When I lived in Texas, I almost never ate traditional Texan food. Now that I’m in Mexico where I have lengthy and ultimately fruitless (see what I did there) discussions on what is and is not a green tomato –No, that’s a tomatillo. Okay, see what you just handed me? That is ALSO a tomatillo– I find myself cooking soul food and Texas cuisine on a regular, bordering obsessive, basis.
Part of it is the joy of introducing people to your favorite foods. Hot Latin Boy has recently fallen for shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy and gin and tonics, all in a big way and I couldn’t be more proud.
The other part is the comfort of the familiar.
Living in Texas I would never bother to make my own barbecue unless I wanted some Tennessee-style pulled pork because there’s no point in smoking your own brisket when half of God’s Own BBQ Joints are within a 40 minute drive.
(These are the four most famous pit stops in Lockhart, Texas; ground zero for great Texas bbq. I am and always shall be a Smitty’s girl)
In the spirit of friendship and smoked meat, I am throwing a Texas Independence Day party for a dozen or so of my Mexican friends on Saturday and the menu will feature a proper Texas brisket smoked for 12 hours, potato salad, cowboy beans, deviled eggs, homemade smushy white bread, pickled onions and, incongruously, Bananas Foster.
Bananas Foster? Isn’t that a New Orleans thing?
Yes. Yes it is.
Originally it was going to be the much more traditional banana puddings, complete with low rent Nilla wafers and luscious pillows of boozy whipped cream (ideally it would be my blue ribbon-winning brownie pecan pie, but I can’t find pecans here for love nor money), but I made the mistake of introducing the locals to the flambeed delight earlier this week. The response was so orgiastically enthusiastic, I worried for the sanctity of my tablecloth. Now I’m pretty sure if I ended the party Foster-less I’d quickly find myself in a new, short-lived career as a great white canape for great white sharks.
So what about you? If you were in a foreign land and asked to serve the food of your people, what would your menu be?