176 recipes in
True Texas Treasures
This cookbook is for Stacy. We were 2006 regional swap partners, and I so enjoyed the many things she sent from Seattle. I couldn't find a cookbook that included all the recipes I thought a Texas cookbook should have, so this is it. It will probably be a work in progress for a while. There are soooo many recipes to include! Stacy, I hope you will enjoy it.
Texas is rich in culinary history and influences. It's large and diverse geography is reflected in the culinary traditions from the various parts of Texas. When I think of the Piney Woods in Northeast Texas I think of barbecue, and in the Gulf Coast region you will find an abundance of seafood. Both areas are also influenced by the creole and cajun southern cuisine of their neighbor state Louisiana. The Hill Country, in the center of the state, is known for wild game, and there is a definite German and Czech/Bohemian influence on its cuisine, which includes wonderful sausages and baked goods. There is one word to describe my impression of the cuisine of the Texas Plains to the north - BEEF. Add to that all sorts of ranch food to go with it, including other farm animals. The Border region gives us that wonderful Southwest, Mexican and Texmex cuisine. In the western part of the Border region, there is a decided Indian influence to the Southwestern cuisine. All these regions seem to have blended and some of the tastiest dishes in the world have their roots in Texas tradition. A few words of caution to the uninitiated - Texas cuisine is typically well-seasoned, if not down right spicy. Traditional Texas fare isn't particularly heart healthy and low-cal, and didn't need to be. The fathers and mothers of the Lone Star state didn't lead couch potato lives, as so many of us do today.
New traditions are developing as we speak. For example, Houston is an international city, and in downtown Houston you can walk from just about any office to one of the numerous Vietnamese restaurants there. In West Houston, there are some of the finest Vietnamese restaurants in the World, and as you would expect, Texas tastes are fusing with Asian tastes, and new dishes are being created that will likely be the traditions of tomorrow.
I must mention natural food sources for a better understanding of Texas cuisine. In addition to the varieties of meat, game and seafood common in the area, Texas produces okra, peppers, Southern peas (black-eye, purple hull, etc.), beans, corn, greens, etc. Rice is grown in the Gulf Coast region, citrus fruits in the far south, peaches in the Hill Country, pecans and wheat in several regions. The list goes on and on. Texas is truly a food lovers paradise.
It's my intent to add as many traditional Texas recipes as I can find. While they may be listed here, I may not have tried them. In fact, I may never try them. For example, a list of traditional Texas recipes must include fried oysters, but as I'm not an oyster fan, I don't plan to eat them. Some recipes included here may not be exactly as they were prepared in history, but reflect the taste of Texas today.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or suggestions for this cookbook. I'm no "expert" but have had the good fortune to visit all the regions listed at some point during the 32 years I've lived, dined, and cooked in Texas. My list is based on that experience.