10 books like El Charro Cafe

By Carlotta Flores,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like El Charro Cafe. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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AMA

By Josef Centeno, Betty Hallock, Ren Fuller

Book cover of AMA: A Modern Tex-Mex Kitchen

Josef Centeno honors the food he grew up with in San Antonio. The book is named for his great-grandmother, “Ama´” and the influence of both his family, and his life as the chef of Los Angeles’s Bar Ama permeate the book. “Reimagined” is the word Josef uses to describe his recipes, and I think it’s a perfect descriptor for his particular vision.

Chef Centeno’s taste leans towards acidic, with lots of citrus and vinegars. Words like pickled and vinaigrette appear often in recipe titles and there is no shortage of chiles and salsas. I learn something every time I make a new recipe from this book, which is something I aspire to have my own cookbooks to do for others.

AMA

By Josef Centeno, Betty Hallock, Ren Fuller

Why should I read it?

1 author picked AMA as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Eating the West Award Finalist 2020

Tex-Mex is a delicious, irreverent cuisine that combines the deep traditions of Texan and Mexican cooking. Think meaty stews, breakfast tacos, and tres leches cake. Home cooks will learn how to make them all-in addition to crunchy salads, slow-cooked meats, and fresh cocktails-in this collection of more than 100 recipes from San Antonio native and Los Angeles chef and restauranteur Josef Centeno. Organized into chapters by type of food-including breakfast, vegetables, main courses, desserts, and a super nacho party-this is down-home cooking and grilling at its most inspiring. Presented in a colorful package…


The Homesick Texan Cookbook

By Lisa Fain,

Book cover of The Homesick Texan Cookbook

Longing for the food from home yet finding her quest unobtainable to fulfil, Lisa Fain, a 7th generation Texan, took matters into her own hands and began exploring ways to recreate Tex-Mex dishes in her NYC apartment. From this process a cookbook was born. The Homesick Texan is for every armchair traveler who wants to recreate a little bit of Texas, not matter where they may be at the moment.

The Homesick Texan Cookbook

By Lisa Fain,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Homesick Texan Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Lisa Fain, a seventh-generation Texan, moved to New York City, she missed the big sky, the bluebonnets in spring, Friday night football, and her family's farm. But most of all, she missed the foods she'd grown up with.

After a fruitless search for tastes of Texas in New York City, Fain took matters into her own hands. She headed into the kitchen to cook for her friends the Tex-Mex, the chili, and the country comfort dishes that reminded her of home. From cheese enchiladas drowning in chili gravy to chicken-fried steak served with cream gravy on the side, from…


The Border Cookbook

By Bill Jamison, Cheryl Jamison,

Book cover of The Border Cookbook: Authentic Home Cooking of the American Southwest and Northern Mexico

The Border Cookbook will teach you just about everything you need to know about the many different styles of Southwestern cuisine from the southern border regions. Trailing from northern Mexico to southern California, across Arizona and up through northern New Mexico, the book is organized by recipe instead of region so you can see how ingredients are uniquely utilized. Headers explain the history and regional significance of each dish.

The Border Cookbook

By Bill Jamison, Cheryl Jamison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Border Cookbook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now more than ever, Southwestern food is a hugely popular trend. As ingredients are becoming more readily available to at-home cooks, there is a great demand for simple, delicious, and authentic recipes that bring Mexican and Southwestern food to our own tables.
In their James Beard Book Award-winning cookbook, authors Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison combine the best of Mexican and Southwest cooking, bringing together this large region's Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo culinary roots into one big, exuberant book-The Border Cookbook. In over 300 recipes they explore the common elements and regional differences of border cooking. They…


Coyote Cafe

By Mark Charles Miller,

Book cover of Coyote Cafe: Foods from the Great Southwest, Recipes from Coyote Cafe

Can a cookbook change the course of your life? Perhaps. I attended art school in the late 1980’s. A favorite Sunday morning diversion was wandering through the aisles of the nearby Book Loft in Columbus, Ohio. One day I came across the Coyote Cafe Cookbook and my life was subtly changed forever. It put the seed of what would grow into a passion for Southwestern cuisine into my being, and it may have been part of the catalyst for me moving to this region. The recipes are intriguing and a little fancy. Cooking from this book is a treat.

