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Savoring San Antonio

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Puffy Tacos
Chunky Guacamole
The Zesty Margarita

(Family Features) - If the words "Texas cooking" mean only barbecue and chili to you, then you're in for a culinary surprise. San Antonio serves up some local flavor that will leave your mouth watering for more.

Called "the northernmost city in Mexico," San Antonio is the home of the Alamo, the famous River Walk, a national basketball team - and a whole lot of good food. You'll find everything from Tex-Mex hangouts and French bistros to chili cook-offs and five-star restaurants.

San Antonio chefs have taken advantage of the region's fresh produce and wild game, as well as the cultural heritage, and created a big culinary buzz throughout the country.

Travel & Leisure magazine rates San Antonio as No. 2 in the country for ethnic food and affordable dining, as well as being a great destination for a family vacation.

And San Antonio finds very entertaining ways to celebrate its cuisine with fun festivals such as April's Fiesta San Antonio and the San Antonio New World Wine and Food Experience in November.

These recipes offer just a taste of what's cooking in San Antonio. For more about the city or to start planning a trip, go to www.visitsanantonio.com, or call 1-800-ALAMO-07 for your free San Antonio Travel & Leisure Guide.

Save in San Antonio

Travel + Leisure magazine calls San Antonio the country's most affordabl city. Save even more on your visit with the San Antonio Vacation Experience (S.A.V.E.). S.A.V.E. offers special rates on budget-to-luxury hotels, theme parks, museums, tours, shopping and adventure activities.

Receive special discounts to places such as:

  • Sea World
  • Six Flags Fiesta Texas
  • The San Antonio Zoo
  • San Antonio Botanical Garden
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not & Louis Tussaud's Wax Works
  • ... and much more.

To request a brochure or to sign up for e-mail offers and updates, go to visitsanantonio.com.

Puffy Tacos

Recipe provided by Los Barrios Restaurant

  • 3 cups corn masa mix (see note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Favorite taco fillings
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    1. Combine masa mix, salt and warm water in large bowl and mix until a smooth dough forms. Pull off pieces of dough and roll into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball.
    2. Cut a quart-size resealable plastic bag open down both sides, to form a rectangle. Use the bag as you shape the tortillas, so they do not stick. Lay one side of the plastic on a clean countertop (or tortilla press). Place a ball of dough in the center and fold the other side of the plastic over the dough. Press out the tortilla with a heavy skillet (or top of tortilla press).
    3. Meanwhile, pour 2 inches of vegetable oil into a large, deep pot and heat to 350°F.
    4. Drop a tortilla into the hot oil, and, using a metal spatula, repeatedly douse the tortilla with the hot oil until it begins to puff up. Flip it over and, using the spatula, make an indentation in the center of the tortilla to form a taco shape. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
    5. Fill each taco with 2 tablespoons cooked ground meat or shredded chicken, guacamole, beans and cheese, or your favorite filling. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
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Makes 12 to 15 tacos

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Caution: Be very careful when making the tacos. Make sure there is proper ventilation and do not allow the oil to get too hot.

Note: Masa mix can be found at Latino markets and some larger grocery stores.
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Chunky Guacamole

Recipe provided by Boudro's: A Texas Bistro on the Riverwalk
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  • Juice of 1/4 of an orange
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon medium diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons roasted and charred Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, roasted, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • Ground sea salt to taste

    1. Squeeze juices into bowl. Add avocado and coarsely chop. Add onion, roasted tomato, serrano and cilantro, and then fold into avocado mixture. Add salt to taste. Result should be chunky not mashed.

Makes 2 servings

The Zesty Margarita

  • 1/2 of a jalapeño cut into small pieces, de-seeding optional
  • 2 thin slices peeled cucumber
  • 1 1/2 ounces Tequila Partida Reposado
  • 1 1/2 ounces Cointreau
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 14 medium ice cubes
  • Lime wedge for garnish
  • Salt (optional)

    1. Put jalapeño pieces and cucumber slices in shaker glass, muddle (mash gently).
    2. Pour all ingredients in glass cocktail shaker, shake vigorously at least 15 times, and pour into margarita glass. Add salt or chili-lime salt if desired. Garnish with lime wedge.

Makes 1 serving
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SOURCE: San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau

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