Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking
The host of a highly popular PBS series, Pati’s Mexican Table, and a self-described “overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender,” Pati Jinich has a mission. She’s out to prove that Mexican home cooking is quicker and far easier than most Americans think. Her dishes are not blanketed with cheese, or heavy and fried, or based on complex sauces. Nor are they necessarily highly spicy. Surprising in their simplicity and freshness, they incorporate produce and grains. Most important, they fit perfectly into an everyday family cooking schedule and use just a handful of ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. Many are homey specialties that Pati learned from her mother and grandmother, some are creative spins on classics, while others are not well known outside of Mexico.
Dishes like Chicken à la Trash (a one-pot meal that Pati gleaned from a Mexican restaurant cook), Mexican Meatballs with Mint and Chipotle, Sweet and Salty Salmon, and Mexican-Style Pasta can revitalize your daily repertoire. You’ll find plenty of vegetarian fare, from Classic Avocado Soup to Divorced Eggs (with red and green salsa) to Oaxaca-Style Mushroom and Cheese Quesadillas. Pati’s dishes for the holidays and other special occasions include Mexican Thanksgiving Turkey with Chorizo, Pecan, Apple, and Corn Bread Stuffing; Spiral-Cut Beef Tenderloin; and Red Pozole (“a Mexican party in a bowl”), which she served on her wedding day. Desserts like Triple Orange Mexican Wedding Cookies, Scribble Cookies (sandwich cookies filled with chocolate), and little Apricot-Lime Glazed Mini Pound Cakes are sophisticated yet simple to make.
on Pati’s Mexican Table:
Often, my first thought about a cookbook author is: “What are her street creds? Why should I trust her to know about these recipes?” Pati Jinich answers these questions first thing, in her Introduction: “I didn’t set out to be an obsessed food professional, but I’m a Jewish-Mexican mother, so the obsessive part comes naturally. Originally I trained as an academic and got a job in Washington, D.C., at a policy think tank, where I focused on Mexican politics and history. Eventually, though, I listened to my husband, who kept asking why I persisted in working there when all I talked about were the foods of Mexico, and all I did in my spare time was cook.” That’s good enough street creds for me. I don’t even care about her experience as a food writer, cooking teacher, or TV show host.
The other bonus for me? Pati’s emphasis on simple. She notes that many of her dishes are even tastier when made ahead, adding to their convenience. She gives a “Mexican Cook’s Tip” for most recipes, and the cookbook is sprinkled liberally with green boxes highlighting need-to-know topics: Mexican Chorizo; Cooking Beans; Corn versus Flour Tortillas; Chipotles in Adobo Sauce; How to Buy an Avocado (did you realize that the Mexican Hass avocado tree is always in season?). When I’m looking to cook Mexican food at home, I need to know about chorizo, beans, and tortillas. BTW, have you heard of Maggi seasoning sauce, the Swiss sauce used in Mexican dishes to add umami in everything from salsa to beer? I never had. That’s just one of the insider tips you’ll find in Pati’s Mexican Table.
For more insider tips, scroll down below and enter to win your own copy of Pati’s Mexican Table, thanks to the generosity of publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Cookbook Basics:
Hardcover (8.2 x 10.1 inches); Kindle edition
288 pages; color photos (of many recipes)
Chapters and sections: Salsas, Pickles, and Guacamole; Salads; Soups; Anytime Vegetarian; Seafood; Poultry; Meat; Sides; Desserts; Drinks
Pati’s Mexican Table TV show: http://www.patismexicantable.com/tvshow/
Cookbook website: Pati’s Mexican Table
There are six ways to enter the giveaway, but it’s not necessary to do all six entries. Choose whichever one(s) you like, and you’ll be entered in the giveaway. The winner, to be randomly selected and notified by e-mail, must claim the cookbook within one week. Giveaway ends at midnight (EST) on Wednesday, May 15.