed

olive oil, salt and fresh ground pepper

  

Salsa

2 small granny smith apples, small dice

½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup finely diced red onion

Juice from 2 limes

1 T honey

2 T olive oil

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Pan Sauce

½ c chicken broth

½ c dry white wine

2 T butter

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  

Heat oven to 425.  Combine first five ingredients. Stuff and truss roast. Rob with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a small flame proof roasting pan (no rack). Roast until pork reads 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove twine, tent roast with foil and let rest while you prepare pan sauce.

While pork is in oven, prepare salsa and leave at room temperature.

Spoon off any visible fat, but keep juices in pan. Heat on stove, add broth and wine, boil and scrape up fond with wooden spoon. Cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (saucy consistency) and whisk in butter. Carve roast into even slices and serve with salsa and sauce. This dish is great served with a Riesling or Chenin Blanc. Nice light summer wines, maybe a little sweet to balance the savory stuffing in the pork loin.

  

Spoonbread

I like to serve this with my most popular corn bread recipe…I always have to make a 9 x 13 size pan instead of an 8 x 8 because people in Texas go crazy for this!

  

Ingredients

Jiffy corn bread mix (1 box for spoon bread style, 2 boxes for corn bread style)

1 cup sour cream

18 ounces fresh or frozen corn

1 14 oz can creamed corn

1 eggs

½ cup melted butter

  

Instructions

Mix wet ingredients thoroughly. Stir in corn bread mix. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

If desired add chopped jalapeños or diced green chilies. And/or top with grated cheese for the last 10 minutes of baking time.

  

Salad with Cumin Spiced Vinaigrette

Also great with this dinner is the following salad dressing recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. I use leaf lettuce, pepitas, julienned carrots and golden raisins for the salad.

  

2          tablespoons golden raisins 

1/4        teaspoon ground coriander 

1/8        teaspoon ground cumin 

1/2        cup carrot juice 

2          tablespoons red wine vinegar 

4          sprigs fresh cilantro leaves  

1          tablespoon plain yogurt 

1          teaspoon honey 

1/2        teaspoon red pepper flakes 

1/2        teaspoon table salt 

1/2        cup extra-virgin olive oil 

                                                                                                          

Place raisins in small bowl. Toast coriander and cumin in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer spices to bowl with raisins. Wipe out skillet; add carrot juice to skillet and simmer over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 6 minutes. Pour carrot juice over raisins; cool to room temperature.

Process carrot juice/raisin mixture, vinegar, cilantro, yogurt, honey, pepper flakes, and salt in blender until thoroughly combined. With machine running, gradually add oil, scraping down jar as needed. (Can be refrigerated up to 1 week.)

  

As for resources on Texican cuisine, the motto of Texas is “Texas. It’s more than you think.” due in large part, in my opinion, to the thousands of people who move here every year. Enriching the culture with their own, like myself. So to me, Texican cuisine is a little bit of the south (cornbread) a little bit of Mexico (chorizo) and a little bit of me (probably the Riesling AND a Chenin Blanc).

  

  

  

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