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.
Surprising in their simplicity and freshness, her recipes 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 (it’s delicious!), 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.
Your friends and family will enjoy Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Pickled Ancho Chile Vinaigrette; Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli; and Chicken Tinga — (you can use rotisserie chicken), which makes a tasty filling for tortas and tostadas. Pati also shares exciting dishes for the holidays and other special occasions, including 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.
Jinich, the star of the national PBS cooking show Pati's Mexican Table, is an academic who formerly worked in Washington, D.C., at a policy think tank. Jinich, who is Jewish-Mexican and grew up in Mexico City, switched careers because of her overwhelming passion for food, specifically Mexican food. "Mexican home cooking is beautiful in its simplicity, tremendously convenient, and wholesome," she says. Jinich accomplishes her goal and does an excellent job of inspiring home cooks to make dishes from her native country in her first cookbook. Alongside her recipes, which she says "have come to my table from many paths," she shares Mexican cook's tricks lessons passed down from generation to generation in her family: for example, how to control chile heat. The book is filled with bright, fresh flavors and dishes that are wonderful in their simplicity. Classics like pico de gallo are joined by Yucatan-style pickled red onions. Salads are vivid, such as watermelon and tomatillo salad with feta cheese and jicama, beet, orange, and caramelized peanut Christmas salad. The "Anytime Vegetarian" chapter gives readers delicious meatless options, like the plantain and refried bean quesadillas. Equally enticing are shrimp croquettes in tomato broth; sticky chicken with apricots, tamarind, and chipotle; and shredded pork in ancho-orange sauce.
So happy this book is coming out!
After searching for a recipe book by her (Pati), and being disappointed she didn't have one, so glad it's coming out! I love her show on PBS and the simplicity of her recipes and techniques. It's refreshing to see a cooking show that isn't all fluff like the Food Network's shows are nowadays. The fact she doesn't have an in-studio audience ooh-ing and aw-ing at the flip of a switch is definitely a bonus. If you like simple, delicious, homely meals I think you'll be in for a treat!