Coyote Cafe

By Mark Charles Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Coyote Cafe as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in paperback!When Mark Miller opened the doors of Santa Fe'¬?s Coyote Cafe in 1987, the face of American cuisine changed forever. Blending centuries-old culinary traditions with modern techniques, Miller pioneered the emerging Southwestern cuisine, earning accolades and thrilling diners at the Coyote with his robust, inspired cooking. Originally published in 1989, COYOTE CAFE was Miller'¬?s first cookbook, and it has since sold over 200,000 copies, making it one of the best-selling full-color cookbooks ever. Nearly 15 years later, with Southwestern influences entrenched in kitchens across the country, we'¬?re excited to make this landmark book available to a new generation…


Borderlands/La Frontera

By Gloria Anzaldúa,

Book cover of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Gloria Anzaldúa was a Chicana cultural theorist, an activist, and a queer feminist scholar, and this book─which well mirrors this complexity, can be approached from many possible perspectives. Lying between essay writing, poetry, and semi-autobiographical memoir, it discloses how the author’s identity was shaped by a daily confrontation between Mexican and Indian traditions and the Anglo-American present: cultures that edge each other on the borderlands of the Rio Grande.

While this may not appear to be a book on language at first glance, Borderlands/La Frontera unveils language’s central role in the writer’s personal identity-shaping (“Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic identity─I am my language”), also tangibly in its mixture of English and Spanish. Moreover, moving as it does over broad territory, the book has contributed to challenging how laypeople, not just scholars or intellectuals, think about identity.

Borderlands/La Frontera

By Gloria Anzaldúa,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Borderlands/La Frontera as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The U.S-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country--a border culture."--Gloria Anzaldúa

Rooted in Gloria Anzaldúa's experience as a Chicana, a lesbian, an activist, and a writer, the essays and poems in BORDERLANDS/LA FRONTERA: THE NEW MESTIZA profoundly challenged, and continue to challenge, how we think about identity. BORDERLANDS/LA FRONTERA remaps our understanding of what a "border" is, presenting it not as a simple divide between here and there, us and them, but…


Simple Dreams

By Linda Ronstadt,

Book cover of Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir

This wonderfully written memoir by one of the most successful singers in American rock and popular music offers a thoughtful look at the artist’s rise to fame in multiple musical genres—from folk clubs to sold-out stadium concerts, to Broadway, torch songs, and the Mexican Canciones music of the author’s Sonora heritage. The book is a keen glimpse at the pressures of the road (and expectations for women in the spotlight), but a triumphant story of talent and artistic innovation.

Simple Dreams

By Linda Ronstadt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Simple Dreams as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Linda Ronstadt was born in 1946 to a modest family outside Tucson. From an early age, she, her brother and sister began making their own music, eventually performing their own shows in the folk and Mexican traditions of the area.

By the time Ronstadt was in community college, she realized the music scene in LA was where she wanted to be, just in time for the folk revival that was sweeping the nation. Despite some setbacks with her first band-the Stone Poneys-she quickly found her niche as a soloist with the new record label run by David Geffen. Soon she…


Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories

By Elmore Leonard,

Book cover of Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories

While this is a short story, not a novel, it is, in my opinion, the quintessential psychological Western. Depicting the struggle of an ordinary man saddled with extraordinary tasks, to maintain his honor and his values in the face of temptation, it delves into the minds of the two participants, and takes the reader on a wild ride as they wait for the train. Tension you could cut with a knife replaces action, keeping the reader on the edge of his/her seat until the end.

Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Three-Ten to Yuma and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times-bestselling Grand Master of suspense deftly displays the other side of his genius, with seven classic western tales of destiny and fatal decision . . . and trust as essential to survival as it is hard-earned.

