Originally posted by ImJaded
I have been meaning to dabble in more American dishes...
Well, technically it's "Texi-Mex" as opposed to "American" or "Mexican" food. It's kind of hard to explain why, but American food is more
like: hamburger, fried chicken, American Pizza (not like Italian Pizza), hot dogs, donuts, chicken fried steak, things generally involving frying,
gravy, melted cheese, butter, and/or sugar. It's probably the least healthy, and most disputed in terms of origin. America really just hasn't been
around long enough as a nation to have many of its own "traditional" dishes, like Europeans, the Middle East, China, etc... The few we do have are
mostly less healthy re-hashes other people's fare.
Texi-Mex is kind of an example of that. Genuine Mexican food is usually a lot less expensive, less flavorful, and healthier, because things like
tortillas, beef, and dairy products are still pretty much luxury items in many parts of Mexico, and aren't used nearly as much in home
cooking there. Outside of Texas, its so hard to find the ingredients to make Texi-Mex (especially the farther you get from Mexico), that it hasn't
spread to many places except restaurants who, god bless 'em, try really hard, but never get it right, or get cheap, non-fresh ingredients, or
substitute out critical ingredients for something more appealing to local tongues.
Hence the reason I wouldn't really think of Texi-Mex as "American" Cuisine. You could get a hamburger anywhere in America, but Texi-Mex is really
just kind of limited to a region spanning from about the Texas-Mexico border, to about as far east as half of Louisiana, to north about as far
Oklahoma City, to about as far west as half of Arizona. Outside of that area, you really can't find Texi-Mex... at best you get something called
"Southwest Cuisine" which is kind of a blend between Texi-Mex, Cali-Mex, and various local additions.
Originally posted by ImJaded
A few things I am unfamiliar with (ie: Knorr Caldo de Tomate con Sabor de Pollo)
Knorr is a brand of spices, mixes, etc. "Caldo de Tomate" basically means "Tomato Soup", "con Sabor de Pollo" means "with chicken flavor."
It's basically a red powder that, when added to hot water and stirred, makes a red boullion that tastes of tomato and chicken. Assuming you can't
find it in Oz, try getting chicken-stock and mash some stewed tomatoes in it. That would probably work.
Likewise, Ro*Tel they probably don't have in Oz either. You could substitute this with diced fresh tomatoes, minced bell peppers, and other diced,
minced, or powdered peppers to taste.
I'm assuming Oz has Mesquite seasoning, if not, I'm not sure how to make it.
As a substitute for Ranch Style Beans, which they almost certainly don't have in Oz (I don't even see them north of Oklahoma, or South of Texas),
you might try mixing Pinto and Garbanzo beans, maybe Black beans?
Let me know how it turns out. Learning how to substitute out what isn't available for what is, is one of the hallmarks of fun cooking. I rarely have
all the ingredients to a recipe, but I experiment with substitutes all the time.
Oh, and please post some Oz Recipes, I've never tried Oz Cuisine, and in fact don't even know what it'd look or taste like.