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The Homesick Texan's Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours (Anglais) Relié – 1 avril 2014

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There’s this recurring dream that I have. I’m in a field—my great-grandma’s Texas cornfield to be exact. A long table loaded with dishes, bowls, and platters full of good food stretches through the green stalks, and surrounding the table is most everyone I’ve ever known, both family and friends. My great-grandmother is there, and she waves me over. “Mighty fine food and mighty fine people to eat it!” she says as I take a seat. I then begin to eat a most memorable meal.
     It’s been said that if you ask a Texan about their most memorable meal, they won’t tell you about a coveted reservation at a five-star temple of dining, or an exotic feast served after an airplane flight halfway across the world. Nope, most Texans will say that their most memorable meal was home-cooked, shared at the family table.

At least it’s that way for me. 

But to be honest—despite my recurring dream—I hadn’t really pondered the question until some New York friends and I were having dinner at my apartment. Now, before I continue, let me say I’m a seventh-generation Texan who happens to live in New York, and one of my favorite pastimes is to share the joys of my home state with my non-Texan friends. 
     That particular evening was Tex-Mex night. As we sat around dipping tortilla chips into salsas and quesos, my friends talked about elaborate meals from fine establishments located in places such as Napa Valley or Spain. But when it was my turn to answer the question, even though I’ve enjoyed eating in a fair share of fancy restaurants, I realized my most memorable meal was the potluck we had for my grandparents’ fiftieth anniversary. 
     “A potluck?” said my friends. 
     “Yes, a family potluck,” I said. Then I told them about the meal. 
     It was early July, and while Texas is notorious for being hotter than heck during the summer, that day was blessed with a gentle breeze. The party was held at my grandparents’ North Texas farm—a beautiful spread of green pastures, rolling hills, and a pond—which has been continuously owned by my family since the 1840s. 
     Through the course of the party, more than one hundred people came by to pay their respects—a lively gathering of folks young and old. I had recently moved to New York, so for me, a visit to the peaceful farm was a much-needed tonic from the craziness of city life. But beyond seeing the beautiful land, it was a treat to visit with dear family and friends, many of whom I hadn’t seen in years. 
     The food at the anniversary party was typical mid-summer Texan fare—cold salads, hot rolls, chicken, cake, and pies. The food was good, as it was all made with love. But what made the meal truly special were the connections made with family and friends, old and new. 
Whether it was getting to hug cousins I hadn’t seen since we were kids, hearing stories about my grandparents’ wedding from guests who had been there that day, or eating homemade pies rolled out with a pin that had been a hand-carved wedding gift fifty years earlier—the meal made me smile. It was a most memorable meal. 
     And that’s what The Homesick Texan’s Family Table is all about—making memories at the table with those whom we love. No matter if they are memories of sitting together for a simple weeknight dinner or jostling for space during a large holiday gathering, some of my fondest moments have occurred at the family table. Perhaps you feel the same way. 
     Sure, Texans spend time at the table for the major milestones such as births, weddings, anniversaries, and deaths. But we’re also inclined to break bread together just because it’s a clear evening, and our friend’s back porch has a spectacular view of the sunset, or it’s a Sunday afternoon in spring, and we want to toast the arrival of our state flower, the bluebonnet. No special occasion is ever really needed: Texans gather at the table simply to reconnect with our family and friends.
     This is not to say that food isn’t also important. On the contrary, we love to eat and we love to eat well. And what we eat plays such an important role in our lives, if you’re a homesick Texan such as myself, you’ll find that cooking and eating certain dishes will instantly take you back home. 
     For instance, on cold winter nights I’ll brighten people’s spirits with ranch-style beans and jalapeño cheese enchiladas. Or to commemorate Texas Independence Day, I might offer bowls of chili and slices of pecan pie. Fiery wings, peppery ribs, and choriqueso are always welcome before the big game. And when the world begins to awaken in spring, thick slices of balsamic-tarragon glazed ham along with strawberry shortcakes are a fine way to celebrate the world in bloom. 
     The recipes I’m sharing with you are inspired by old favorites that I culled from recipe cards, dinners, and conversations with family and friends across the state, dishes that are as wide and varied as Texas itself. Whether it’s seafood from the Coastal Bend, beef dishes from the arid west, Mexican-influenced dishes from the Rio Grande Valley, or traditionally Southern dishes from the east—Texas’s food reflects the diversity of its regions and people. 
     If you’re familiar with my first book and my blog, you might be aware that I have been known to take certain liberties with Texas cuisine. For instance, I tend to eschew processed and packaged ingredients in favor of their fresh equivalents. I also try to cook with fruits and vegetables that are in season as much as possible. 
     Simply put, my approach to cooking is to make each dish as flavorful as possible. This can be achieved, for example, by using fresh ingredients, by adding an extra squeeze of lime juice, or by throwing in a jalapeño slice or two. But while I may tweak the classics and create new dishes from old standards, their spirit and soul is always Texan. 
     But enough about the book—let’s get cooking. Please pull up a chair and join me at the table, where’s there’s plenty of mighty fine food, and mighty fine people to eat it.

