COOKING & FOOD

Treasures of the Mexican Table: Classic Recipes, Local Secrets

Mariner. Nov. 2021. 416p. ISBN 9780358086765. $35. COOKING
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Mexico City–born, Maryland-based chef Jinich (host of the James Beard Award–winning, Emmy-nominated PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table) offers an extensive collection of regional Mexican regional recipes, with a focus on lesser-known flavors and techniques. Recipes include a variety of soups, salsas and sauces, rice and pasta dishes, entrées using a variety of proteins, salads and vegetables, and desserts. Some of the recipes have lengthy ingredient lists, for which Jinich often suggests substitutions, as she does on her show. Note that while definitely intended for the home cook, these are not generally fast weeknight dishes. A single recipe often calls for several kinds of chilies, and a blender is a key piece of equipment. Extensive headnotes contextualize each recipe and create the sense that Jinich is conversing directly with readers. The gorgeous close-up photography is a bonus.
VERDICT For home cooks looking for recipes that go beyond Tex-Mex, Jinich’s cookbook offers delicious insights about the rich and varied culinary culture of Mexico. Longtime viewers of her PBS cooking show will be drawn in, as will new fans.
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