10 books like The Border Cookbook

By Cheryl Jamison, Bill Jamison,

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

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AMA

By Ren Fuller, Josef Centeno, Betty Hallock

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 Ren Fuller, Josef Centeno, Betty Hallock

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…


El Charro Cafe

By Carlotta Flores,

Book cover of El Charro Cafe: The Tastes and Traditions of Tucson

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Flores family for hiring me on as a busier/bartender shortly after I moved to Tucson from Ohio in 1993. Carne Seca, albondigas and topopo were all new words to me that have since become embedded in my daily experience.

Carlotta Flores published a cookbook of recipes from the restaurant in 1998 and I reference it often in my own cookbook, Taste of Tucson. It’s a must-have book for anyone interested in learning more about Sonoran style Mexican food.

El Charro Cafe

By Carlotta Flores,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Recipes and lore from El Charro Café, a Tucson landmark famous for its vibrant, fresh Mexican food.


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…


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…


The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing

By J. Michael Orenduff,

Book cover of The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing

The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (A Pot Thief Murder Mystery) is a fun, quick read. Our pot dealer (not the kind you smoke) owns a shop in Albuquerque's Old Town. "Hubie" as he is called, digs for pottery on public lands to sell in his shop. I enjoyed his university meetings and the hierarchy at the University of New Mexico. When things got heated among the profs, he dove into a book until the collegiate clashing was over. Fond of margaritas, and who isn't, I got a kick out of how much mystery solving he could do at this favorite bar. My characters share that trait by stopping by The Shed in Santa Fe with regularity.

The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing

By J. Michael Orenduff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Mexico pottery dealer cracks a perplexing mystery in this “winning blend of humor and character development” (Publishers Weekly).
 
Hubert Schuze is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he has a fairly lucrative side gig digging up ancient relics and selling them. He also seems to have a talent for finding killers. When Hubie discovers a body outside his pottery shop, it appears the victim was stabbed in the back with something resembling a screwdriver. But the story gets a lot more mysterious when a video turns up showing the man collapsing with…


Brujo

By Jann Arrington Wolcott,

Book cover of Brujo: Seduced by Evil

Jann Arrington Wolcott’s Brujo: Seduced by Evil features Lee Lindsay as the intrepid reporter. The action takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After a co-worker is killed in a suspicious car crash, Lee is sent to complete his assignment. The man she meets in a remote village casts a spell over her. Flashbacks to a former life begin to haunt her as the brujo (male witch) stalks her and her family. As someone who knows Santa Fe well, I liked how Wolcott used Santa Fe locations and local color to enhance the narrative. Lee’s friendship with the artist who knew something about brujos was the best part for me; a true friend who risked it all.

Brujo

By Jann Arrington Wolcott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Wolcott, Jann Arrington


Theft

By BK Loren,

Book cover of Theft

This is a stunning debut novel about a woman who is a master wildlife tracker out to help save the Mexican wolf from extinction. There’s a lot more to the plot than that, but her relationship to animals and to the natural world is deeply satisfying. She allows them to “people” each scene, not only the wolf but her ranch animals, and her respect for other species shines through. This is a far cry from my pet peeve, which is a book with a dog, but the dog is a cardboard cutout who just holds up the end of the leash and makes us think his owner is nice. This is the opposite of that stereotype.

Theft

By BK Loren,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A master wildlife tracker's life is thrown into upheaval when she is tapped to hunt not the animals of America's Southwestern terrain, but her own troubled brother. 

Willa Robbins is a master tracker working to reintroduce the Mexican wolf, North America's most endangered mammal, to the American Southwest. But when Colorado police recruit her to find her own brother, Zeb, a confessed murderer, she knows skill alone will not sustain her. Willa is thrown back into the past, surfacing memories of a childhood full of intense love, desperate mistakes, and gentle remorse. Trekking through exquisite New Mexico and Colorado landscapes,…


Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico

By Susan Shelby Magoffin, Stella M. Drumm (editor),

Book cover of Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico: The Diary of Susan Shelby Magoffin, 1846-1847

Teenaged and highly observant Susan spent her honeymoon on the Santa Fe Trail with her husband a Santa Fe trader as they accompanied the Army of the West on its invasion of Mexico. She provides a woman’s perspective and much more. At a time when very few women have trailed to New Mexico, Susan wrote of the amazing things she encountered giving us a woman’s perspective. 

Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico

By Susan Shelby Magoffin, Stella M. Drumm (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Down the Santa Fe Trail and into Mexico as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and south to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West.

Her journal describes the excitement, routine, and dangers of a successful merchant's wife. On the trail for fifteen months, moving from house to house and town to town, she became…


House of Rain

By Craig Childs,

Book cover of House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest

Meanwhile, in the American Southwest we have the Great House civilization of the “Anasazi” -- more correctly, the Ancestral Puebloan people -- renowned for creating Chaco Canyon and many other great cultural centers. (Chaco and its inhabitants figure strongly in my third book, Eagle and Empire.) Craig Childs’ book makes this area, and its peoples, and the sheer extent of their civilization, come alive. It’s a beautiful and evocative work of archeological detective work and exploration.

House of Rain

By Craig Childs,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The greatest 'unsolved mystery' of the American Southwest relates to the Anasazi, the native peoples who in the 11th century converged on Chaco Canyon (now New Mexico) and built a flourishing cultural center that attracted pilgrims from far and wide, a vital crossroads of the prehistoric world. The Anasazis' accomplishments - in agriculture, in art, in commerce, in architecture and engineering - were astounding, rivaling those of the Mayans in distant Central America. By the 13th century, however, the Anasazi were gone from Chaco. Vanished. What was it - drought? pestilence? war? forced migration? mass murder or suicide? Craig Childs…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in American cuisine, Mexico, and Southwestern United States?

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