Lisa Fain – The Homesick Texan Cookbook

Imagine hot cheesy enchiladas topped with spicy beef chili, sprinkled with chopped onions. Now think of strips of fried tortillas cooked with an ancho and tomatillo salsa and scrambled eggs. How about corn chowder with roasted jalapeños and bacon? Now finish with a little peach cobbler or pecan coffee cake. Do I have your attention yet?


Because if you love these flavors as much as I do, you need to get yourself a copy of Lisa Fain’s The Homesick Texan Cookbook. Do you know Lisa Fain? A 7th-generation Texan transplanted to New York City, Lisa writes the popular Homesick Texan food blog. Lisa has been delighting us for years with homespun stories of her upbringing in Texas, favorite Texas recipes, and beautiful photography. Now she’s created a gem of a book, putting into print what we’ve so come to love through her blog.

Lisa’s carne guisada, a Tex-Mex beef stew

Paging through the cookbook, practically every recipe is one that jumps out at me to make. Oh, I wanna make that. Oh this one too. Oh, that one looks good. Chicken-fried steak. Biscuits and gravy. Chile con queso. When I saw Lisa’s recipe for Carne Guisada, a Tex-Mex beef stew, I had to make it. Best. Taco. Meat. Ever. Thank goodness there are plenty of big appetites around here or I would be tempted to eat the entire batch myself.


Lisa’s Texas Caviar, a salad made with black-eyed peas, cilantro, green onions, bell pepper, and tomatoes, is supposed to chill for several hours before serving, to let the flavors blend. Hah! Most of it never made it past the half hour.

If you check out the “Click to Look Inside” feature on the book photo on you’ll find previews of many pages from the book, including a complete table of contents and index. One of the most useful features of the book actually is the first chapter on ingredients, where Lisa describes the different types of chiles, herbs, and equipment she uses to make the recipes.

If you are searching for a cookbook for a chili, or chile, loving friend, consider this book. Even if you aren’t from Texas, Lisa Fain’s The Homesick Texan Cookbook will leave you wishing you were.


  1. Sarah

    That cookbook looks delicious! I just requested it at my library. I can’t wait to get it.

  2. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

    I’ve already been lusting after this cookbook — it looks SO perfect for me. I can’t wait to grab it!

  3. Jerry (CbsoP)

    Agreed! I bought it a little over a month ago. I had to put it down and wait until we’re back in the lower 48 so I can get the ingredients. The recipes are amazing, the photography is amazing and I can’t wait to try her mexican rice recipe.

  4. allykins99

    I have been enjoying her blog for several years and I am happy her cookbook for getting attention. As a native Texan, she really captures all of the nuances of Texas cuisine – especially Tex-Mex!

  5. dogtrot

    looks real good.
    as a fellow homesick southerner, i have 2 tips essential to good chicken fried steak for n00bies:
    1. after the egg and flour dredge, let it rest in the fridge for 15-25 mins, this allows the flour to have time to suck up the egg moisture and will help your coating stick better to the meat. if the fry peels off your meat, that’s a sign it twernt done right.
    2. DO NOT fry your chicken fried steak in oil, ever. use lard, bacon fat, or my preference, butter at a reasonable temperature (clarified butter and you can get it hotter). it doesnt need to be any depth level, no halfway up the sides of the skillet, bottom of the pan is perfectly fine, trust me. i’m vehemently against oil for this dish because you will be making gravy from the drippings and gravy made from oil is freaking disgusting.
    good luck peeps!!! it’s all love!!!

  6. Lisa

    Thank you, Elise! As for the Texas caviar, I’ve been there. A friend asked me to bring some to a potluck, but I had to make two batches because I couldn’t stop eating the first one. I’m biased but I agree that it’s good stuff!

  7. stephanie @ providence handmade

    I adore her recipes! Can’t wait to get my hands on this cookbook. :)

  8. Garrett

    Just ordered my copy. ;)

  9. kkmack

    I follow two food blogs daily … this one and Homesick Texan. Both blogs provide me with inspiration and recipes that make me look like a pro! Afraid to order the cookbook as I will never put it down! ;)

  10. Farmageddon

    I’m down in Houston and I just bought a copy for my sister who lives in Los Angeles. She’s always complaining about the food in LA, so I figured this would be the perfect XMAS gift for her. I bought an extra copy to have around the house or use in a gift swap. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. Novelismo

    Don’t we all love Lisa Fain? She has been on my reading list for years. And at last she has a cookbook! As for the commenter whose sister complains about the food in LA — I mostly agree … however, it might be easier to find a good reasonably priced meal in New York City. And I believe El Parillan might help console the sister. “Como hay solo uno Mexico, hay sol uno El Parillan.” There’s good parking in back, and they’re friendly, though the bars on the front window may make you nervous. At first. 1528 West Pico Boulevard, down near the Staples Center. It’s possible to get better tacos … I suppose … somewhere … in Texas, maybe? My congratulations to The Homesick Texan! Thank you …

  12. Sara

    Thanks Elise for introducing me to this book and blog! This is going to be the perfect gift for my boyfriend, who is a native Texan and just this spring bravely moved to New York with me.

  13. Aly ~ Cooking In Stilettos

    What’s funny is that I bought this cookbook on a whim and I’ve been really impressed with not only the recipes, but the photography and how stunning it is! I think this might be put into use in 2012 in my household :)

  14. Natalie

    I stumbled onto Lisa’s blog a while ago when looking for a recipe for flour tortillas. I am from Texas and have lived in CA for several years. I’ve made flour tortillas before but no, they were never like the ones at Tex-Mex restaurants back home. She explains why! I tried her recipe and they were amazing!
    It’s the only way I make flour tortillas now. You want to know how? Guess you have to buy the book!

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