Cooking Like a Homesick Texan – Part 1


This weekend, knowing I had ample time so I wouldn’t feel rushed, I decided to finally make an attempt to cook from The Homesick Texan Cookbook.

You are probably thinking, What?! She cooks?”

I don’t blame you after all the posts I’ve done about restaurants and dining out. It’s understandable that you might think that I don’t/can’t cook. But that’s just not the case. I’m still quite the novice and I’ve had some absolute disasters in the kitchen {just ask my husband}, but I do like to cook on a semi-regular basis.

I love coming up with wine pairings for all types of cuisine, but for some reason, I decided I wanted to pick up some Coronas instead. It’s summer and we’d be enjoying some Tex-Mex, so I thought it was only natural:

Poblanos ready for roasting, Coronas with lime and The Homesick Texan Cookbook

When it comes to beer, Corona is pretty much the only lager I’ll drink. And it can’t be done sans lime. I’m not so much into light beers either, but I suspected with Corona that it couldn’t make much of a difference. So I decided to do a side-by-side taste test. And I was right; there was no difference. Well, except for the approximately 50 calories per bottle, of course.

Earlier in the week, I asked Rob to thumb through The Homesick Texan and mark any dishes that looked good to him. I had already marked a few myself:

But I wanted him to have first pick of what I’d make. His choices?

Poblano Mac and Cheese


Sausage Balls

I told him that the Sausage Balls would have to wait. They are more of an appetizer and the recipe makes 36 balls. Rob is not one for leftovers, so I didn’t want those hanging around the house, or wasted. So, if you invite us to a party anytime soon, let me know if you’d like me to make them!

Still, I did have an idea.

When I was thumbing through the cookbook, I saw recipes for Mexican Chorizo. I can make my own chorizo?!” I thought. I looked at the ingredients and the instructions. It didn’t look too hard. That’s when the idea hit me: Rob loved the Adult Mac & Cheese with chiles and andouille at the Burnsville Ale House. I could add chorizo to this Poblano Mac and Cheese!

I know, I’m just Brilliant. Yes, with a capital B.

I thought these recipes would be a little labor-intensive {for me}, so I picked a night when I didn’t have anything planned to do after dinner. I didn’t want to feel hurried. I wanted to enjoy the cooking experience rather than be stressed out about it.

And I think that in total, without rushing and while taking plenty of sips of my Corona, making dinner from The Homesick Texan probably took me about an hour or so. And if I had made the chorizo in advance, the mac and cheese would have been even easier.

To make the Mexican Green Chorizo {aka Chorizo Verde}, I roasted an extra poblano, but also needed two serrano chiles. Luckily, I got a bunch in our CSA box last week:

CSA hot peppers

Yes, Featherstone Farm said they put “hot peppers” in the CSA box this week. How did I know they were serrano peppers? Well, I wasn’t completely sure. I’ve cooked with serranos before, but they do look very similar to jalapenos. However, they are five times hotter! Luckily, I had a leftover jalapeno from my CSA box the week before to compare:

jalapeno vs. serranos

I am grateful for the food processor I bought last year so I could whir together the roasted poblano, spinach, cilantro, serranos and spices:

spicy paste for green chorizo

All I had to do was mix that with some ground pork and cook it up:

Mexican Green Chorizo

Oh boy! The flavor in this chorizo! Talk about well-seasoned! I just made my own chorizo! Yeehaw!!!

Then I put together everything for the Poblano Mac and Cheese and popped it into the oven:

Poblano Mac and Cheese

When it came out of the oven, I served the Poblano Mac and Cheese with a crumbling of Cojita cheese and some of the Mexican Green Chorizo on the side. This way we could taste the mac and cheese without the chorizo first and then mix it in if we desired.

The Verdict?

I don’t think I’ve ever made anything this flavorful at home! Rob had a second helping later in the evening. I was quite proud of this dish and am excited for leftovers for lunch this week. I didn’t ask Rob how it compared to the Adult Mac & Cheese with andouille and chilies at the Burnsville Ale House. I didn’t want to risk bruising my ego. 😉

My only wish was that this Mac and Cheese was a bit creamier. However, this may have been my fault. Author Lisa Fain of The Homesick Texan recommended to add more milk, a little at a time, if when mixing the sauce, it got too think. I didn’t follow this advice because Rob doesn’t like runny, thin sauces. I decided to refrain. Perhaps if I added a little more milk, it would have been creamier?

Come back tomorrow to find out how I used up the rest of Chorizo Verde. I’d like to give a special shout out to Kat, who sent me the cookbook as a giveaway from her blog. She cooks from the book often and I’m often drooling over her photos. Thanks, Kat!

What new dish have you made lately that made your taste buds sing?


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