Some like it hot; Texans like it hotter. That’s why Carl Walker, the chef at Brennan’s in Houston (3300 Smith), branded his barbecued shrimp with black pepper and poblano chiles. Double-daring the Southwest palate, he paired the shrimp with his spicy version of a down-home favorite. “I wanted to make cornbread pudding more interesting,” he says, “so I pumped it up with a jalapeño jack cheese and fresh-cut corn.” Then, to avoid setting off the fire alarm, he added a cooling salad of matchstick slices of crunchy jicama prepared in the Mexican tradition. Tossed in lime juice, salt, and pepper, it is as uncomplicated as it is refreshing.

Recipes from Brennan’s, Houston.
Texas Creole Barbecued Shrimp Recipe
Texas Cornbread Pudding Recipe
Jicama Salad Recipe