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Books That Cook

By June 2002Comments

EVERY GOOD TEXAN KNOWS ABOUT the six flags of Texas, but how about the 28 major ethnic groups contributing to Lone Star cuisine? Just ask Terry Thompson-Anderson, executive chef of Maner Lake Lodge just outside West Columbia. While her new cookbook may not cover all 28 food influences, 150 recipes on cooking styles from cowboy to cosmopolitan—German, Mexican, Creole, and Vietnamese—will definitely give you a leg up.

The book begins with a short history lesson in a chapter called “Texas Cuisine—The Evolution,” where you’ll find out how chicken-fried steak emerged from the roots of German Wienerschnitzel. Then it’s off to the good stuff—recipes divided into chapters from “Foods for Grazing” (appetizers), to “If It Swims” (fish), “Things with Wings” (fowl), and “Meat, Tame and Wild.” Dishes like Chorizo-Stuffed New Potatoes, Orange and Saffron Couscous With Ancho Chilies, and Tres Leches Cake entice you to expand your culinary horizons, while favorites like Slow-Smoked Brisket With Hellfire and Brimstone Sauce and Texas Toast ground you in the familiar. Helpful cooking tips offer advice on everything from poaching the perfect egg to blistering chilies, making stocks, and choosing between a gas or charcoal grill. Nearly every entrée is followed by a suggestion for a complimentary Texas wine, and a separate chapter devoted to Texas wineries—complete with the history, contact information, and tasting notes for fifteen Texas vineyards—is included at the end of the book. Gorgeous full-page color photographs of Texas landscapes interspersed between vibrant food photography make this a beautiful addition to any cookbook library. Here is a sampling of some other recipes to expect from Texas on the Plate:
Terlingua Tortilla Soup
Crabmeat Quesadillas With Pico de Gallo
Texas Chicken-Fried Rib-Eye With Tabasco Cream Gravy
Slow-Smoked Quail on Savory Bread Pudding With Three-Chili Sauce
Brazos Catfish With Crawfish Cream
Rattlesnake Roundup Chili
Eagle Lake Duck and Sausage Gumbo “Ya-Ya”
German Potato Salad
Strawberry Shortcake With Lemon Verbena and Mango Ice Cream
German Chocolate-Meringue Pie

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