This author appeared at the 2011 festival. Please view the list of authors appearing at this year's festival or see our suggestions for similar authors below.
After treading the pavement of New York’s five boroughs on the hunt for a can of Rotel tomatoes, Lisa Fain began to realize the fast-paced city life she had always dreamed of left her with a surprising longing for the comforting cuisine of Texas potlucks, taquerias, and family dinner tables. A seventh-generation Texan, Fain soon found herself sharing stories about her state while serving its dishes to her New York friends unaccustomed to chicken fried steak with cream gravy and cornmeal-fried catfish. Through her blog, Fain began documenting these endeavors to reconnect with her past, which not only connected her to other displaced Texans with similar cravings, but brought her international acclaim after winning awards from Saveur magazine and the Times of London. Now, The Homesick Texan Cookbook combines memories of Fain’s Texas childhood with her thorough knowledge of the state’s regional cuisines, from the seafood dishes of the Gulf Coast, to the spicy beef plates of West Texas cattle ranches and sweet kolaches of Czech immigrants. Fain’s heady appetite for the flavors and heat of Mexican cooking also permeates the book, as she not only includes instructions for making barbacoa and chorizo from scratch, but routinely spices up recipes with ancho chiles, garlic, and tomatillos. In addition to making her own version of Rotel, Fain has made gourmet updates to other dishes found on Texas tables by replacing cans of cream of mushroom soup with homemade béchamel, and processed cheese with real milk and cheddar. The Homesick Texan Cookbook can serve as an introduction to the pleasures and traditions of Texas cooking, or a means for natives to relearn familiar recipes while keeping a commitment to fresh ingredients and simple yet modern techniques. An appreciation of gas station breakfast tacos and Fredricksburg peaches is not required, but will be encouraged by the time you finish The Homesick Texan Cookbook.
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