Revue de presse

“She had us at potluck! The fact that Lisa Fain says her most memorable meal was a family potluck warms our heart. We share with her a mutual desire to get people back around the table, since enjoying a meal with family and friends really is the best way to create lasting memories. Lisa invites you in with stories of her family and their connection to the recipes, and her warm, personal writing envelops you like a comforting blanket.” 
—Crystal Cook and Sandy Pollock, authors of The Casserole Queens Cookbook

“Lisa Fain’s new book, The Homesick Texan’s Family Table, takes readers back to the origins of her inspiration—the family celebrations and community gatherings where platters of enchiladas, bowls of ranch-style beans, and great conversations combine to create lasting memories. It’s a magical place that’s changed the way we entertain—bring on the chiles, the masa, the chorizo!”
—Matt Lee and Ted Lee authors of the Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen
“Who doesn’t want to wake up to chilaquiles, enjoy a spicy soup for lunch, dive into a plate of peppery ribs, and finish up with a delicious, zippy version of cowboy cookies? With Lisa Fain’s recipes, anybody, anytime, anywhere can rustle up down-home Tex-Mex fare—be it for an everyday meal or a special celebration. Now I just need a Texas-sized table to hold it all!”
—David Lebovitz, author of My Paris Kitchen and The Sweet Life in Paris
“I’ve always admired Lisa Fain’s remarkable ability to express sentiment through flavor—and with her latest book, this talent is on full display. Her beautifully photographed recipes inspired me to not only revisit some of my own family favorites (which I dressed up with the help of the salsas, jams, and pickles in her ‘Accompaniments’ chapter), but also introduce her family’s classic flavors into my home. Hello, Frito Salad!”
—Martha Foose, author of Screen Doors and Sweet Tea and A Southerly Course 

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Amazon.com: 112 commentaires
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Family-oriented; not just Texas-oriented: Very comforting! 4 avril 2014
Par I Do the Speed Limit - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
And you surely don't need to be from Texas to make good--great--use of these recipes! Lisa Fain makes a point of telling family stories in the process of relating recipes and where they came from and how they were developed. It makes the whole book cozy, warm and friendly.

Throughout, there is great writing, gracious, welcoming and companionable. And, in addition to a picture of most all finished recipes, she hit on the perfect Texas landscape photographs, too: Just the right ones to bring on great memories. The book is filled with pictures.

In the Breakfast and Brunch section, she's got a recipe for home-made bacon and molasses sausage; a savory-sweet apple and pepper Dutch Baby pancake; (I could have thought of that, liking Dutch Baby "pancakes" as we do at our house. Just make it savory instead of sweet.); a variety of flour tortillas and biscuits, and a recipe for the beloved Texas Czech sausage kolache.

Her Starters and Snacks chapter includes a recipe for another beloved food: Pimento cheese, this one with jalapenos. If you are not into pimento cheese, there is a cheese ball with bacon and jalapenos. We have many pecan trees on our property, and her recipe for Orange-Cinnamon Candied Pecans is now a permanent resident of my "Pecans" file folder.

Some of her recipes are just Texas interpretations and twists on family favorites from all over the country, (roasted pumpkin seeds, nachos, spiced oyster crackers, fajitas, pecan pie, etc., as examples), but they are still nice additions to this cook book.

There are 22 salad and side recipes, and I zoned in on several that have turned out to be doggone good keepers: The German Potato and Green Bean Salad; a sauerkraut salad with sweet and hot pickles, salami, onion and caraway seed; an updated (better than my updated) 5-cup salad, also known as Ambrosia Salad; and a chile applesauce (Oh, that gets my creative juices flowing! Just think of the possibilities! And so easy to stew apples!).

The Chilis, Soups, and Stews chapter is a well-rounded offering: All Texans have a recipe for venison chili (at least I think we all do--at least we all should!) and this book includes one if you've missed out. I also like the Pea and Chorizo Soup, the Buttermilk Potato Soup, Chipotle Chicken and Dumplings, and a superb Mexican Lime Soup (makes my mouth water just typing the words). The Southeast Texas Gumbo is not much--if any--different from Mississippi or Louisiana gumbos.

