By Joanna Prisco
Photo: Samantha Bolton for YahooFood
Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week is Tex-Mex From Scratch by Jonas Cramby, an author, food writer, and café blogger who fell so hard for the spicy border cuisine that he named his daughters Dixie Margarita and Lone Star.
“Although the word Tex-Mex has carried a negative connotation for a long time,” Cramby writes in his cookbook introduction, “it’s about as intelligent to reject a whole cuisine on these grounds as to say they have bad food in Italy because you can also get spaghetti and meatballs in a can.”
A culinary hybrid of German cooking combined with “prairie grub and the Mexicans’ beautiful food culture,” Tex-Mex is about simple, flavor-forward dishes such as mesquite-grilled meats, home-baked tortillas, and poblano-studded potato salads.
Baja ceviche from Jonas Cranby’s “Tex-Mex From Scratch.” (Photo: Sterling Epicure)
All of these pull elements from a so-called Tex-Mex food circle, according to Cramby: crispy, hot, sweet, sour, and sticky.
If Tex-Mex is not your forte, the front of the book dedicates ample space to educating readers about chilis, salsa, pickles, how to start making tortillas and burger buns at home, as well as the blueprint for building a barbecue smoker. Meanwhile, the rest of the tome is devoted to mouthwatering recipes that range from Truck Stop Enchiladas to Baja Ceviche to Beer Can Chicken and more.
It’s all within the home cook’s grasp, promises the author. As long as one doesn’t cheat.
Leg of Fire recipe from Jonas Cranby’s “Tex-Mex From Scratch.” (Photo: Sterling Epicure)
“The first thing you need to know about cooking Tex-Mex food is that it’s fun and colorful with a huge amount of flavor,” Cramby writes. “So be generous with the lime and chili. The second this is: no cans, jars, or plastic packages can be used. Here, we always do everything from scratch.”
Visit Yahoo Food throughout the week for recipes from Tex-Mex From Scratch.
Check out other cookbooks from Yahoo Food’s Cookbook of the Week: