February 1996 Issue

On the Cover

Texas Food Conquers the World!

How to cook up a culinary craze: Mix talented chefs, native ingredients, classical techniques, and good publicity. Name result “Southwestern.” Let spread across globe.


Oil and Water

Offshore drillers are finding mammoth reservoirs in places that were once considered barren, which is why the Gulf of Mexico is booming again.

Steve Stockman

Congressman Clueless

Steve Stockman was supposed to have been a lethal weapon in the Republicans’ fight to unmake the Great Society. Instead the freshman legislator has been a loose cannon—an outsider in his own party.

State of Mind

On February 19, 1846, the flag was lowered on the Republic of Texas for the last time. Here’s a look back at what was our national interest, and all that it might have been.


Little Boy Lost

From the moment he first held a guitar pick, Charlie Sexton was said to be on the road to stardom, but high praise and high cheekbones haven’t kept him from stumbling along the way.

Trailing the Field

Texas was supposed to be horse racing’s salvation, a Thoroughbred–loving state with money to burn. So why can’t the sport get out of the gate?


Barry Corbin

Barry CorbinGrowing up in Lubbock, I didn’t want to be a real cowboy, because I knew a bunch of them and they didn’t get paid anything and they were hurt all the time. But I wanted to play one in the movies. My favorite early on was Bill Elliott, and

Show Us Your Bits

The Internet gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “getting wired for Mardi Gras”—there are several helpful sites covering New Orleans’ bacchanalian Carnival, which ends with Fat Tuesday on February 20. One of the most festive and informative is the city’s official page (http://www.neosoft.com/citylink/ mardigr/default.html), which offers traditional music

Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson

As befits the creators of a movie called Bottle Rocket, the careers of Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson have taken off with a bang. The twentysomething filmmakers, who met at the University of Texas, first produced a thirteen-minute black and white short of the same name about three bumbling wannabe

Johnny Angel

His recent performances in Pulp Fiction and Get Shorty have been simply divine, but for his most heavenly role yet, John Travolta heads to Texas—his first time back since Urban Cowboy. In Michael, co-written and directed by Nora Ephron, Travolta plays a real live angel, while William Hurt and Andie


Vietnamese Fish Tacos

Núóc Mam Dipping Sauce3/4 cup Squid brand fish sauce (núóc mam, available at oriental markets) 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar 2 tablespoons chopped scallions (green onions)Whisk ingredients together and set aside.Vegetable Platter1 head leaf lettuce 1 bunch fresh mint 8 ounces bean sprouts 8 thin spears fresh pineapple, cut lengthwise

Jalapeño Smoked Shrimp

24 large Gulf shrimp 3 fresh jalapeños, finely chopped 1⁄4 cup finely chopped pickled jalapeños 1⁄4 cup juice from pickled jalapeños 3 shallots, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh epazote 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons unrefined

Wild Mushroom Enchiladas

5 ancho chiles 1 cup heavy cream 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/2 yellow onion, diced 6 ounces wild mushrooms (morels, shiitakes, oysters, portobellos), sliced 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into quarter-inch cubes 3 ounces queso fresco or feta cheese, crumbled


Oil’s Well That Ends Well

It’s not enough to say that associate editor Helen Thorpe was a fish out of water while reporting her story on the new oil plays in the Gulf of Mexico (“Oil and Water,”). She was really a fish out of water on the water. Three different times, the

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