Cookbook cover for TEX-MEX COOKBOOK: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border

TEX-MEX COOKBOOK: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border

Ford Fry, Jessica Dupuy

Clarkson Potter
April 23, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-0525573869

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As chef-owner of Atlanta’s Jct. Kitchen, No. 246, The Optimist and Oyster Bar, King + Duke, St. Cecilia, and founder of Rocket Farm, Ford Fry’s passion is to draw people together. His culinary inspirations cover many years and much of the country: from eating out with his family as a child in Texas, to studying at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, to spending time as a fine-dining chef in Florida, Colorado and California, and eventually as a corporate chef in Atlanta. Though the corporate job didn’t suit him, he fell in love with the city. In 2007, Ford put down roots in Atlanta with Jct. Kitchen, a restaurant that’s as warm and friendly as its owner.

Ford shares a love for restaurants with his staff and partners. Stop by one of the restaurants and you’ll likely find him in the kitchen or out front, working alongside his team and making his guests feel at home.

Fry and his restaurants have been included in numerous national and local publications, such as Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler, Chicago Tribune, Cooking Light, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Esquire, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, Sky, Southern Living , the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Tex-Mex is more than just a riot of tasty, comfort-food favorites like nachos, fajitas, and chili—it’s a way of life. It was born in the 1940s when traditional Northern Mexican cuisine collided with the robust flavors of Texas ranchers’ kitchens. Now, chef and restaurateur Ford Fry presents the definitive book on the topic with craveable recipes that are heavy on flavor and light on fuss. Peppered throughout are jump-off -the-page photographs, helpful ingredient explainers, playful histories, and important cooking tips. These melty, crispy, hot-as-heck classics include The OG Nacho, Pozole with Shrimp and Pork, Cheese Enchiladas con Chili Gravy, Sopaipillas with Local Honey, and more salsas than you can imagine. Pour yourself a Classic Margarita on the Rocks—don’t forget to salt the rim—and get ready to satisfy the rumble in your stomach.

Mexican Chocolate Flan

Makes 6 flan


Though flan is traditionally made with a vanilla custard, I love to switch things up and use Mexican chocolate, which has a mild cinnamon character. Flan is best when the caramel has had a chance to really develop on the bottom of the baking dish before it’s inverted and served, so make sure to let it chill for a good long time (overnight really is best).

  • ½ cup sugar 3 large eggs
  • ½ (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ ounces dark chocolate (55% to 64% cacao)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Pour 1 inch of water into a large roasting pan and put it in the oven.

Place the sugar in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring continuously, until the sugar melts and becomes light amber in color, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully divide the caramel among six 4-ounce ramekins, covering the bottom of each dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and set aside.

In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the condensed milk, evaporated milk, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Bring just to a simmer, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate until it has melted and the mixture is smooth.

While whisking continuously, slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the egg Add the vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the custard through a fine- mesh strainer. Evenly divide the custard among the ramekins.

Carefully set the ramekins in the roasting pan of water in the oven. Bake until the custard is set around the edges but still jiggles slightly in the center, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and let cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until completely cold.

When ready to serve, run a knife around the edges of each ramekin to loosen the Invert each ramekin onto an individual plate, getting as much of the caramel to drizzle out as you can.

Serve immediately.

Queso Fundido

Makes 2 cups

Queso fundido means “molten cheese,” and you’ll sometimes find this dish listed on menus as queso lameado, or “flamed cheese.” It’s essentially broiled white cheese that  gets its name  from literally being on fire in a cast-iron dish. Usually you’ll see it cooked with chorizo, shrimp, mushrooms, or poblano peppers. I love its stringy quality and how it expands as you pull it away from the dish. I’m pretty sure some recipes use mozzarella cheese, which is a good option for that stretchy effect, but I like Oaxaca and Monterey Jack cheeses for their flavor. This dish is best served with flour tortillas.

  • 6 ounces Mexican (fresh) chorizo, crumbled
  • 8 ounces Chihuahua cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • (6-inch) flour or corn tortillas, store-bought or homemade (page 101 or 98), for serving

Place a rack 6 to 8 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven to broil.

In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, cook the chorizo, stirring, until lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the chorizo, all the cheeses, and the oregano and toss to Transfer the mixture to a shallow ovenproof baking dish.

Broil until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown on top, 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve immediately, dolloping a spoonful or two onto the center of a warm tortilla and rolling it up like a taco.

Reprinted from Tex-Mex: Traditions, Innovations, and Comfort Foods from Both Sides of the Border by Ford Fry and Jessica Dupuy. Copyright © 2019 by Ford Fry. Photographs copyright © 2019 by Johnny Autry. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Contact: Kristin Casemore