Adding Tex-Mex flavor to Eagles at Dallas Livefyre tailgate party...

Adding Tex-Mex flavor to Eagles at Dallas Livefyre tailgate party...

Eagles

Adding Tex-Mex flavor to Eagles at Dallas Livefyre tailgate party...

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This is an all-day kind of Sunday affair leading up to an 8:30 P.M. EST start with the Eagles at Dallas — so here comes the filler.

The Odds Shark computer says this will be all Dallas with a 30-17 win predicted over the Eagles… They’ve got the Over/Under at 43 points. ATV says go with the Over…

I’m not buying into that robotic summary of predictable numbers based upon physical factors. I’m calling it 23-20 Eagles… This is a case where we must jump the Shark… and I think we will.

Here’s the Odds Shark logic: “The Cowboys’ stud rookie quarterback Dak Prescott finally threw his first interception in his last game against the Packers but still managed to emerge victorious in his sixth week at the helm of the Dallas offense. He will face another stiff test Sunday against an Eagles defense that is one of the best in the NFL and that allows just 204 passing yards per game.”

“One spot where the Eagles have been vulnerable has been on the ground. They have given up 102.7 rushing yards per game and will be facing a Cowboys rushing attack that has pounded the rock for 161.2 yards per game on 4.8 yards per rush. Dallas is the only team in the league that runs the ball more often than it passes, so expect an extremely rush-heavy attack on Sunday night.”

“The road team has been thriving in this series but beware of some trends that point in another direction. Dallas is 7-2 in its last nine games after winning as an underdog and is 7-2 in its last nine home games after a bye week. Dallas has failed to cover just once this season and has now gotten five straight ATS wins, but if the Cowboys hope to add another win and cover to their pristine record, they will have to avoid giving Philly the ball. In the Eagles’ four wins this season, they’ve averaged 3.5 takeaways per game, while in their two losses they’ve averaged just one.”

So you’re telling me there’s a chance, Mr. Roboto?

Odds Shark computer prediction handicapping models performed on this game pick a 30-17 victory for the Cowboys. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NFL matchups here.

Oddly enough, the Eagles have done okay against the odds in the Jerry Jones Spaceship over the past few years (pun intended)…

“I don’t know, but it feels like a neutral game when we play there because you hear and see so many Philly fans there,” defensive end Brandon Graham said. “There is so much energy from the Eagles fans who are there. It’s like a party. It’s always a big game and we have a lot of fun playing Dallas at their place.”

Said center Jason Kelce: “It’s a good question. For whatever reason we’ve been really successful there. We play hard. We know it’s a heated rivalry. That goes without saying. Last year, they kicked our tails at home (Week 2) and we needed to go into Dallas and get the win. I think when we go there we have a chip on our shoulder and this year is no different. Obviously, it’s a big game for us and for our hopes of winning the NFC East.”

“Every game against Dallas, especially there, seems to be in the national spotlight and, I don’t know, we’re just ready to play our best football against them,” defensive tackle Beau Allen said. “We know what to expect in that stadium. I don’t know if I can pin it on one thing. We rise to the occasion when we play them and we’re definitely ready to do that again.”

It’s a long wait for the Sunday Night kickoff, so let’s take our time and sample the local cuisine.

8 Essential Tex-Mex Dishes:

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“I don’t know about you, but basically all the Mexican dishes I grew up devouring weren’t technically Mexican. Fajitas, chili, nachos—these are all cornerstones of Tex-Mex cuisine. To be fair, for years people living in Texas did refer to these as Mexican food, and it’s only been in the past 40 years or so that the term Tex-Mex started to be widely adopted. Sometimes the term is used dismissively, mostly to set it apart from what people think is “real” Mexican cuisine. This seems like a silly argument to make. While there are some real differences between the two, Tex-Mex is a varied and fascinating cuisine. Plus, living in a world without chili is not something I want to consider.

“So what is Tex-Mex? Here are some basics. As Meredith Bethune recently explained, Tex-Mex food is rooted in Texas’s “Tejano culture (Texans of Spanish or Mexican heritage who lived in Texas before it became a republic) and also Mexican immigrants who hailed largely from Northern Mexico.” Key characteristics include the heavy use of cheese, cumin, chili powder, and beef. But that’s just the beginning of this ever-evolving cuisine.

“If you’re looking for a place to start, here are 8 essential Tex-Mex dishes that everyone should know.

