The first time I met Lisa Fain came as a bit of a surprise, standing outside the door of an apartment building in Brooklyn about a year ago, on my way up to a potluck where I’d go on to meet a lot of amazing people for the first time. Deb and Jaden were there, but I’d met them both before. Silvana, who I was also meeting for the first time, was throwing the party for the publication of Shauna’s new cookbook. The interesting thing was that even though I’d been working with Shauna on her cookbook for more than a year, this was our first time meeting face to face. She was there with Danny and Lu, and it was the start of something amazing. I met Jennie and Mikey that night for the first time. Erika, what a sweetheart — it was my first time meeting her too. And of course Maggy. What can I say besides that I’m so happy Maggy lives here in NYC, because I’d go into withdrawal if I didn’t get to see her regularly. But this post is about Lisa and her amazing new book, The Homesick Texan Cookbook.
She calls this Carne Guisada. Now I have to talk to Lisa because mine, though it turned out wonderfully, doesn’t look much like the photo in the book. Basically the meat shredded, and it was too tough to eat before that happened. My suggestion if you buy the book is to cook it for however long it takes until you’re happy with the texture. The juices will cook way down, and the meat will be perfectly juicy.
These are Mexican Chocolate chewies, spiced up a little with chipotle chili powder and cinnamon. I’d go a bit more heavy-handed on the chili powder next time, I boosted the salt a bit, and something tells me you can’t go wrong. They’re loaded with pecans and chocolate chips, there is no flour, and they’re made mostly from egg whites, but I wouldn’t compare these to meringues. They’re more like a praline, but still something different and awesome.
I brought both the guisida and chewies to another potluck, this time in Long Island City, thrown by Jess and Lon. Jackie, Mark, Jen, and Jacquie were there, along with a few new friends. The ribs were outrageously good. So was Jackie’s dish with the okra on top. In fact it was a perfect assortment of food, not to mention enough for at least double the number of people we had there. Food bloggers take their potlucks seriously, and my stomach is very thankful for that.