For nearly half a century, Texas Monthly has chronicled almost every aspect of our state’s food culture, from fine-dining restaurant reviews and culinary histories to expansive recipe collections and statewide roundups of barbecue, tacos, burgers, and more. As we approach our fiftieth anniversary, in February 2023, it seems there’s no better time to publish our first cookbook. And even though we feel as if we’ve barely scratched the surface of the Lone Star State’s dynamic cuisine, what else could we call this ambitious tome but The Big Texas Cookbook?
A collaboration with Harper Wave, this compilation of recipes includes old favorites from the pages of Texas Monthly; contributions from some of our state’s best chefs, pitmasters, and taqueros; and even a few treasured family recipes from magazine staffers. From classic to contemporary, we’ve got your grilled ribeye, chili, and chicken-fried steak, as well as Viet-Cajun crawfish, brisket empanadas, and a fried-chicken-liver po’boy. When it comes to food, Texas is a true melting pot, a hearty stew as rich and complex as a Cajun seafood gumbo, a Haitian soup joumou, or a chicken pozole verde. And don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten breakfast (biscuits and gravy!) or cocktails (margaritas!).
Mixed in here and there are the kinds of stories we love to tell at Texas Monthly—nostalgic odes, amusing explainers, heartfelt homages—all filtered through the lens of our food traditions. As our longtime food editor and critic Patricia Sharpe once wrote, “Food is about many things—nourishment, pleasure, and culture among them—but it’s also about recognizing who you are, and why.” Whether it’s the glossy Texas sheet cake, poppy seed kolache, or San Antonio–style puffy taco that catches your eye, we sincerely hope you recognize yourself and your family in these pages.