HOUSTON, TX — (EINPresswire) — Adán Medrano is going vegan and vegetarian for his new history and cookbook. He is hard at work in his Houston test kitchen, cooking recipes and ingredients that uncover the indigenous plant-based traditions of Texas and northeastern Mexico.
When he’s not in the kitchen, he is driving across the state to research the landscape and ingredients that for centuries gave rise to plant-based cooking. He is also interviewing contemporary cooks and gardeners. His new book will follow the same format as his two previous award-winning books. It will be a combination of meticulously researched history and over 100 recipes with detailed instructions.
Medrano trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has won accolades for his two recent history and cookbooks that celebrate the Native American foods of Texas and northeastern Mexico. They were published by Texas Tech University Press as part of the academic series, “The Grover E. Murray Studies In The American Southwest.”
With recipes and history, Medrano documents the style of cooking known in the region as “Comida Casera,” home-style cooking of Mexican American families. His first book, “Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage In Recipes,” was made into a documentary feature film of the same title that was picked up by Amazon and is streaming as an Amazon Prime Video.
The turn towards plant-based cooking is a natural one for Medrano because it is based on actual history and cooking traditions that were partially lost but can be recovered. He says that “it was mainly plants that our ancestors cooked in earth ovens.” Medrano has been interviewing archaeologists at various Texas universities.
One of the scholars Medrano interviewed is Dr. Steve Black, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Archeological Society. Dr. Black says about Texas Native American cooking that “over time, the last 10,000, years there is abundant evidence that they focused on plants.”
As Medrano travels throughout the state and then returns to his kitchen for cooking and testing, it’s all about good flavor and enjoyment. “The dishes have to look and taste delicious,” he says. He is working with well-known ingredients such as sunflower seeds, cactus, mesquite, pecans, corn, beans, squash, and black walnuts. But he will also introduce foods that have become unknown and no longer cooked, like acorns, amaranth, Jerusalem artichoke, and tubers like wild onion and cattail.
Medrano’s research will also result in a documentary series that will accompany the book. The video series will be produced by JM Media, LLC, with the same film production team that produced his award-winning documentary, “Truly Texas Mexican.”
He says, enthusiastically, “The discovery of our Plant-Based traditions will blow your mind!”
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