Sunday, September 25, 2011

cookbook review: The Homesick Texan

When I was first invited to participate in The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cookoff, I was so excited. I was thrilled at the opportunity and the challenge! I hadn't explored the cooking of Lisa Fain, didn't know a whole heck of a lot about the different kinds of chiles, and hadn't done much experience with cooking Tex-Mex... so I thought what a great time to start!

The book arrived in late August, appearing on my front porch in a FedEx envelope, overnighted by the publisher. There was even a personal handwritten note thanking me for my interest in participating. Thanking me! I still feel that I should be thanking Girlichef and Hyperion for the opportunity, not the other way round.

I dropped my bags immediately (having just arrived home from Milwaukee) and started pouring over the pages, literally reading the cookbook like a novel. With recipes galore for different salsas and side, Fain has created a masterpiece.

With Fain's pleasant instructions, I created some fabulous dishes.

I tackled tacos!

Pork Tacos, Dallas Gas Station Style
I learned that Dallas gas stations are often home to the most incredible taquerias and that the tacos there must be tried. I also learned about the power of the pasilla chile!

I attacked the mac ('n cheese)!

Poblano Macaroni & Cheese
Macaroni & Cheese has long been one of my favorite dishes, and Lisa's Poblano Mac has extra zing and pop that make it simply amazing! This dish is a definite must for those mac and cheese lovers!

I challenged the chili!

Seven Chile Texas Chile
I'd never before made chili, though many times eaten. As I thumbed through the pages, this recipe kept jumping out at me, and boy oh boy was it great!

I've only tried these three recipes so far, and can't wait to post more as I learn and play more!

Reasons I most love this cookbook (and why you will too!)
  1. The simple fact that a fellow blogger has made it big, achieving the ultimate dream of publishing a cookbook!
  2. The fact that her book reads like a memoir with vignettes and memories incorporated into each recipe. I've been transported into her childhood.
  3. The photos!!! The Homesick Texan is so colorful and beautiful that it reads like a work of art.
  4. MOST importantly, that Fain makes her favorite recipes so accessible to those with aTex-Mex background limited largely to chips and salsa. She explains the differences between all the types of chiles, and her recipes are easy to follow!
Whether you too are a homesick Texan, love Tex Mex, adore pretty pictures, or simply want to try something new, I'm sure that you'll love this too!

Want to check out some more recipes from The Homesick Texan? Here are posts from my fellow bloggers during week 3 - bloggers' choice!

girlichef: Pasilla Garlic Shrimp + Fried Catfish & Hushpuppies
Kahakai Kitchen: Green Chile Chowder
EKat's Kitchen: Seven-Chile Texas Chili
Stirring the Pot: Mexican Fried Potatoes + Carnitas, Jalapeño Pinto Beans, & Red Chile Rice + Breakfast Tacos & Refried Beans + Chorizo Stuffed Jalapeños + Chipotle Pimento Cheese
Sweet Life: Fried Shrimp
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Pasilla Garlic Shrimp  + Tomatillo Cheese Grits
Mangoes and Chutney: Cheese Enchiladas w/ Chile con Carne
Foodness Gracious: Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
Cooking for My Peace of Mind: Pan de Campo
Nutmeg Nanny: Sweet Potato and Fig Muffins  
Fudge Ripple: Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas
Rook no. 17: Pumpkin Empanadas
Year on the Grill (posting at other blog): Corn Chowder w/ Roasted Jalapeños & Bacon
Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor: Tomato Cobbler
Creative Kitchen: Migas
Anchovies and Butter: Smoky Deviled Eggs
A Platter of Figs: Mexican Chocolate Chewies  
Bo's Bowl: Carne Guisada   

This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef. *

*NOTE: I received a free copy of this book to review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions stated are completely mine!


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