|warm golden kolaches|
The Tournament of Cookbooks
started at Food52. My Super Bowl.
I didn't need to cook as much as I did on Sunday, but I wanted to get The Homesick Texan
out of my system. I succeeded.
Pour yourself a drink, tilt back the barcalounger. It's a long road to the bottom of this post.
I began Sunday by baking kolaches,
a soft, yeasty sweet roll of Czech origin that, according to Lisa Fain, is a specialty of the Texas town of West. After reading the naysaying
on Chowhound about Homesick Texan
, I briefly questioned my love for this book. I tried to find a flaw with the kolaches recipe, but apart from the dough needing a little extra flour, it was flawless. The kolaches themselves were flawless. The recipe is here
and you should try it. I made the cream cheese filling, but the fruit alternative looks tempting.
As soon as breakfast was over I started on snacks and dinner for the family Super Bowl party.
smoky deviled eggs
|Aversions are intractable and unpredictable.|
I feel about deviled eggs the way others feel about tripe. I couldn't even bring myself to taste the filling to ensure it was properly seasoned. Mark did it for me and when he said it was perfect, I added a little more salt. I don't know anything about deviled eggs, but I know my man! Owen complained that these were overstuffed, but everyone else must have liked them because there weren't any left over. I can't describe what they tasted like, but will quote Fain: "My deviled eggs are on the simpler end of the spectrum, although lime juice, smoked paprika, and garlic give them a lift beyond the classic mustard and mayonnaise combination." Recipe is here
proper Texas nachos
Not long before my mother died, when she was still feeling bouncy and awesome, we went for a drink at my cousin Billy's fancy hotel on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Billy asked if we'd like some nachos. My mother said, "Oh yes, nachos are my passion
!" My sister and I looked at each other. Only our mother. Three years later, I can't see a plate of nachos without thinking, "Nachos are my passion
!" Sometimes I say it aloud.
Anyway, I don't think my mother would have been passionate about Fain's proper Texas nachos
. They're too proper, maybe even uptight.
To make these you quarter corn tortillas, fry, salt, top each segment with a modest little pile of cheese and a single slice of pickled jalapeno. Instead of arriving in a big, slovenly heap under seven pounds of salt, fat, and refried pinto beans, each trim little nacho stands on its own. Like a canape. Who could ever feel passion for a canape?
They're good canapes, though. Recipe is here
chile con queso
| second time out of the box in 14 years|
It's overkill to serve both nachos and chile con queso at a party, but I had to make queso before I quit this book. Eight years ago we went to Austin on vacation and noticed everyone was eating this melted cheese dish they called queso. I'd never even heard of it. We went queso crazy for a week and then came home and haven't had it since. Until Sunday. Fain effectively apologizes for using cheddar instead of Velveeta in her queso. Is she worried it makes her look like a food snob? Not to me it doesn't. I thought this was delicious. The recipe
makes a lot. She says it serves 4 to 6, but I would double or even triple that estimate.
If you have a good guacamole recipe already, you don't need Fain's. But you could do a lot worse. You'll find it here
|ceramics by Justine Reese|
Carne asada is grilled beef. Carne asado is cubed pork shoulder braised for hours in dark purple chile paste. A West Texas specialty, according to Fain. I'd never heard of it before and didn't love it. The recipe on her blog
is close to the recipe in the book, but her carnitas
are a better use of pork shoulder.
frijoles a la charra
Pinto beans doctored with bacon, chipotle, and tomato. Delicious. Recipe here
fried apple pies
|a few people I love|
To make these cute little turnovers, you mix a lard pastry dough, cube some apples and saute with butter, sugar, and cinnamon until soft. Roll dough and cut in circles, put some apples in the middle of each circle, fold into a half moon shape, seal. Fry until puffed and golden, dust with powdered sugar, serve warm. Mark compared them favorably to McDonald's apple pies and my father said he could have eaten the whole batch. This may be the only recipe from The Homesick Texan
that isn't online and I'm not going to change that. There needs to be some incentive for people to buy this book.
I hung up my apron on Sunday night and haven't put it on since.