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Deep-Fried Arizona Monkey Business

Many people think that deep-fried heaven is a chimichanga, the suffed, deep-fried tortilla that was born in some Arizona restaurant, probably in Tucson. The appearance chimichangas smothered with sour cream has outraged some purists. “As for the person who slopped sour cream on a chimichanga, or any Mexican food,” said railroader Joe Lancaster, “I use …

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A Mexican Slant on Pesto

One of my favorite summer things is fresh pesto–spiced up, of course.  And one of the main ingredients is basil, although cooks substitute spinach, Italian parsley, and cilantro for the basil on occasion.  There are more than 60 species and varieties of basil, and one of my favorites is ‘Greek Miniature Basil’ at left.  I …

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Mexico’s Food Heritage North of the Border

Mexico had an enormous influence on what became the Southwestern cuisines of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.  All the basic ingredients of northern Mexican cooking–tortillas, squash, beans, and chile peppers–were transformed into the regional cuisines of Tex-Mex, New Mexican, and Sonora-style.  It was in New Mexico, the oldest of all three of these cuisines, where …