Thursday, September 28, 2017

Queso! by Lisa Fain, a Review

I have been aware of Lisa Fane ever since I first stumbled upon her blog at the end of 2005. Ever since then, I have been one of her biggest fans, pre-ordering both of her wonderful cookbooks, The Homesick Texan Cookbook and The Homesick Texan's Family Table Cookbook, finding these two among the most well used in my massive collection. She's a seventh generation Texan, transplanted to New York, with a chatty writing style, and delicious recipes that captured my Tex-Mex loving heart.

Her latest book
, Queso seems as though it was written just for me (I have long been campaigning to make queso another food group). It is impossible not to like, and the kind of book that makes queso lovers like me weep. Who, after all, doesn't like queso? Is it sheer genius to come out with a book full of nothing but queso recipes? What, after all, can be more comforting, than a dish of melted cheese and something to dip into it?
Well researched and comprehensive, this collection of more than 55 recipes contains not just Historic 1887 Chiles Poblano, but also classics like Austin Diner Style Queso and Chili Parlor Queso. I was particularly drawn to the chapter on Quirky Quesos, and immediately dug into making Indian Queso with Jalapeno Chutney (You'll find this recipe on the blog next week.), cumin lover that I am. I was not disappointed; it was delicious! Finding the recipe for El Paso Style Huevos Rancheros made me swoon, just knowing that it's acceptable to have queso for breakfast.
It's easy to get sucked right into this book, and read it like a novel. Each section is preceded with a nice, conversational introduction by Fane, each recipe the same. It's as if you're sitting down to a table with a bowl of chips and your best friend, talking about how much you love what you're about to dig into.
In addition to recipes for queso there are also recipes for tasty must-have accompaniments such as guacamole, pico de gallo, pickled jalapenos, and the like. I had never pickled jalapenos before reading this book, and now I don't seem to be able to stop.
If one of your friends or acquaintances claims to not be a fan of queso, well, first of all they're lying, second, you can direct them to the chapter on Queso in the Wild where it is used as a topper or ingredient for mouthwatering dishes such as Macaroni and Cheese with Green Chili Queso Blanco, Bacon Green Chili Queso Burger, Chicken Fried Steak with Queso Gravy (I tried this – wonderful!), or something simple like Frito Wedge Salad with Queso Dressing. Try this and you will never eat a wedge of lettuce again without topping it with a handful of Fritos and smothering it with melted cheese.
I can't say enough about this book. It is fun to read, the pictures are mouthwatering, the recipes are phenomenal, and it's just the right size as to be easy to handle and more importantly, store. This is a must have, no doubt about it. With the holidays coming up you need to stock up on this book, it would make a great gift for the cook or the queso eater in your life, as well as a very much appreciated hostess gift.

Highly recommended.

 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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1 comment:

Alycia Nichols said...

Frito Wedge Salad?!??!?!?! What the what?!?!??!?! Those are some pretty out there recipes, but's queso!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like Urkel, cheese is pretty much my life. I buy it so much I'm sure the grocer thinks I'm helping to feed the world's mouse population! I LOVE it!!!! That Bacon Green Chili Queso Burger sounds magnificent! And Queso Gravy??!?!??! Say what?!??!???! Oh, yeah, baby!!!