Matt Martinez'S Culinary Frontier

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Matt Martinez, Jr., has his paternal grandfather to thank for his culinary success. A soldier in Pancho Villa's army, Delphino Martinez was captured by the Federales, but managed to escape across the Texas border, and eventually open, in 1925, Austin's first Tex-Mex restaurant, called El Original. The Martinez family has been in the restaurant business ever since.

In Matt Martinez'S Culinary Frontier, Matt has gathered all of the recipes that are closest to his heart, for cooking the way it's been done in the Southwest since the days of the vaqueros and real cowboys, whose cast-iron skillets were used and used and used some more. Here you will find classics for every time of day, from breakfast Huevos Rancheros (as they were served to young Matt in the kitchen by his maternal grandmother) to Matt's Competition Chili (Chili, he claims, originated in San Antonio in the 1900s, and he has the story to prove it.), to Chile Rellenos (Lyndon Johnson's favorite), to Standard South Texas Fried Chicken (which his mother served at Matt's El Rancho from the day it opened in 1952) to Early Texas Chicken Fried Steak. And for each recipe there's a story, of Matt, his family, or of the dish itself. Not only are Matt's recipes easy and delicious, they are authentic and untouched by modern trends. As Matt says, Dancing with the one that brung us has always been a rule of thumb in Texas. Staying close to what you hold dear, to what makes your little ol' heart pitter-patter, is what this cookbook is all about.

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