Trust was rare and precious in the wide-open towns that sprung up like weeds on America's frontier—with hustlers and hucksters arriving in droves by horse, coach, wagon, and rail, and gunmen working both sides of the law, all too eager to end a man's life with a well-placed bullet. In these classic tales that span more than five decades—including the first…


Dreaming the Biosphere

By Rebecca Reider,

Book cover of Dreaming the Biosphere

The Biosphere 2 project was the wackiest multimillion-dollar enterprise to emerge from the New Age movement. This book is a nonfiction account of how a New Mexico commune, with a charismatic leader, developed a plan to test the viability of off-planet living by creating a sealed-off biosphere, which would be a self-sustaining and organizing ecosystem in which humans could survive. The goal was to create not a sterile environment but one that supported life that would make off-planet living appealing. The four men and four women sequestered for two years in the 3.14-acre domed-off area outside Tucson grew into two factions that hated one another. All came close to starvation, CO2 poisoning, and madness. For readers that simply must have narrative in fiction form, T. Corraghesson Boyle’s The Terranauts is based on this same early 1990s episode. 

Dreaming the Biosphere

By Rebecca Reider,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dreaming the Biosphere as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Biosphere rises from southern Arizona's high desert like a bizarre hybrid spaceship and greenhouse. Packed with more than 3,800 carefully selected plant, animal, and insect species, this mega-terrarium is one of the world's most biodiverse, lush, and artificial wildernesses. Only recently transformed from an abandoned ghost dome to a University of Arizona research center, the site was the setting of a grand drama about humans and ecology at the end of the twentieth century.

The seeds of Biosphere 2 sprouted in the 1970s at Synergia, a desert ranch in New Mexico where John Allen and a handful of dreamers united…


You'd Be Home Now

By Kathleen Glasgow,

Book cover of You'd Be Home Now

Bestselling Girl in Pieces author Glasgow knows her way around hard-hitting hyperrealism. (Plus, she writes beautifully about my once and future home of Tucson, Arizona.) In her latest, a modern take on Our Town, Emmy’s brother comes home from rehab, and Emmy prepares to fulfill the role she’s always had as the household rock and peacekeeper. But what about what she needs, and what if Joey has problems she can’t cover up? This novel’s depiction of drug addiction, and how its impact reverberates through families, is informed and unromanticized.

You'd Be Home Now

By Kathleen Glasgow,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You'd Be Home Now as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces comes a stunning novel that Vanity Fair calls “impossibly moving” and “suffused with light”. In this raw, deeply personal story, a teenaged girl struggles to find herself amidst the fallout of her brother's addiction in a town ravaged by the opioid crisis.

For all of Emory's life she's been told who she is. In town she's the rich one--the great-great-granddaughter of the mill's founder. At school she's hot Maddie Ward's younger sister. And at home, she's the good one, her stoner older brother Joey's babysitter. Everything was turned on…


Planet Taco

By Jeffrey M. Pilcher,

Book cover of Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food

I never thought I would be jealous of a footnote, but Planet Taco has one that says: “This chapter is based on a decade of international fieldwork eating Mexican food on five continents”! Whether or not you agree that Mexican food is the tastiest on earth, its history is extraordinarily complex and fascinating; Jeffrey Pilcher is the best historian to guide you through it. His first book, ¡Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity, opened my eyes to the world of food history many years ago. In Planet Taco, Pilcher examines the development of Mexican cuisine in dialogue with larger processes of globalization and ideas about authenticity and national identity, using the taco to unpack this fantastically “messy business”. 

Planet Taco

By Jeffrey M. Pilcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Planet Taco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As late as the 1960s, tacos were virtually unknown outside Mexico and the American Southwest. Within fifty years the United States had shipped taco shells everywhere from Alaska to Australia, Morocco to Mongolia. But how did this tasty hand-held food-and Mexican food more broadly-become so ubiquitous?

In Planet Taco, Jeffrey Pilcher traces the historical origins and evolution of Mexico's national cuisine, explores its incarnation as a Mexican American fast-food, shows how surfers became global pioneers of Mexican food, and how Corona beer conquered the world. Pilcher is particularly enlightening on what the history of Mexican food reveals about the uneasy…


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