dinsdag 26 november 2013

Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking - Pati Jinich (Boek)

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 (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.

About the Author
Pati Jinich is the host of the popular PBS show Pati's Mexican Table and the official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute. She has appeared on the Food Network, NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s The Chew, CBS, Fox News, NPR, and The Splendid Table. She hosts live programs for the Smithsonian Institute and has cooked at the Blair House, the official guest house of the vice-president.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

SHOW UP IN MY KITCHEN ANY DAY OF THE YEAR, AND YOU’LL FIND SOFT CORN TORTILLAS, refried beans, at least two different salsas, the fresh Mexican cheese called queso fresco, ripe avocados, and fresh fruit—essential ingredients for countless spur-of-the-moment meals. You are always welcome to join me, because I always cook more than we can manage to eat at one sitting—not out of carelessness, but because that is the practical way of Mexican kitchens.
Salsas are the maracas of my kitchen: They shake things up whenever I need an extra kick of flavor. They can be the base of a dish or the final stroke of genius, a condiment with mucho potencial: not always hot, but fruity often, salty, tangy, vinegary, or crunchy. Avocados are almost equally versatile: They can be pounded into chunky guacamole, of course, but also whizzed into a silky soup; tucked into thick, crusty rolls with potatoes and chorizo for a hearty torta, a Mexican sandwich; or buzzed together with milk, cream, and lime juice for an incomparably creamy salad dressing. Soft, mild, and teasingly salty, queso fresco can be sliced into sticks, or diced, or crumbled on top of soups, salads, tostadas, tacos, and enchiladas. The beans are waiting to be slathered on a roll when my voracious boys—I call them monsters—come home from school or play. And as for tortillas, they are the building blocks for so many dishes from breakfast to dinner every day of the week: wrapped around eggs, enfolding steak for tacos, holding together a casserole. Crisp them, and they become the sturdy base for ceviche tostadas or perfect scoops for salsas. Cut them smaller, and they are a crisp garnish for soups. And with fruits of all kinds—watermelon, mango, pineapple, and more—I make some of the most refreshing drinks ever, with and without alcohol.
I’m not sure that many Americans really understand Mexican home cooking. For me, it’s the everyday food I feed my family: the dishes I hanker for, the ones that make me feel at home and that, ironically, I mostly learned how to make while being away from the country where I grew up eating them. That food isn’t taco salads, nachos slathered with cheese, or overstuffed burritos. Nor, for the most part, is it the complex mole sauces that take days to prepare. There are, however, other traditional dishes that I serve over and over again, because they are fabulous, as well as new dishes with creative spins that keep Mexican cooking evolving.
Mexican home cooking is beautiful in its simplicity, tremendously convenient, and wholesome. Out of our kitchens come some of the tastiest salads, soups, and cookies that you will ever find. Our food also includes a boatload of vegetarian options: casseroles of black beans and tortillas in chile sauce, plantain quesadillas stuffed with refried beans, eggs poached in delicious salsas. Not every dish has chile in it, nor is a dish necessarily spicy when it does. For me, the best part is that this cooking fits our American lifestyle like a glove.
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.
It wasn’t an easy decision to switch careers. I can still hear my dad’s jokes about how I wasted so many years: quemándome las pestañas como rata de biblioteca, which, loosely translated, means “burning the midnight oil as a bookworm,” or, more literally, “burning my eyelashes as a library mouse.” Yet I have no regrets. Those were not wasted years—they gave me great research skills and a deeper understanding
of Mexico.
Today I’m a chef, food writer, and cooking teacher with a TV show, Pati’s Mexican Table, on National Public Television. But most of the time, I’m an overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender. I continually travel between the Mexican, American, and Spanglish worlds. When I say, “We are Mexican,” my boys always correct me, “Mami, you are Mexican, we are American.” So we compromise: We are Mexican-American, we speak English, and we try to hold onto the Spanish, but truthfully most of what we do is embrace a Spanglish life. Food is the natural meeting point of our cultures.
On the weekends, we start our days late so we have time for a full breakfast with one or another version of eggs, like Scrambled Egg Packets with Black Bean Sauce. Sobre mesa, “after table,” we linger, sipping coffee and nibbling on crumbs of pound cake or cookies or slices of fruit.
We want our kids to have opinions about what they eat, and we urge them to choose their favorites. My boys always insist that their classic breaded fried chicken cutlets, Milanesas, be dressed with salty crumbled cheese and ground dried chile. They love green beans sprinkled with toasted pistachios and seasoned with orange. On cold days, they devour bowls of Mexican Alphabet Soup. On holidays, our table truly shows our dual cultures. Our Thanksgiving turkey gets rubbed with a pungent spicy paste from the Yucatán and is roasted in fragrant banana leaves, then served with a stuffing of chorizo, pecans, apples, and corn bread.
In this book, you will find recipes and ideas that have come to my table from many paths. I have been welcomed into homes and kitchens all across Mexico over the years, and a number of the recipes you will find here have been deeply influenced by those home cooks. My go-to Passover brisket recipe, for example, is my take on
Berenice Flores’s carne enchilada from the Purépecha region in Michoacán. I grew
up in Mexico City, a place that hums with food opportunities. Many of the dishes we now eat weekly, like Ancho Chile Burgers and Mexican Pasta, are foods I enjoyed there at home, in restaurants, or on the street. I searched out other recipes to satisfy requests from viewers of my television show and students. I worked for months to nail down the best version of Pickled Jalapeños and Carrots, and I perfected Piggy Cookies after getting dozens of requests for this traditional recipe. Now my family can’t live without them.
Thankfully, today the ingredients I use the most are widely available at the grocery store or with just a click online. Many, like tomatillos, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, and queso fresco are used in a number of recipes, making it worthwhile to stock up. That said, I always offer substitutes for specialty ingredients when possible.
In this book, I also share Mexican cooks’ tricks—simple lessons that were passed down from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. Many of the dishes in this book are even tastier when made ahead, adding to their convenience. All are magnets for bringing people to the table.
There is a saying that holds true for every meal in a Mexican home: “Tiramos la casa por la ventana” (“We throw the house through the window”), sparing no amount of money, time, or effort to supply a table full of soulful food. People may literally sell their furniture so they can feed an entire town for a wedding or a quinceañera, a daughter’s fifteenth birthday party. Our food is abundant, accommodating, and much simpler than you might think. Sharing it with my new country has become my mission.

