Father of Tex-Mex Cooking
Sam Houston was more than just the leader of the Texian forces at the Battle of San Jacinto in their triumph over Santa Ana... more than just one of the fathers of the Republic of Texas... more than just an elder statesman... he was, first and foremost... a chef!
Recent historical documents about Houston's cooking have surfaced, and Zzzptm historical researchers were among the first to read over the staggering collection of recipies, cooking tips, and menus Sam Houston used throughout his career. Even more amazing is his culinary diary, where he records his experiments in the kitchen. From that lab, he pioneered the glorious tradition of Tex-Mex cooking. Below is an excerpt from an upcoming book written by the Zzzptm Historical Research Staff, tentatively titled: Sam Houston, Bringer of Enchiladas
July 7, 1844: War with Mexico imminent over Nueces River question. I hope we can avoid a conflict, but I reckon Santa Ana is spoiling for revenge. Tried a new ingredient in my chili to-day: beans. Everyone hated it, and I vow never to do that again. Anyone who puts beans in chili should be shot. Must see about getting the proper legislation passed to that effect.
July 12, 1844: Hot and humid to-day, not a good day for baking. I had an idea in the middle of the night, and had to test it out in the kitchen. I took a corn tortilla, fried it lightly in oil, added cheese and onions, rolled it up, fried it, then topped it with chili. It tasted great. I think I'll call it the "Houstorito" or maybe the "Samanillo".
July 13, 1844: Saw Lorenzo de Zavala to-day. He really liked my new recipe, but kept calling it an "enchilada." That's an OK name, but doesn't have the same ring "Houstorito" does.
July 14, 1844: The maid fixed up a mess of Houstoritos to-day and kept calling them "enchiladas". I find that strange, as I never told her my recipe: I assume she must have been spying on me when I prepared them that one night. She must have gotten the name after visiting with de Zavala's servants. I'll have to set her straight on the matter. I will do it tomorrow, as I have to work on the draft of that anti-beans-in-chili law.
July 21, 1844: Finally finished the draft of that bill. Will send it off to the legislature first thing next year when it meets. Noticed all kinds of people are eating Houstoritos. I tried to tell the maid their proper name, but she just laughed and said a bunch of stuff in Spanish I did not understand. I tried to write some of it down. Will ask Lorenzo what it means to-morrow.
July 22, 1844: I will have to fire that maid if she ever says things such as she did yesterday again. Also, am I now the only one who calls a Houstorito a Houstorito? Why does everyone call my invention an enchilada? I suppose de Zavala is still highly influential among the people here, and I don't begrudge him that one bit. I suppose I can let his name stand, since the more I look, the more I notice people using it. I am just so happy that everyone seems to be eating Houstoritos, and it's less than two weeks since I invented them. I am glad I brought such joy to my fellow Texians. Had another idea for a recipe. This time, take some rice and mix in diced tomatoes and chiles. It's delicious served with some refried beans and a few Houstoritos. I'll call it Houstonian Rice and see how de Zavala likes it...
All this and more will be in the forthcoming book, Sam Houston, Bringer of Enchiladas. Be sure to reserve your copy to-day so you won't miss out on this epic of life in the kitchens of Sam Houston.