REAL TEXAS CHILI CON CARNE

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Chili Con Carne [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Let’s start with what is easily the Lone Star state’s most iconic dish, chili. Thanks to years of chili cook-offs and competitions, some people think that the dish requires dozens and dozens of ingredients, including a few secret ones, and numerous days to make correctly. (We certainly have a few of those recipes scattered around our site.) But while pushing the limits of chili is a fine and noble pastime, it’s important to remember that the dish originated as chili con carne, which is almost as simple as its title suggests. This is Tex-Mex at its most essential and brawny, and is all about celebrating the alluring combination of beef and chilies, without a whole lot else to get in the way.

STEAK FAJITAS

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Steak Fajitas [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Where chili is all about slower conjuring up beef’s more luscious side, fajitas celebrate the meat’s immediate appeal. Just cook some skirt steak over a hot grill, slice across the grain, and serve. But how do you make exceptional fajitas? As Kenji explained ever-so eloquently in his post on the subject: “There’s one golden rule to cooking skirt steak: make sure your grill is hot as hell.”

Get the recipe for Grilled Skirt Steak Fajitas »

QUESO

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Taco Queso [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

Patricia Sharpe writes in Texas Monthly that cheese—and yellow cheese in particular—is one of three pillars of Tex-Mex cuisine. This partly explains the enduring popularity of queso, which as Sharpe notes is “so beloved” that it’s the “national party dip of Texas.” Of course, love for gooey yellow cheese punctuated with chilies is kind of universal at this point, having firmly become a menu staple for watching sports at home. Joshua Bousel took a few liberties with his taco queso dip, adding in ground beef and loads of seasonings, but it’s hard to argue with the results.

Get the recipe for Taco Queso Dip »

NACHOS

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Real Texas Nachos [Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

Few dishes are as ubiquitous as nachos, but what you might not know about this Tex-Mex classic is that it started its life as a very stripped down and basic recipe. The original is just triangles of fried tortilla chips covered in cheese and topped with pickled jalapeños. But as Joshua Bousel found outwhen he had a “grand nacho awakening” while researching the dish, there is something truly appealing about the simplicity of the original. Of course, the version that most of us know and love is this overloaded and ridiculous variation, and Daniel Gritzer has you covered there. His recipe layers on all the usual suspects, but in a methodical way. Where some versions trend towards wet and sloppy, this one ensures that chips still have integrity and structure.

Get the recipe for Real Texas Nachos »

REFRIED BEANS

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Perfect Refried Beans [Photograph: Daniel Gritzer]

It’s hard to imagine a Tex-Mex meal without a side of refried beans. Pinto beans are usually the bean of choice, resulting in a dish that is creamy, earthy, and slightly sweet. While you can make a quick version by starting with canned beans, cooking the beans from scratch results in much more flavorful dish.

Get the recipe for Perfect Refried Beans »

CHEESE ENCHILADAS

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Cheese Enchiladas with Red Chili Gravy [Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Tex-Mex enchiladas differ in a number of ways from their Mexican counterparts. They look cheesier and saucier, which they most definitely are. But there are other distinctions, including how the sauce is made. The recipe I posted a month ago skips the chili powder that is usually called for in favor of freshly toasted dried chilies. But the sauce is still thickened with a roux made of flour and oil. The result is an intensely flavored sauce, with a rich base and a slightly spicy background of heat.

Get the recipe for Cheese Enchiladas With Red Chili Gravy »

PUFFY TACOS

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Puffy Tacos from Los Barrios in San Antonio [Photograph: Erin Zimmer]

Puffy tacos are a peculiar taco specialty from San Antonio. Fresh masa is pressed into discs and fried quickly until it literally puffs up into a crackly, airy shell, so delicate it shatters when you bite in. (Compare this to the hard-fried u-shaped taco shells, which mostly focus on crunch.) The tortillas are then stuffed with any number of meats, along with lettuce, cheese, and salsa. Chef Diana Barrios-Treviño of Los Barrios in San Antonio actually showed us how to make them from scratch a few years ago.

BREAKFAST TACOS

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Breakfast Taco from Veracruz in Austin [Photograph: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

You’d think that “breakfast taco” simply refers to just anything wrapped in a tortilla and eaten in the morning, but since you can eat one at any point in the day, this isn’t quite right. Instead, a breakfast taco seems to require eggs, usually scrambled. But from there, it’s all fair game. Potatoes, cheese, and beans are all common additions, with chorizo close behind.

While you can find breakfast tacos all over Texas, Southern food scholar John T. Edge wrote in the The New York Times that “Austin trumps all other American cities” when it comes to the dish. Kenji’s favorite version is served at Veracruz All Natural, a food truck in East Austin. He also has a recipe for breakfast tacos with crispy potatoes, chorizo, and fried eggs.

Get the recipe for Breakfast Tacos with Crispy Potatoes, Chorizo, and Fried Egg »

Go Eagles!!

 

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