A few recipes from the book:

traditional tomato
pico de gallo

1 pound ripe tomatoes, halved, cored, and chopped (about 3 cups)
½ cup finely chopped white onion
1 jalapeño or serrano chile, halved, seeded if desired, and finely chopped, or to taste
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves and top part of stems
2–3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

There are endless variations on pico de gallo, the trademark chunky raw salsa of Mexico. As you travel throughout the country, you will find picos made from vegetables like cucumber and jicama, all kinds of fruits, and even nuts and seeds. All are delicious. This traditional version is a combination of tomato, onion, cilantro, and chile with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and some salt. Sometimes I add the oil, sometimes I don’t. Try it both ways and see which you like best. Then consider this recipe a starting point and branch out from here.

Pico de gallo translates as “rooster’s beak.” Why? It’s a mystery to me, and to every Mexican cook and culinary expert I’ve asked.

Place the tomatoes, onion, chile, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil (if using), and salt in a bowl and toss well. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

? MEXICAN COOK’S TRICK: Acidic fruits and vegetables taste much richer and fuller when served at room temperature, so take the chill off any refrigerated salsa before serving.

mexican chicken soup


Pati Jinich, a native of Mexico City, proves a most engaging guide to homestyle Mexican dishes from street foods to colonial gems, Middle Eastern influences to comfort foods from across Mexico: you'll find references to Guadalajara, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Michoacán, the Yucatan Peninsula and Mexico City. Her PBS show Pati's Mexican Table features two seasons of episodes that revolve around a certain ingredient, holiday, or theme.

I was lucky to receive a review copy of "Pati's Mexican Table; The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking" several weeks ago courtesy of Pati's publicist, and in that time I've tried several recipes from the various sections, including two of the salads (red leaf, avocado, and grapefruit salad with olive-mint vinaigrette and the spinach goat cheese salad with caramelized pecans and jamaica vinaigrette), a soup (Mexican alphabet soup), several of the egg dishes (huevos rabo de mestiza, Mexican frittata with poblanos, potatoes, and feta), and two of the desserts (triple orange Mexican wedding cookies, Alisa's marbled pound cake). I also made the tamarind, apricot and chipotle sauce for use with another dish.

