The Gracias Madre Cookbook: Bright, Plant-Based Recipes from Our Mexi-Cali Kitchen

Avery. Aug. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9780593084229. $35. COOKING
Cookbook developer Rachel Holtzman (The Smitten Kitchen; The Lost Kitchen) has collaborated with Gracias Madre, a San Francisco Mexi-Cali-influenced restaurant, to bring its vegan offerings to the home chef. The founders visited the villages of employees all over Mexico—Hidalgo, Jalisco, Oxkutzcab, Oaxaca, Chihuahua, Yucatán—and brought back the best of each region’s culinary traditions to the Gracias Madre table, with a vegan diet top of mind. Recipes include easily accessible meat and dairy substitutes, making it possible to put traditional empanadas, nachos, tortas, and more on the vegan table. Chapters six and seven, highlighting quesos and cremas and salsas and moles, provide everything needed to dip, dunk, sauce, and douse all the way to the final beverages chapter (tequila Paloma, anyone?). The photography by Lisa Romerein is outstanding.
VERDICT What this cookbook does best is offer a fresh and bright Cali-style vegan spin on Mexican recipes such as watermelon gazpacho, Coconut Madre Tacos, and tiramisu con mezcal, elevating taste and appeal.
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