The RV Chronicles — We’ll eat Mexican, with or without a far-fetched holiday (Recipe: Bean & Cheese Tostadas)

Bean and Cheese Tostadas — Fresh. Simple. Mexican food.

Quick — and without looking it up — what is the origin of Cinco de Mayo? Nope, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day, as a living breathing school teacher insisted to me not so long ago. (Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16). It also has nothing to do with Santa Anna’s troops taking the Alamo. […]

Food Snob Chronicles — The ‘Chilada … Kid-friendly Tex-Mex goodness

The 'Chilada..

When you happen upon a dish that your kid likes, it’s a good thing. When said dish doesn’t involve chicken nuggets or over-salted gravy, it’s like discovering gold. My kid, as it turns out, likes anything topped with black olives. So, when he caught a glimpse of the Chilada at the local Taco Casa drive-thru […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Tacos de Camarónes Frescos (Fresh Shrimp Tacos)

Grilled Shrimp Tacos —

Fresh. Zesty. Light. Nope, these aren’t the tacos we grew up on. For one, there’s nothing guilty about this pleasure — no frying; no amber-colored grease dripping down your forearm; and no need to postpone your annual physical after eating a plateful.  Plus, they’re quick, easy and absolutely a ten in the flavor department. Want […]

The Unorthodox Epicure —Tacos al Carbon

Tacos al Carbon might look like a traditional Mexican dish, but it is actually the predecessor to fajitas, born in a Houston restaurant.

Fajitas (grilled skirt steak) were introduced in 1973 at Ninfa’s in Houston as tacos al carbon (charbroiled tacos). The history of the name is not exactly clear, but make no mistake — fajitas are about as Mexican as spaghetti and meatballs. The dish was originally concocted to please eager customers at Ninfa’s downtown Houston location. […]

The Unorthodox Epicure: My Mexican Favorites for Cinco de Mayo

Queso Fundido w/ Salsa Quemado is gooey molten goodness.

Just so you know, we don’t celebrate Cinco de Mayo here at the Casa de Holland. Neither does 95 percent of the population of Mexico. The official Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated in the Mexican state of Puebla to commemorate a battle victory over France back on May 5, 1862. On American soil, the […]

Food Snob Chronicles (Recipe): Elote

A single serving of elote — as far as I'm concerned.

We English speakers know it as corn on the cob. And our version here in the US — slathered with butter, salt and black pepper — is good enough to make fond memories.  The Mexican version, known as elote (eh-low-tay), might as well be classified as an addicting narcotic. Yes. Elote is that bueno. A simple […]

The Unorthodox Epicure (Recipe): Mexican Adobo Sauce

Mexican Adobo Sauce has a wide variety of uses. Grilled pork is among the best of them.

Ever wonder why there are so many different adobos out there — Mexican, Spanish, Filipino and so on? It’s because the word adobo means marinade. Literally. In truth, the Spanish Conquistadors deserve most of the credit for the widespread use of the word. When they were basically trying to take over the world about 600-700 […]

Food Snob Chronicles (Recipe): Fried Crab Tacos

Fried Crab Tacos — This ain't your old school Tex-Mex.

I grew up in a hamburger meat family. When we ate seafood, it came from either Long John Silver’s or Red Lobster. And Tex-Mex restaurants back in the day? Forget about it! If you wanted something other than beef or cheese enchiladas, you were out of luck. But times have changed. I was  in my […]

Confession No. 90 — Old men making the moves 101: A guest essay

The Underground Trophy Wife is pictured with the rest of her family.

Rules are meant to be broken. A little more than two years ago, when I was tossing around the idea of ranting publicly, I almost immediately decided that no one else’s essay would make it to the body of my page — much less the headline. Then, by complete accident, I met Megan Hawkins of […]

Confession No. 89 — The deeper meaning of ‘special’ (Recipe: Tex-Mex Rice & Chile con Carne)

Tex-Mex

Special. The word conjures up a plethora of descriptions — from a moment or day in time, to a discounted piece of merchandise or a meal. It’s often used to describe an experimental broadcast or menu item, an unplanned news report from beyond the studio lights or a rare bauble. The best use of the […]