Pati's easygoing manner and clear explanations translate well to the written page; many of the recipes in "Pati's Mexican Table" come complete with a "Mexican Cook's Trick" sidebar with the types of tips that add an extra layer of authenticity: you'll find tips on enhancing the flavor of cucumbers by rubbing them with the cut ends, that your masa should have the consistency of Play-Doh, tips on working with tortillas before adding sauce, and using rice flour in tortes. These little tidbits are the types of things that you don't often find in cookbooks, and it's a nice touch that makes you feel like you're being let in on a family secret.

The recipes are clearly laid out and easy to follow. You'll find show favorites like Chicken with Tamarind, Apricots and Chipotle Sauce, Chicken À La Trash, Mexican Meatballs with Mint and Chipotle, and Steak Tacos with Jamaica-Jalapeño Sauce, along with vegetarian-friendly recipes, some kid-friendly recipes, and even a few gluten-free recipes to boot. There are also some international dishes like watermelon and tomatillo salad with feta cheese, tomato and mozzarella salad with pickled ancho chile vinaigrette, and crab cakes with jalapeño aioli that are given a fun Mexican-inspired twist.

I loved the unique salad dressings like the olive-mint vinaigrette and the hibiscus flower vinaigrette; these will become a regular staple in my kitchen. I found that for two of the dishes I tried, the Mexican alphabet soup and the triple orange Mexican wedding cookies, that I made a few small tweaks to the recipes as written. There's a good sampling of recipes taken from the show's two seasons; I did a quick scan on the show's website, and it would appear that at least one recipe from each show made it into the cookbook. I did miss seeing a few of my show favorites like Juju's birthday cake and the blackberry pecan tamales, but you can quickly and easily print these out at the show's official website. Gorgeous photography and a user-friendly bilingual index (Spanish recipe titles are printed in italics) round out the book. No nutritional info is provided.

Many recipes call for a variety of fresh and dried chile peppers (poblano, jalapeño, serrano, guajillo, chipotles in adobo) and Mexican grocery staples like piloncillo, flor de jamaica and masa, but the majority of ingredients should be readily available in your grocery store.

Verdict: Fans of Pati's TV show and those looking for an easy, tasty introduction to homestyle Mexican cooking will be sure to enjoy "Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking" (let's hope there are many more seasons and a second cookbook to boot!). ¡Provecho!

Review copy courtesy of Pati's publicist - ¡muchas gracias!

At first this reviewer thought "oh, not ANOTHER Mexican cookery book!" yet first impressions can be very deceptive… In fact this is a bit of a special little gem.

The key aim of the book is to provide a range of recipes for making everyday, authentic Mexican food for everyday families. Some of the recipes are not your typical "Mexican fare" but they are said to be 100% Mexican. You may just need to adjust your perceptions and expectations (and all for the better). In many areas what we think of to be a typical food from a region is, in fact, nothing like what the locals would eat over there. Localised food for a localised taste, if you will, often lacking in true authenticity.

After an interesting, personal overview of the author and what makes her tick it is straight into the recipes. Split into chapters of salsas, pickles & guacamole; salads; soups; anytime vegetarian; seafood; poultry; meat; sides; desserts and drinks there is going to be something new to try here, that is surely clear. Whilst this is a book you can clearly pick up and down, select a recipe and go, you really should take a sequential read through at least once to immerse yourself in the background, hints, tips and diverse comments given by the author to the various dishes and Mexican cuisine as a whole.

You should not be surprised to note that the wide range of recipes will surely have something for everyone. No boring variations on a variation here. The recipes are ably accompanied by a lot of wonderful full colour photographs, so clear and inviting that you want to reach through the page and start munching away. The recipes are well-written, easy to follow and convey all the bits of information that you need including a typical preparation and cooking time. Hurrah! OK, the measurements are only listed in an imperial format and in today's international climate that's a bit of a no-no but c'est la vie! At least you can get a handle on how long an unfamiliar recipe might take to make.

This book is more than just a collection of recipes. It is a deceptively cunning tool to get you inspired to try and make your own Mexican food as well as to try a lot of possibly new things. Certainly this reviewer can see it responsible for a bit of a dietary shift for many households once the cook gets addicted. An everyday book for everyone. Does the author have anything left for a further volume?


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