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California Mexican vs. Tex Mex?

Thanks bbqboy for the article. This sounds correct from what I recall. I worked as a professional cook in La Jolla, CA in the late 70s at a joint called El Crab Catcher (now just called Crab Catcher) and we had a Chimichanga on the lunch menu. It was a VERY large flour tortilla filled with refried beans and machaca and then deep-fried. The Mexican cooks in the kitchen were surprised at this preparation
method and when hearing the word "chimichanga" said it sounded like Chinese food.
I remember the tortilla being at least 13 inches in diameter and very thin; I recently discovered it as a "tortilla sobaquera" see this:
Whoever invented/discovered the Chimichanga, may they be blessed.

Apr 22, 2012
chmann44 in General Topics

Chiles Rellenos

This is indeed the real deal. I grew up in southern CA and this is how they were done, never with bread crumbs. Usually used Anaheim chiles as they were more readily available than Poblanos. Excellent salsa recipe as well. To Tinka82, dredging the chile very lightly in flour will help batter to adhere if dipping.

Mar 23, 2012
chmann44 in Recipes

California Mexican vs. Tex Mex?

I cooked at a Mexican joint in El Cajon, CA in the late 70s and wound up spending 20+ years in the business. Living in Georgia now for the past 15 years I can say the Mexican places here are predominantly Texas inspired. Tamales ordered a la carte come with a thin layer of refried beans on top followed by some ground beef taco filling and then a thin red sauce that is tomato-based and flavorless. My guess is that because the tamal is so small and somewhat expensive ($3.50 a pop) the proprietors do not want you to feel ripped-off. BEFORE THE TEJANOS TEAR ME A NEW ONE, I would like to say that overall I like Tex-Mex. I have eaten a lot of Mexican food in TX, NM, AZ and especially CA. Growing up in CA, I had never heard of a chalupa until I moved east. It looked like a tostada to me. Enchiladas in CA were enrobed in a sauce made of chile. In Tex-Mex, the sauce is chili (con carne). As far as the taco/taquito/flauta debate goes, tacos are filled with anything and can be fried (tacos dorados) or not. Taquitos are always corn tortillas stuffed with some kind of meat and then rolled and deep-fried. Taquitos=Roll(ed) tacos. Flautas, on the other hand, are corn or flour tortillas and much longer but again with some kind of meat as the filling and deep fried. I make them with 2-6 inch corn tortillas with about 1/3 of each tortilla overlapping. They are tough to keep together though. This is my opinion based on observation and a lot of fine chowing throughout the Southwest and now the East.

Dec 30, 2011
chmann44 in General Topics