The "Main Event" chapter is full of great food: Michelada Flank Steak Tortas; "Cochinita Pibil", which is a pulled pork from Mexico; an oh-so-good Chicken Spaghetti; some great enchilada recipes (the stacked Jalapeno-chees enchiladas are outstanding). There is even a recipe for chicken tamales, Pollo Asado (grilled, marinated whole chicken), beer-battered catfish, and a shrimp boil.

The book includes a wide assortment of comforting sweets: Pies, brownies, cookies, cakes, ice cream, divinity (What? Divinity in humid Texas? Yep!)

Worth a million bucks is the last chapter "Accompaniements": Salsas, pickles, relish, jams, and a Texas hot sauce. If you like to pickle, you really should try the Chipotle Pickled Carrots.

There is a one-page measurement conversion chart and a five page index. Page layout and type style and size are user-friendly and easy on the eyes. Ingredient lists are not too long, instructions and methods are not intricate. The recipes are not day-long affairs.

*I received a temporary download of this book from the publisher, months in advance of its release to the public. So, my thoughts and opinions on this cookbook have been well-thought out. I've tried many of the recipes in this book, and along with many, many people who are fans of Lisa Fain's first book, I agree that these recipes are accurate and doable. It is a great compilation of recipes!
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Another winner 2 avril 2014
Par David - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Few cookbooks have me using up multiple pads of little sticky notes to flag recipes I can't wait to try. The first Homesick Texan cookbook was one of those few, and now the second one is the same. The photography is beautiful and the recipes run the full spectrum of diverse Lone Star cooking.
This cookbook a good balance between showcasing the classics you crave and offering a little twist to add a new dimension. The stories that accompany each chapter and recipe make homesick Texans truly miss home, but they also inspire the reader to make memories around the table today with those you care about. Kudos on another triumph, Lisa Fain.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Lisa Fain did it again! 4 mai 2014
Par txmom - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I was hesitant to purchase this cookbook because I was so afraid to be disappointed....her first Homesick Texan cookbook was so amazing that I thought my expectations would be too high. After all, the sequel is never as good as the original....but I'm happy to admit that I was wrong!
I noticed one reviewer said that her recipes aren't original...I disagree...they are original because Texas is the only place where you can get the multitude of foods that are presented in this book. Another reviewer said that the breakfast section is typical American recipes...not sure what state that reviewer lives in but Lisa's breakfast are not typical American...they are Texan! I moved out of state 6 months ago and miss Texas meals so much. It's amazing how quickly I began to forget some of my favorite foods because they just aren't served in restaurants here.
Potatoe and chorizo breakfast tacos, jalapeño corn sticks, sausage and pepper breakfast casserole. Peach salsa, sausage and shrimp jambalaya, ancho chile shrimp quesadillas, beer-battered fish tacos, pollo as ado, chicken spaghetti, steak fingers with jalapeño creamed gravy....the list goes on and on. These are common foods that texans can order at almost any restaurant but most of us don't have the recipes.
I completely respect others opinions...don't get me wrong...living outside of Texas for the last 6 months; knowing that I can't just hop in my car and drive to the closest hole-in-the-wall for some good old fashioned Texan comfort food makes me appreciate this book even more. If you want the recipes to your favorite Texas foods...especially if your homesick like me...dont hesitate to buy this cookbook...you will have no regrets:)
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Must-Have Cookbook 7 avril 2014
Par Garrett M. Mccord - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A fantastic follow-up to the first, Fain has put together a phenomenal book. A litany of family-forcused recipes fill out this volume - expect cheese, chiles, tomatillos, tortillas, and plenty of fresh beans as ways to bring together all generations of your crew. A gruyere and cranberry scone already has proven that this book will quickly become stained and dog-eared with use. Meanwhile, my husband is coating steak and pork with a heady chipotle-coffee rub and baked black beans simmer away.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Best of Texas Cusine Made Easy 25 avril 2014
Par Texas Pool - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Ms Fain is a excellent writer and her cooking skills are off the charts. She has somehow managed to put together a collection of Texas recipes that span the scale from very traditional to the latest trends in Texas cusine. Some of these dishes could have been on my grandmother's table, but some are new and trendy. One thing for sure, everything from her collection that I have tried has turned out very well. My family and friends keep wanting to know where these dishes come from. Sometimes I tell them, sometimes I just say I made it up. I am sure that Lisa will not mind if I occasionally take the credit. Bottom line if you like real Texas cooking and want a wide variety, buy this book.
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