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Matt Martinez's Culinary Frontier Hardcover – September 14, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (September 14, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385485069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385485067
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Reading Matt Martinez's Culinary Frontier is like digging into heaps of the best food you've ever eaten while listening as a kicked-back, sleepy-eyed hombre tells you how his Mexican grandfather fled to the U.S. to escape hanging, then started the first Tex-Mex restaurant in Austin, Texas. Martinez, who spices up his volume with old family photos, talks about feeding the local politicians and famous sports figures who come through town. You want him to keep talking while you keep eating.

Martinez practices true cowboy and prairie cooking. He claims that all dishes can be prepared in a cast-iron skillet. He believes in lard and homemade chorizo, but also cooks lean food. Carne Gasado, an elemental chicken stew, Matt's Jalapeno Coleslaw, and creamy King Ranch Casserole made with sirloin are evidence of his cooking style. Catch the recipes for smoky and hot Chipotle Sauce, unusual Corn Tortilla Quesadillas, and incendiary Prairie Mary Cocktail. If you get to Dallas, the Smoked Baked Potato served at Matt's No Place, one of the four restaurants Martinez has in Texas, is an experience long remembered. Thanks to Culinary Frontier, you can try to duplicate it at home.

From the Publisher

Matt Martinez, Jr., has his paternal grandfather to thank for his culinary success. A soldier in Pancho Villa's army, Delphino Martinez was captured by the Federales, but managed to escape across the Texas border, and eventually open, in 1925, Austin's first Tex-Mex restaurant, called El Original. The Martinez family has been in the restaurant business ever since.

In Matt Martinez'S Culinary Frontier, Matt has gathered all of the recipes that are closest to his heart, for cooking "the way it's been done in the Southwest since the days of the vaqueros and real cowboys, whose cast-iron skillets were used and used and used some more." Here you will find classics for every time of day, from breakfast Huevos Rancheros (as they were served to young Matt in the kitchen by his maternal grandmother) to Matt's Competition Chili (Chili, he claims, originated in San Antonio in the 1900s, and he has the story to prove it.), to Chile Rellenos (Lyndon Johnson's favorite), to Standard South Texas Fried Chicken (which his mother served at Matt's El Rancho from the day it opened in 1952) to Early Texas Chicken Fried Steak. And for each recipe there's a story, of Matt, his family, or of the dish itself. Not only are Matt's recipes easy and delicious, they are authentic and untouched by modern trends. As Matt says, "Dancing with the one that brung us has always been a rule of thumb in Texas. Staying close to what you hold dear, to what makes your little ol' heart pitter-patter, is what this cookbook is all about."


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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The stories are fun and interesting as well.
Gee Gee
I have purchased all of Matt Martinez's cookbooks due to my love of his restaurants.
Dawn McCain
My brother-in-law grew up with Matt and gave me a signed copy for my collection.
C. Hines

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LouStamm@aol.com on July 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is a simple to use, easy to read, enjoyable cook book that is not only a pleasure to work out of, but is intresting and fun to read.
The recepies are straight forward, Martha Stewart would hate this book.
For years I have been tring to make enchalidas for my family without them having the consistantly of tree bark. Matt has shown me how to share the recipies I enjoyed so much growing up in Texas to my family being raised in New York City.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Great recipes. Great stories. The #1 authority on Tex-Mex Cooking in America. A "Best Buy" book for yourself or gift.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dawn McCain on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased all of Matt Martinez's cookbooks due to my love of his restaurants. My husband and I drive from Houston to Austin about every 6 weeks just to eat at "Matt's Famous El Rancho" Restaurant. I purchased his cookbooks to make some of our favorites at home and while the receipes are great and everything made from his cookbooks is delicious and easy to prepare, it doesn't compare to the experience of going to one of his restaurants! It does give me a quick fix when I have a hankering for good tex-mex until we can make the roadtrip back to Austin to get the real thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Texas Chick on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was first introduced to Matt's family restaurant, El Rancho, in Austin 20 years ago during college and still make a point of going there when visiting. I grew up in TX and now live in the wilds of NJ with nary a Tex-Mex joint in sight - or within a days drive. I can make the very simple recipes from this book, close my eyes and feel like I'm home again. After making several of these dishes for a very Italian NY friend of mine she demanded I spend an afternoon showing her how to make her favorites from this book. Very high praise indeed.

If you are interested in Tex-Mex cooking, do yourself a favor and buy this book. You won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. J. King on August 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
After enjoying one of the best mexican meals we've ever eaten at "Matt's Famous El Rancho Restaurant" in Austin, my wife just had to have the cookbooks. This is the 1st in a series of 3 cookbooks, that we are aware of, by Matt Martinez Jr., whose grandfather opened the very first Tex-Mex restautant in Austin, "El Original", and whose father, Matt Martinez Sr., opened El Rancho, Austin's most popular. . Along with many delicious and authentic recipes, this book has lots of interesting family stories and the history and evolution of "Tex-Mex" cusine. While all 3 books are good,her favorite, by far, is his newest "MexTex: Traditional Tex-Mex Taste".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nervous Pervis on September 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've owned this cookbook since around the time it was released and still use it. The recipes are generally easy and very delicious. I really like Matt's Big Time Eatin' Chili.
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