For anyone who has ever dreamed of entertaining like royalty, dream no more. Texas’ own “Enchilada Queen,” chef and restaurateur Sylvia Casares, has provided the way to share her reign in every kitchen. “The Enchilada Queen Cookbook” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $27.99) is a beautifully illustrated, hardback book in which Sylvia shares 80 recipes for enchiladas, fajitas, breakfast dishes and classic side dishes based on the ones that madres and abuelas have passed down from one generation to the next in the border towns along the Rio Grande. It even includes a helpful list of resources for finding ingredients like Mexican spices and dried chilies if they’re not readily available. Written with Dallas food writer Dotty Griffith, Sylvia’s book shares the secrets, flavor-changing tricks, shortcuts and techniques for making the unbelievably delicious Tex-Mex dishes that make her Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen restaurants among the “Top 10 Great Mexican Restaurants” in the United States (USA Today). Providing recipes from drinks to desserts and everything in between, “The Enchilada Queen Cookbook” is, as Publishers Weekly wrote, “…the only Tex-Mex cookbook you’ll ever need.”
About the Author:
Sylvia Casares with Dotty Griffith
When it comes to claiming the crown for Houston’s enchilada kingdom, the game of thrones is every bit as long-running, hard-fought and skillfully-won as any mythical world seen regularly on television. Fortunately for Houston, the throne of Enchilada Queen is not in dispute. For nearly 18 years and for many more to come, Sylvia Casares has worn the crown and wears it well. With her passion for the humble enchilada and Tex-Mex food in general (she’s also been anointed the Tex-Mex Queen), fans began calling her the Enchilada Queen soon after she opened Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in far West Houston in 1998. Now with two restaurants and 18 varieties of enchiladas on the menu, the crown has a permanent fit and the number of fans who bestow it far more than tripled. Sylvia was born on the Texas-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas, and grew up with an acute interest in food, flavors and taste. When it was time to choose a career, she headed to the University of Texas where she graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics. Her first job out of college was as a Home Economist with Uncle Ben’s Rice where worked for 10 years. In 1998, after a stint selling food items to restaurants, Sylvia opened her first solely owned restaurant in far west Houston. It was a difficult place to find, so adopted the slogan, “Enchiladas to drive for.” Of course people were making the trip for more than enchiladas. The restaurant got outstanding reviews on everything from her grilled meats and chili rellenos to her flautas and tres leches. Over the years she closed the original, but not before opening other locations. She now has two, one of which is where this Enchilada Queen regularly holds court in the form of ongoing cooking classes, which include subjects from making enchiladas, chili rellenos, Tex-Mex sweets, South Texas grilling and even breakfasts. Another of her long-time dreams came true in 2016 when a debut cookbook, “The Enchilada Queen Cookbook” (St. Martin’s Griffin, $27.99), by her went on sale nationwide.