Houston, Chris Shepherd, Grilling, Ribs
A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon. Drew Anthony Smith
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Texas is one of the most exciting places to eat. Sharing a border with Mexico, the Lone Star State knows its way around both traditional Mexican recipes as well as the Texan-Mexican fusion that’s become so popular you can easily find Tex-Mex cooking in the other 49 states. And while Texas cuisine will forever be known for its signature, smoky style of barbecue, it’s also adopted influences from its Cajun neighbors and its diverse immigrant groups, ranging from Vietnamese to Indian. From beef fajitas to cheesy nachos, here are some of our favorite recipes that have come out of big Texas.

"Red

Red Chile Enchiladas

These saucy tortillas are stuffed to the ends with different cheeses and covered in a spicy chile sauce. Get the recipe for Red Chile Enchiladas »

The Gonzalez family in Las Cruces, near El Paso, makes enchiladas similar to these using an old family recipe. Get the recipe for Red Chile Enchilada »

"Houston,
A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon.

A three-day brining, smoking, and charring process adds incredible flavor to these ribs from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston. The result tastes like grilled bacon. Get the recipe for Mustard-Glazed Ham Ribs »

"Houston,

Charred Cabbage Slaw

In this offbeat slaw from chef Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, raw red cabbage adds a textural contrast to the grilled green cabbage, and a zippy, spicy-sweet-salty dressing goes well with the charred bits. Get the recipe for Charred Cabbage Slaw »

In this offbeat slaw, raw red cabbage adds a textural contrast to the grilled green cabbage, and a zippy, spicy-sweet-salty dressing goes well with the charred bits. Get the recipe for Charred Cabbage Slaw »

"Chile

Chile con Queso

With both serrano chiles and jalapeños, the dip has a bright spiciness that cuts through the richness of two cheeses. The tangy sour cream added at the end brings it over the top. Get the recipe for Chile con Queso »

This classic Tex-Mex dip comes from Lisa Fain (a.k.a. The Homesick Texan). With both serrano chiles and jalapeños, the dip has a bright spiciness that cuts through the richness of two cheeses. The tangy sour cream added at the end brings it over the top. Get the recipe for Chile con Queso »

This appetizer is loaded with spicy chorizo, assorted chiles, and hearty black beans. Get the recipe for Black Bean Nachos with Red Chile Beef

"Grapefruit

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa

Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa

Sweet papaya and tart ruby red grapefruit juice tame the heat of the Scotch bonnet pepper in the marinade for the steak, while the vegetables for the accompanying jalapeño-laced salsa get charred on the fire along with the meat. Get the recipe for Grapefruit & Habanero Skirt Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa »

"Chili

Chili con Carne

Chili con Carne

You won’t find beans or tomatoes in a true Texan chili con carne—just tender cubes of beef and pork, fiery chiles, and plenty of garlic, onion, oregano, and cumin for flavor. A little bacon fat gives this one a rich and smoky undertone. Get the recipe for Chili con Carne »

This drink is a distinctly Texan riff on the classic beef-broth cocktail known as a bull shot. Get the recipe for Longhorn Bull Shot »

"Pimento

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles

Adding sriracha to the chunky pimento cheese recipe in this sandwich ups the spice factor and helps to offset the creaminess of the cheddar. Get the recipe for Pimento Cheese Sandwich with Homemade Pickles »

"BBQ

Barbecue Rub

BBQ rub

Spice rubs like this one are essential to Texas-style barbecued beef brisket. Get the recipe for Barbecue Rub »

"Green

Steak Fajitas with Green Sauce

Green Sauce Fajitas

Green sauce, the spicy avocado cream sauce that is originally from Ninfa’s in Houston, is a Texas standby. Get the recipe for Steak Fajitas with Green Sauce »

"Frito

Frito Pie

Frito Pie

Texans and New Mexicans have locked horns for decades over who can lay claim to the irresistible creation that is Frito pie. Making it is a simple matter of topping a pile of Fritos corn chips with chili, cheddar, onions, and sliced jalapeños. It’s often served right inside the Fritos bag, but it’s equally appealing in an old-fashioned paper boat, garnished with cilantro and scallions. Get the recipe for Frito Pie »

"Texas

Gordon’s Chili

Texas Chili

Stuffed with beef chuck, chiles, and rich tomato sauce—but never beans!—this hearty chili is thickened with masa harina. Get the reciep for Gordon’s Chili »

"Texas

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar

Throughout the American south, black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight, in the hopes of a new year filled with prosperity. This is salad is a lighter, fresher take on black-eyed peas. Get the recipe for Texas Caviar »

"mexican

Mexican Chocolate

Mexican chocolate

This Mexican chocolate tablet recipe comes from Hugo and Ruben Ortega of Hugo’s restaurant in Houston, TX. The hardened chocolate tablets can be used to make hot chocolate for drinking with churros or in savory dishes like mole poblano. Get the recipe for Mexican Chocolate »

"Southwest

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf

Southwest Turkey Meatloaf

The recipe for this spicy, cheese-topped meat loaf comes from home cook Matt Gibbs of Houston, Texas. Get the recipe for Southwest Turkey Meatloaf »

"Oaxacan

Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo)

Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo)

These classic Oaxacan-style enchiladas are stuffed with chicken and doused in a sweet chile-and-garlic sauce. Get the recipe for Oaxacan Red Chile Enchiladas (Enchiladas de Chile Ajo) »

Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef and partner of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York City, gave us this recipe for succulent, smoked prime rib and a spicy-sweet complementary sauce (which we like to make with homemade peach preserves). Get the recipe for Smoked Prime Rib with Peach-Chipotle Sauce »

"Homemade

Homemade Jalapeño Poppers

Homemade Jalapeño Poppers

Packed with a spicy, cheesy filling, roasted and fried jalapeños gain depth from charring under the broiler and a crispy crust from the bread crumb coating. Get the recipe for Homemade Jalapeño Poppers

"German

German Potato Salad

German Potato Salad

A hearty German potato salad like this one makes an ideal accompaniment for smoked brisket. The dish is a legacy of German immigrants who settled in Central Texas. Get the recipe for German Potato Salad »

"Beef

Barbecued Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

The rub on this classic Texas beef brisket forms a flavorful crust on its exterior. Get the recipe for Barbecued Beef Brisket »

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