The Joy of Cooking – a book that was a Bible in most kitchens long before our favorite recipe searches began with the letters, www. I can’t even count how many times I referenced that thick, cover-worn book when I needed a reminder of how long to poach an egg, or when what to add to a quick meatloaf, or how to whip up a quick white sauce for homemade macaroni and cheese; these days however, my fast fact-checks come via a keyboard and screen, rather than from the bookshelf.
But every so often, a uniquely satisfying foodie moment is achieved by sitting down and thumbing through a solid cookbook. Feeling the weight of the book and seeing the light reflect off the glossy pages occasionally trumps the convenience (and glare) of the flat screen. And when you find that special cookbook that draws you back to a particular recipe again and again, it’s worth every bit of the paper and ink on which it’s printed.
I thought it might be fun to periodically share some great cookbooks, trading old, as well as new, favorite dishes.
As a Houston girl, an obvious starting point for me is Houston Classic Mexican Recipes: Recipes from Favorite Restaurants (Pelican Publishing, January 17, 2011) by Erin Hicks Miller. If you’ve ever spent any time in the Space City on the Bayou, you’ve undoubtedly eaten some classic Mexican food, often infused with local Gulf seafood, worth remembering.
From the Real Guacamole at Yelapa, to the Mango Margaritas at Escalantes, Miller explores some of the very best eats and drinks that Houston has to offer, sharing trade secrets for re-creating some of these treasured recipes in your own cocina.
Other tasty treats within the bright pages from Houston’s best kitchens include Ceviche from Beso, Camarones Diablos from Teala’s, Lobster Enchiladas from Cyclone Anaya's, Tamales from Taco Milagro, and Dos Leches y Canela Flan from Teotihuacan.
The photos are vibrant, and the food is delicious. And it’s a beautiful feast for the eyes when displayed in a book-holder on the kitchen counter.
Oh, and no computer required.