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Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert: Norteño Cooking of South Texas

Overview

Explore the authentic flavors of TRUE TEX-MEX cooking

"Ideals nourish the spirits, but food sustains the body that houses that spirit. Food keeps the spirit alive. The Wild Horse Desert provided very little for the people that roamed and settled this harsh, hot land. Yet, they survived, and in time, flourished. Their dreams tamed the desert."
—Melissa Guerra

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Overview

Explore the authentic flavors of TRUE TEX-MEX cooking

"Ideals nourish the spirits, but food sustains the body that houses that spirit. Food keeps the spirit alive. The Wild Horse Desert provided very little for the people that roamed and settled this harsh, hot land. Yet, they survived, and in time, flourished. Their dreams tamed the desert."
—Melissa Guerra

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Guerra, host of the PBS series The Texas Provincial Kitchen and author of a cookbook by that name, provides an overview of Texan border fare. More than 100 recipes are divided by type, such as "Salsa and Chiles," "Rice and Beans" and "Game and Goat," and the anecdotes preceding each recipe lend a warm, conversational tone. The region's flavorful cuisine is firmly rooted in Mexican tradition, with ingredients like corn tortillas, queso cotija (a common grating cheese), and either tomatoes or salsa appearing in most dishes. Spicy-food lovers will be thrilled, as chile peppers like serrano, ancho and chipotle infuse much of the food with fiery taste. Though some of the recipes may intimidate beginner cooks with their multiple steps and lengthy preparation, many, including Chalupas Compuestas ("Composed" Toasted Tortillas) and Migas con Huevos (Crumbs with Eggs), are simple enough for novices. Bold flavors continue into the desserts chapter, with Pepitoria (Pumpkin Seed Brittle) and Grapefruit Blossom Cake with Browned Butter Frosting. The color and b&w photos evoke the ranch culture the area is known for, and sidebars on regional traditions (e.g., instructions on grinding chiles for salsa, an explanation of local alcoholic beverages) further flesh out this culturally rich topic. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The Wild Horse Desert is the once-disputed area in southern Texas, just above the Rio Grande, that was part of Mexico before the war of 1846; Guerra's family has lived there for more than 16 generations, working the land and raising cattle. Much of the dishes Guerra grew up eating were Mexican (though there are some Tex-Mex recipes here as well), and while the term norte o is usually used to refer to northern Mexico, she notes that South Texas is considered part of norteno culture too. Author of a previous cookbook, the companion volume to her PBS series The Texas Provincial Kitchen, Guerra also sells ingredients and equipment for Mexican cooking through an online store and catalog, and her authoritative text reflects both her culinary experience and her love of the region and its food. The recipes are generally simple, but the instructions are thoroughly detailed, and headnotes and boxes provide information on ingredients, traditions, and other topics; the many photographs, some color, add context as well. Strongly recommended. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764558924
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 9.28 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa Guerra grew up in the Wild Horse Desert of Texas on the Santillana Ranch, her family's home since 1791. Fascinated by the food she grew up with, she cooked regional specialties for visitors to the ranch and began teaching cooking classes. In 1998, she debuted as host of The Texas Provincial Kitchen, a public television cooking show that ran for four years throughout Texas and nationally, and wrote a cookbook by the same name. Today she runs Your Mexican Marketplace, a company that sells Mexican foods, kitchen equipment, and housewares. Visit her Web site at melissaguerra.com.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgment.

Introduction.

Basic Foods and Equipment.

1. Beverages.

2. Corn and Flour Dishes.

3. Salsa and Chiles.

4. Soups and Stews.

5. Rice and Beans.

6. Beef.

7. Chicken, Pork, and Seafood.

8. Game and Goat.

9.Sweets.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2006

    A Must Have for Texans (and non-Texans alike)

    This is a truly wonderful cookbook - full of classic, AUTHENTIC Tex-Mex cuisine (definitely NOT typical Mexican restaurant fare such as gooey nachos or enchiladas smothered with sour cream) - this is the real deal. The recipes are fantastic (try the Chicken in Poblano Chile Sauce - it's out of this world. It also has the best cornbread recipe I've found to date) and historically accurate. A classy, passionate, thoughtful and delicious addition to your cookbook library, it's also a history lesson in itself. If you are from Texas or simply love Tex-Mex food (who doesn't?), it's a must. Thank you, Melissa Guerra!

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