A study in memory, connection, and the sumptuous possibilities of traditional cuisine
I was about 6 years old, crouched at the table, watching amá make tortillas by hand, enjoying the aroma and rhythm of it all. She was fast. As the pile grew taller, I wondered how many she’d made--so fast. I reached over and practicing the arithmetic I was learning at school, began adding them up. She stopped me, admonishing, “Don’t count the tortillas.”
Over the years, I’ve remembered her voice, her inflection, that stack of corn tortillas, and I’ve learned the many meanings of that dicho. [It has] guided me toward an understanding that cooking . . . is about elemental connectedness and generosity . . . . It is art. --From the introduction
From an early age, Chef Adán Medrano understood the power of cooking to enthrall, to grant artistic agency, and to solidify identity as well as succor and hospitality. In this second cookbook, he documents and explains native ingredients, traditional techniques, and innovations in casero (home-style) Mexican American cooking in Texas. “Don’t Count the Tortillas” offers over 100 kitchen-tested recipes, including newly created dishes that illustrate what is trending in homes and restaurants across Texas. Each recipe is followed by clear, step-by-step instructions, explanation of cooking techniques, and description of the dishes’ cultural context. Dozens of color photographs round out Chef Medrano’s encompassing of a rich indigenous history that turns on family and, more widely, on community—one bound by shared memories of the art that this book honors.
Chef and food writer Adán Medrano holds the Certificate in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Now living in Houston, he grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and northern Mexico, where he developed his expertise in the flavor profile and techniques of indigenous Texas Mexican foods. Medrano is also author of Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes.