Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Review: The Homesick Texan Cookbook

Title: The Homesick Texan Cookbook
Author: Lisa Fain
Published: 2011, Hyperion

I've used the Homesick Texan website as a resource for solid Texas recipes for some time. From pea salad and banana pudding to a sauce recipe with a connection to one of this state's founders, Lisa Fain's site has always been a good source for Lone Star recipes.

I was so excited to meet and befriend her through Foodways Texas, and I was more excited when I heard there was a cookbook coming out. When it finally arrived I was hopeful to find more Texas gold. Those recipes that I loved so much didn't make an appearance, but then they are on the website for free. The book is filled with beautiful full color food photography. You'll also find are some recipes that take you back to Texas's roots with instructions on canning and pickling. With the many varieties of homemade salsa, you'll never need to get the store bought stuff. With Fain's teaching you'll be a whiz with chiles, and you'll know that Texas chili isn't full of beans.

One glaring omission that any barbecue fanatic will notice is the lack of recipes involving a smoker. An oven is no place for brisket and ribs in my world, but then I still live in Texas. The author is 'Homesick' because she's been living in New York City, and she has an apartment without access to a smoker. In that predicament I'd be clawing for some brisket of any kind. Commendably those rib and brisket recipes don't include a drop of liquid smoke.

Once I got past my smoked meat bias I discovered authentic-as-it-gets recipes for chicken fried steak and cream gravy, King Ranch casserole and Texas caviar. Thanks Lisa. It's dinner time and I'm hungry.

- BBQ Snob

No comments:


Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.