Synopses & Reviews
When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with.
After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friends the Tex-Mex, the chili, and the country comfort dishes that reminded her of home. From cheese enchiladas drowning in chili gravy to chicken-fried steak served with cream gravy on the side, from warm bowls of chile con queso to big pots of fiery chili made without beans, Fain re-created the wonderful tastes of Texas she'd always enjoyed at potlucks, church suppers, and backyard barbecues back home.
In 2006, Fain started the blog Homesick Texan to share Texan food with fellow expatriates, and the site immediately connected with readers worldwide, Texan and non-Texan alike. Now, in her long-awaited first cookbook, Fain brings the comfort of Texan home cooking to you.
Like Texas itself, the recipes in this book are varied and diverse, all filled with Fain's signature twists. There's SalpicÓn, a cool shredded beef salad found along the sunny border in El Paso; Soft Cheese Tacos, a creamy plate unique to Dallas; and Houston-Style Green Salsa, an avocado and tomatillo salsa that is smooth, refreshing, and bright. There are also nibbles, such as Chipotle Pimento Cheese and Tomatillo JalapeÑo Jam; sweet endings, such as Coconut Tres Leches Cake and Mexican Chocolate Chewies; and fresh takes on Texan classics, such as Coffee-Chipotle Oven Brisket, Ancho Cream Corn, and Guajillo-Chile Fish Tacos.
With more than 125 recipes, The Homesick Texan offers a true taste of the Lone Star State. So pull up a chair-everyone's welcome at the Texas table!
"Fain is a seventh-generation Texan who moved to Manhattan in her mid-20s, mourned both the absence of cream gravy on the East Coast and the illegality of buying whole cow heads in New York, and eventually created a successful food blog, the title of which she has borrowed for her first, and Texas-sized, book. Her writing style is free of both Longhorn exaggeration and New York cynicism. It's as if the two forces have canceled each other out, resulting in a levelheaded, down to earth tone that, like her blog, often refers to family and friends. With a goal of celebrating the 'bounty and joy that is Texan cuisine,' Fain's most important lessons are that there is much to enjoy beyond the familiar triumvirate of 'Tex-Mex, barbecue, and chicken-fried steak,' and that there are major culinary differences among the north, east, west, and Gulf Coast regions of her homeland. Witness the West Texas stacked enchiladas, which are layered rather than rolled. Chili, of course, is a requisite recipe, and Fain provides two options: there is a rather amazing seven-chile Texas chili in which chuck roast and the varietal dried chilies soak up the flavors of coffee, beer, garlic, cinnamon, and Mexican chocolate. And for those who would rather not endure the five-hour simmering time, there is the one-hour Texas chili with just two types of peppers and faster-cooking ground beef (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lisa Fain is a seventh-generation Texan; her formative years were spent on the outskirts of Houston, with crude-oil tanks and barbecue stands nearby; her summers were spent outside Dallas, driving a tractor, picking black-eyed peas, and shucking corn at her grandparents' farm. At the age of 25, she moved to Manhattan for work. In 2005, she began the Homesick Texan website, which has won many awards and has grown to 175,000 unique visitors per month. This is her first book.