Blogs > News-Herald Food and Travel

Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tex Mex is its own thing

Thats what Robb Walsh says. Author of the Tex-Mex Cookbook and The Texas Cowboy Cookbook, he spoke to the food editors gathered here in Dallas for our first Pillsbury BakeOff dinner. He's also the food critic for the Houston Press and came to dinner attired`in Levi's, a 10-gallon hat, cowboy shirt and Rayban sunglasses - his disguise when reviewing restaurants in Houston. He told us he gets tired of hearing Tex Mex food described as Mexican food gussied up by gringos. The Fairmont Hotel's kitchen did a fine job in interpreting the recipes from his cookbook for our dinner he said. Chicken fried steak, which one reader told me to be sure to try, was among the foods passed around on huge platters for the food writers' dinner. That's a typical Tex-Mex dish not found in Mexico but popular in Texas, he told us. "There are several stories about how it originated," he said. German settlers around New Braunfels, Texas started it all by preparing it as they did their weiner schnitzel, he says. They pounded round steak and dipped it in milk mixed with eggs, then dipped it into flour with spices before pan frying it. His Texas Cowboy Cookbook has several versions of the recipe, along with lots of history.
Food editors are here from all over the country, including a small group from Ohio. Excitement is building for the competition as the finalists arrive in Dallas. Food editors' activities, arranged by the Dallas Morning News Food Dept.,will include seminars about the consumer types driving today's food trends, a primer (and tasting!) about chocolates and a visit to a mozzarella factory for a tasting pairing cheese with beer- and that's just before lunch!


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