Chow Time! 10 Spicy, Cheesy, and Fried Tex-Mex Recipes

Maybe it's the reports from Austin's SXSW conference that are still coming in. Maybe it's the ridiculously warm and welcome weather we've been having on the West Coast. (Sorry, East Coast! Come visit?) Either way, we're craving Tex-Mex and we're craving it bad.

Tex-Mex is a curious blend of cuisines. You get some truly authentic Mexican dishes and others with distinctly cowboy origins. Throw in a California avocado or two, and there you have it. If this is fusion, we welcome it.

1. Jalapeno Poppers from Gourmet Magazine - Just one is never enough.

2. Acapulco Enchiladas from Sunset Magazine - Almonds and chopped olives give these enchiladas a southwestern twist!

3. Ranch Chicken from Pioneer Woman - Bacon makes everything better. And bigger.

4. Puffy Tacos from Homesick Texan - A uniquely Texan treat!

5. Baja-Style Tempura Fish Tacos from Leite's Culinaria - Add a Japanese influence to that blend of Tex-Mex cuisines!

6. Texas Caviar from Martha Stewart - Nothing like this blend of black-eyed peas and roasted red peppers to round out a meal.

7. Beef Chili with Sour Cream and Cheddar Biscuits from Smitten Kitchen - Here's one for those of you struggling to make it through the last few days of winter.

8. 7-Layer Bean Dip from Simply Recipes - A required pre- and post-dinner snack.

9. Skirt Steak Fajitas from Saveur Magazine - You know you want one.

10. Grilled Stuffed Peppers from Epicurious - On the grill or under the broiler, these are make excellent party dish.

What's your favorite Tex-Mex food?

Related: Authentic Mexican: Five Recipes from Rick Bayless

(Image: Romulo Yanes/Gourmet)