I just got my hands on a copy of the Trailer Food Diaries Cookbook: Houston Edition, Volume 1 here in the office, and good luck getting anything useful out of me the rest of the day. Now I can't wait for 6 p.m. when I can go home and try some of the recipes!
Austin-based author and food truck-lover Tiffany Harelik ("rhymes with garlic") released the first volume of recipes from Houston food trucks in early August, and she's already produced two volumes of Austin food truck recipes, a Portland cookbook and a Dallas/Fort Worth cookbook. The Houston cookbook is labeled "Volume 1," so we can only assume there are more to come. The Houston edition is available online and at Barnes and Noble.
For the cookbook, Harelik profiled 23 local trucks and got to know the chefs and owners who taught her some of their tricks of the trade. She also got guidance from her friend Jae Kim of Chi'Lantro BBQ and "local food truck authorities" Debra Ford, Paul Galvani, Rebecca Masson and Mai Pham, a frequent EOW contributor.
With the help of these locals and the Haute Wheels Festival, Harelik learned that, "Houston food truck fans are devoted followers who are serious about their street food cravings."
The book is divided into four recipe categories: Sauces and Spreads; Appetizers, Sides and Small Plates; Handhelds; and Sweets. The book also contains histories of the food trucks that are profiled and four "Ask A Local" sections in which Houston foodies discuss the role of food trucks in town and their personal favorites. Bernie's Burger Bus, H-town strEATS, Phamily Bites and Eatsie Boys get a lot of love from those interviewed (though not all are profiled in the book).
Some of the recipes I can't wait to try include:
- Chimichurri Sauce from Stick It
- Apple Horseradish Slaw from Good Dog Hot Dogs
- Bernie's Pickles from Bernie's Burger Bus
- Homemade Kimchi from Coreanos
- Fried Avocado Taco from H-town strEATs
- Veggie Burger from Fraiche
- Pineapple Jalapeño Italian Soda from Snow Cone Angels
- Brownies from Frosted Betty
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Each of the recipes includes beautiful photographs of the food and the truck, as well as interviews with the owners, who dish on their own favorite food trucks and what it's like to be in the food truck business.
It's a wonderfully designed book with great interviews and easy to follow recipes. My only complaint is that the 40 recipes come from 23 food trucks, so there are a lot of overlaps in the trucks that are highlighted. And of course, any time a book focuses on only a certain number of food trucks, there will be favorites left out. Where's the Waffle Bus? Where's Eatsie Boys? Where are Muishi Makirritos and Phamily Bites?
I suppose those will be in Volume 2, and these recipes are certainly enough to keep me busy for now.
So, Ms. Harelik, we're glad you liked our food, but you're far from done here! Come back soon and check out more of our awesome trucks. As you can probably tell, we're pretty proud of 'em.