"The result is . . . decidedly Southern . . . punched up with the flavors [Hernandez] grew up eating in his hometown, Monterrey [Mexico] . . . thrifty, practical and delicious."—The New York Times “Eddie Hernandez cooks my type of food—honest, thrifty, and full of flavor—using fresh, inexpensive, and ordinary ingredients.” —Jacques Pépin “In Turnip Greens & Tortillas, Eddie Hernandez teaches us how to cook American food the way we’ve always dreamed of cooking it. He bends the rules with the confidence of a thousand Southern grandmothers and brings a healthy dose of rock ’n’ roll to our favorite weekend comforts: cheese dip, baked chicken, barbecued shrimp, pizza—he even finds a way to improve on boiled peanuts! In our world, Eddie is a culinary innovator as inspiring as Thomas Keller, René Redzepi, or Madhur Jaffrey.” —Matt Lee and Ted Lee , authors, The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen “From refried black-eyed peas to chicken–green chile potpies in puffy tortilla shells, Turnip Greens & Tortillas showcases honest and joyous cooking from the modern South.”—John T. Edge , author, The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South “This book resonates with recipes that glorify home cooking from the South as well as Mexico and melds them together in a deliciously satisfying way.”—Nathalie Dupree , author, Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking “I have enjoyed both the food and the company of Eddie Hernandez for years, so I was thrilled to get my hands on his new cookbook.”—Bill Smith , chef, Crook’s Corner “Turnip Greens & Tortillas is a breath of fresh air. It’s filled with colorful pages of mouthwatering recipes that celebrate the intersection of Mexican and Southern American cuisines in a unique and playful way. Chef Eddie’s roots and his character shine brightly in this book, with great stories that grab your attention and make your stomach rumble for deep-flavored sauces, melty cheese, crispy tortillas, spicy chiles, and more. Whether you are an existing fan or a new one, you are bound to fall in love with this book.”—Steven Satterfield , James Beard Award–winning chef and author, Root to Leaf “Turnip Greens & Tortillas is one of the most appetizing recipe collections to emerge from the South in a long time. Eddie Hernandez combines the freshest ingredients in just the right big-flavor way.”—Frank Stitt , chef-owner, Highlands Bar & Grill, Chez Fonfon, and Bottega “Eddie Hernandez is a charismatic weaver of food cultures, threading together his native Mexican flavors with the strong strands of American Southern food. Turnip Greens & Tortillas is an ode to meals that pull at your heartstrings and take you to a place that is familiar and grounding.”—Hugh Acheson , chef, author “Chef Eddie eloquently shares the foundations of Mexican culture and cuisine in a creative and entertaining way in this new beautiful homage to the blending of Southern American and Mexican food.”—Aarón Sánchez , chef, TV personality, author "In his first cookbook, Hernandez, executive chef of the Taqueria del Sol restaurants, delivers a fun and adventurous mash-up of his influences—he was born in Mexico, raised in the American South, and developed a love of New Orleans cuisine. The common denominator here is heat, especially in the form of various peppers. For breakfast, there is a spicy Cajun hash with andouille sausage. For a hearty soup, there is posole, in which pounds of pork butt and four cups of hominy are flavored with the puree of 30 dried chiles. For dessert—ancho-chile pralines. Hernandez enjoys teasing a bland food with a spicy kick, thus presenting meatloaf with tomato-habanero gravy, mac and cheese with feta and jalapeños, and buttermilk fried chicken with green-chile-horseradish sauce. But tacos are the soul of the book, and these are simple yet complex, with 20 different varieties. There are Americanized versions such as the cheeseburger taco, as well as traditional carnitas tacos and regionalized offerings such as a Nashville hot chicken taco. Puckett, the former food editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, renders Hernandez’s stories in tight, captivating prose, and photographer Mosier showcases, for example, a small island of creamy grits surrounded by pink shrimp in a bowl of tomato and jalapeño puree. This is an outstanding cookbook of innovative recipes."—Publishers Weekly
Hernandez is the executive chef of Taqueria del Sol, an Atlanta-based restaurant chain with locations in Georgia and Tennessee. Writing with author and editor Puckett (Eat Drink Delta), he shares more than 125 recipes that highlight the similarities between Southern and Mexican cuisine. As with Asha Gomez's My Two Souths, which gave Southern dishes a South Indian twist, this cookbook features innovative foods and surprising flavor combinations. Readers will have no trouble whipping up recipes such as Fritos chilaquiles, Creole red beans and rice burritos, tequila-mango smoothie, and sweet potato cheesecake, which are written for home kitchens and rely on readily available ingredients. VERDICT A stellar debut imbued with Hernandez's infectious excitement for cooking.