From the curb to your kitchen: New cookbook reveals mouthwatering recipes from America's best food trucks
18:26 GMT, 28 June 2012
A new cookbook inspired by America's food truck phenomenon brings the mouthwatering recipes from side-street vendors straight to your own kitchen.
Award-winning food writer John T Edge fell in love with street food in Vietnam, and decided to document America's own food truck revolution with a cross-country trip.
After visiting over 200 food trucks, he created The Truck Food Cookbook, devoted to recipes from the nation's best street-side vendors.
The Morning Burger: This recipe uses hormone-free beef, topped with pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and egg, popular at food trucks in South America
Mr Edge’s American tour took him to the nation’s biggest food-truck
hubs: Portland, San Francisco, Austin and of course, New York City.
At each stop, the Oxford, Mississippi native gathered stories and recipes from food truck vendors, including New York favorites Wafels & Dinges, NYC Cravings and the Biryani Cart.
He told MailOnline he concentrated on cities that already had esteemed food reputations, and then sought out a mix of old-guard vendors and new, and then looked for distinctive stories.
Taiwanese Fried Chicken: The famous recipe inspired by the New York City Cravings truck
'I’m just as interested in the story behind the food as I am in the recipe,' he explained.
He added that what makes side-street eating so interesting, is the unique and imaginative ways vendors market their product.
An example is New York's famous Big
Gay Ice Cream truck which sells cones topped with curried coconut
flakes, wasabi pea dust or dulce de leche and sea salt.
Mr Edge said: 'Street food is theater. It's not just about great food.'
Famed food trucks: Wafels & Dinges in New York is one of many well-known side-street vendors flocked to by locals and tourists alike
When asked to pick his favorite food truck, he revealed it was Portland that really grabbed his taste-buds.
He said: 'I have lots of favorites.
Heck, the book is my best attempt to whittle down those 200-plus list
into a roster of favorites.
Mouthwatering: The Food Truck Cookbook contains recipes from hundreds of mobile vendors in the U.S.
'All that said, I'm really found of Swamp Shack in Portland, where, while researching the book, I ate a perfect Creole cream cheese-gorged crawfish pie.'
As for his favourite recipe in the book, he said if he had to decide, it would be fried green tomato salad from Chef Shack in Minneapolis.
'They use chickpea flour for the batter.'
While some of the recipes, such as Taiwanese fried chicken and carne asada tacos, sound complex, Mr Edge insists that his food truck-inspired dishes are easy for home kitchens because they only consist of four to six ingredients.
He said: 'In a truck, you have to be efficient with your space as much as your time. And I think people want good food fast, but they don't want to eat fast food.'
'The recipes in the book range from cardamom-spiced donuts to Brussels sprouts. I'm not going to claim this is a spa cuisine cookbook. But it's also not all deep-fried stunt food, either.'
THE FOOD TRUCK COOKBOOK'S RECIPE FOR FRIED GREEN TOMATO SALAD
Fried Green Tomato Salad
1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts peanut or canola oil, for frying1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/2 cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour1 teaspoon salt1 1/2 cups seltzer water2 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick4 large handfuls of mixed salad greens
1. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the shallot, vinegar, mustard, salt, and the olive oil in a small, tightly sealed jar and shake vigorously. Taste for seasoning, adding pepper to taste. Set the vinaigrette aside.
2. Prepare the tomatoes: Heat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a deep fry thermometer attached to the side of the pot registers 325F.
Combine the all-purpose flour, chickpea flour, salt, and seltzer water in a mixing bowl.
Dip the green tomato slices in the batter to coat and carefully place them in the hot oil. Cook the tomatoes, turning them once, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes to paper towels to drain.
3. Toss the mixed salad greens with the vinaigrette and divide the greens evenly among 4 plates.
Top each plate of greens with 2 or 3 fried green tomato slices and serve.