I took a trip to Texas a couple of weeks ago. I legitimately went there for work, but I always carve in lots of time around those events to visit family and eat. As many of you know, I am a Texan. I grew up in Corpus Christi, the homeland of Whataburger, and where breakfast tacos are considered a food group. Every Texan knows that Bar-B-Que, Whataburger and tacos or a combination there of are vital resources and enough for anyone to live happily ever after.
Let’s talk a little about Bar-B-Que in Texas. It is very different to what they call Bar-B-Que in South Carolina. In Texas, it is all beef, and the sauce is always tomato based. I love it. I can generally pick up the scent of the smoker from miles away, and I zone in on it like a bird dog. It’s amazing. If you try to explain to a Texan about South Carolina bar-b-cue- that it is pork…all mustard based…they look at you like you are out of your mind. I remember ordering my first sandwich in SC- I cried when I saw the pork with sweety-glazed mustard sauce dripping all around it.
I also have extra sensory powers when it comes to picking up the scent of a good taco stand. I can feel the draw from miles away, lock in, and there I am. It is actually pretty scary. The last taco stand that I descended upon on my trip from Austin to Uvalde was in front of a car wash (see pic).
Of course, the components to the taco are paramount. Homemade tortillas are non-negotiable. The tacos in convenience stores even have homemade tortillas. I tried to explain to a certain taco stand that in South Carolina you cannot get fresh tortillas- the lady looked at me- dazed and confused and replied, “then what do they EAT?”
Texans really have no connection to the outside world. And what I mean by the outside world is any place outside of Texas. When I was growing up, my family thought it ridiculous to consider leaving the homeland. Texas is not a state- it’s its own country. They are patriotic, of course, to America, but they are Texans first.
This is how I grew up. The only reason I left Texas was because I wanted to be around trees, not weeds that masqueraded as trees- i.e. mesquite “trees” which make damn good firewood for cooking, by the way!
So I landed, after a bit of drift, to South Carolina. I love it here, but I miss my homeland. Here is a recipe from there- I actually never had it until my last return trip. It is easy but spicy- not for the faint of heart!!!
Spicy Shrimp Wraps
Bacon – not peppered unless you like it really hot!
Large Shrimp – one per piece of bacon
Jalapenoes – ½ one per wrap- seeded!
Cojita Cheese – this is a special hard, white Mexican cheese. Most major groceries carry it
Toothpicks soaked in water
Marinate the cleaned shrimp in lime juice for an hour or so. Grill the jalapenos- I leave them whole to do this. Throw a little olive oil on them before you put them on the grill. When you take them off of the grill, you should be able to take the skins off easily. Then cut them in half and take the seeds out.
Take one piece of bacon, roll one shrimp, a slice of the cheese and half a jalapeno tightly. Secure with a toothpick. After you have prepared them all, put them on the grill and cook until the bacon is thoroughly done. Serve with slice avocados and squeeze lime juice over them. Also yummy with queso and quacamole!!!!