The Freshman Cook: Southwestern Cuisine

Today’s culinary word(s) are Southwestern Cuisine. What is it? How is it different from Mexican food? Well, there are a few differences and a few similarities. Obviously , they are very connected, and they intertwined. Southwestern food relies heavily on the use of cream, while Mexican cooking has a heavy use of corn and beans. Now, they both use the other, put a lot of the emphasis in recipes are what they rely on heavily. Southwestern cooking is semi spicy, milder, while Mexican cooking is very spicy and hot, a lot of it coming from the chili that is the base of most  sauces. Southwestern cooking works with a sauce base of tomato sauce as a rule. The hard shell taco for instance, is a creation of southwestern cuisine.  If you are making a taco, it would consist of beef, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream all stuffed into a hard shell. In Mexican cooking, the taco is a soft corn tortilla stuffed with meat, seafood, pork, or beef. Next week we will be making a southwestern style meal. Southwestern food has been heavily influenced by native tribes and resourceful cowboys as well as a modern Mexican influence. It was the Native Americans who taught the Spanish conquerers about corn, how to cook it so many different ways. They also taught them about chile peppers and the many ways to grill and cook them. This should be fun to venture into this new place. Living in Las Vegas, I have eaten many a southwestern dish and many hundred!!! Mexican dishes. They are so closely related. I have worked with many cooks that made the best Mexican food I have ever had! The great thing is the easy accessibility of products to make many  types of both dishes. There are a lot of markets that sell Mexican ingredients, as well as southwestern. Tomorrow I will post our menu for next week. All southwestern ~ All the way!

See you then!!

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