Monday, June 18, 2012

Win a copy of 'The Truck Food Cookbook' by John T. Edge

John T. Edge will talk about his new book, The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth St., in Durham. The Only Burger food truck, which is featured in the book, will be selling food outside, and Fullsteam will be selling beer inside.
Want to win a copy of his new book? Comment below about your favorite food truck and register (at top right) to receive Eating My Words by email by 4 p.m. Wednesday. The winner will be selected randomly. If you attend the event you can claim it there; if not, it will be *mailed. (*Must have U.S. address if mailing is necessary.)

John T. Edge (Photos (c) Angie Moser)
Food truck culture is fairly new to Raleigh, where wrangling over local ordinances led to a popular presence and fan base developing first in Durham. But the phenomenon of stand-up dining is well established in both major U.S. cities and street corners around the globe, where it sometimes fares better and is more responsive to consumer demand than traditional brick-and-mortar establishments.

Where carts once offered little more than hot dogs and pretzels, full-outfitted truck now provide freshly-made fare that combines a globally-inspired culinary sensibility with the best of local and seasonal food stuffs. Their popularity have even inspired competitive cooking shows on TV, and Durham's popular and award-winning Only Burger was a runner-up on Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race.

Only Burger's fame is on the rise with its inclusion on The Food Truck Cookbook by John T. Edge, a food culture chronicler and one-time owner of a Dunce Dogs, a hot dog stand in Oxford, Miss, where he is director of the Southern Foodways Alliance (SFA) at the University of Mississippi.

Edge's insights and engaging writing style has earned one win and five James Beard Award nominations. He also writes the United Tastes column for the New York Times and is a frequent contributor to the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and NPR's All Things Considered.

The book's 150 recipes serve as testament to the creative diversity on food truck operating across the country. Examples range from Morrocan Chicken Crepes and Fried Yucca with Garlic-Cilantro Sauce to Waffle Breakfast Tacos and Tamarind-Glazed Fried Chick Drummettes. 

North Carolina is well represented by Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Meringue by Daisycakes, also of Durham, and one of Only Burger's most popular menu options, the messy but fabulous Morning Burger.

Morning Burger by Durham's Only Burger.

Only Burger's Morning Burger
Reprinted with permission of Workman Press (c) 2012 from The Food Truck Cookbook by John T. Edge.

Makes 4 burgers.

4 hamburger buns
1 cup pimento cheese (recipe follows)
1 pound ground chuck
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
8 slices Fried Green Tomatoes (recipe follows)

1. Toast the hamburger buns. Spread pimento cheese on the top and bottom halves of the buns. Set the buns aside.
2. Place the ground chuck, salt and pepper in a bowl and knead them gently with your hands until blended, Divide the meat mixture into 4 even portions and form each into a patty.
3. Heavy a heavy skillet or griddle pan over medium-high heat for 1 or 2 minutes. Place the patties in the skillet and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
4. While the burgers are cooking, crack the eggs into a separate nonstick skillet and cook them sunny-side up over medium heat until all of the egg white are cooked but the yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes.
5. To assemble the burger, place a burger on the bottom half of each bun. Top each with a fried egg, 2 slices of Fried Green Tomato, and the top half of the bun.

Pimento Cheese
If you make the pimento cheese in advance and refrigerate it, remove it about 10 minutes before using..

1-1/2 pounds extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 jar (4 ounce) pimentos, drained and diced
1 small serrano pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 tablespoon or more to taste)
1/3 cup mayonnaise, or more if you like a creamier consistency
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Place the cheese, pimentos, serrano pepper, mayonnaise, black pepper and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir them together using a large spoon until a spreadable paste forms. If you are not going to use the pimento cheese immediately, place it in a an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 1 week.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Don't reserve these just for burgers.

2 large or medium-size firm green tomatoes
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups canola or peanut oil, for frying

1. Cut the tomatoes into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Place the egg and milk in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Combine the panko and salt in a separate shallow bowl or on a plate.
2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet or deep sautee pan over medium-high heat until it pops loudly when a few drops or water are tossed in.
3. Dip the tomato slices into the egg mixture and then in the panko, turning to coat them all over. Being careful to not crowd the skillet, carefully add the tomato slices to the hot oil and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the tomato slices to paper towels to drain.


  1. My current favorite Durham food truck is KoKyu BBQ - the marriage of takos (their spelling) and asian flavors with slow cooked meats is hard to beat. A close second is Chirba Chirba dumplings. Do I win the book? :)

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  3. A winner will be picked after 4pm Wednesday. Please be sure to sign up for Eating My Words at top right of the page!

  4. My favorite is Chirba Chirba - Love those dumplings!

  5. Wow, it's really hard to choose just one, but if you push me than right now it's The Parlour Ice cream truck. I love the fact that they use local ingredients in their ice cream!

  6. Congrats to JamieN! I've had a work sitaution that might affect my plans to attend tonight, so please be sure to send your mailing address.