The New Southwest: Classic Flavors with a Modern Twist
author: Meagan Micozzi
hard cover: 230 pages
chapters/sections: The Southwestern Pantry | Building Blocks | Condiments | Breakfast | Drinks | Appetizers & Snacks | Breads | Side Dishes | Main Courses | From the Grill | Desserts | A "Christmas-Style" Extra
fun features: The Southwestern Pantry at the beginning of the book is a great reference for those who may not be familiar with some of the basic ingredients used in Southwestern cooking. It includes sections on spices & herbs, chiles, produce, dairy, baking ingredients, other pantry staples, and essential equipment. Meagan doesn't send you in blind, she equips you with the knowledge to ensure that your foray into these recipes is successful.
I also love the handwritten thank you notes at the back of the book; such a heart-felt personal touch.
(a few of the many) recipes destined for my kitchen: Roasted Crema | Sonoran Honey Streusel Coffee Cake | Texas Rose | Three Sisters Hush Puppies | Chipotle-Spiced Grilled Cheese Sandwich | Picadillo Meatloaf w/ Habanero Ketchup | Shredded Chicken Tacos w/ Zuni Succotash | Brown Butter Coyotas | Pueblo Bread | Chicken Tinga Potpie | Navajo Tacos | Citrus & Herb Red Snapper | Fideo Burritos
my thoughts/review: I'm hard-pressed to find something that I don't love about this cookbook. It's bright and colorful, almost every recipe sets my tastebuds on high alert, and I can hear the author's voice on every page (which is one of my requirements for a great cookbook). It is approachable both to those who are already familiar with Southwestern cooking, and those who are taking their first steps into that world.
I will say that when it comes to the use of chipotles, I think that Meagan is heavy-handed - especially for those that aren't familiar with their powerful punch, or used to the heat. If you are not as heat tolerant as some (or want younger kids to be able to eat the dish), I recommend reducing them in recipes that contain them by at least half. At least to start. We are a heat-loving family, and even we had to cut them down. But the flavors are there, so even with a reduction in chipotle-power, you will not sacrifice on taste.
This cookbook would make a great addition to any bookshelf, for both its beauty and its usability.
recipe(s) I have already tried:
|clockwise from top lh corner: Mushroom & Leek Migas, Fried Sage Smashed Potatoes, Chia Cupcakes, Adobo Potatoes Gratin|
We have loved each and every dish that I've tried from this book so far. I am a sucker for any sort of potato gratin dish, so I knew I'd be a goner when I say the Adobo Potatoes Gratin recipe; I was right. It makes a delicious side dish, and really brings the heat. I can see it being the perfect addition to a Southwest Thanksgiving Menu!
Adobo Potatoes Gratin
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes
Cook Time: 45-50 minutes
Keywords: bake side potatoes chiles cheese American Southwest
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
- 3 fat cloves roasted garlic
- 2-4 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 1-1/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- couple big pinches of smoked sea salt
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 1-3/4 cup shredded Chihuahua cheese (or Sharp Cheddar)
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Combine roasted garlic cloves and chipotles chiles in a mini food prcessor and process to a paste. Scrape the paste into the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and add cream, milk, butter, pepper, and smoked sea salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often; boil for 1 minute to thicken. Remove from heat.
Peel the potatoes, and use a mandoline to cut them into 1/8-inch thick slices, and lay half of them in the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish in overlapping lines; scatter a light sprinkling of cheese over that layer. Layer the remaining potato slices, again in an overlapping fashion, and scatter with about 1 cup of the cheese. Carefully pour the cream mixture over the top of the potatoes, making sure to get it into the nooks and crannies. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top.
Slide into preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the casserole is a deep golden brown and bubbling on top, and the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a thin knife. Set aside to cool and set up for ~15 minutes before serving.
Use the lesser amount of chipotles for a dish with heat that is smoky and pronounced. If you really want to spice things up, and like a dish that makes you sweat and drink from the milk jug, add the higher amount.
If you don't have any roasted garlic around, enclose the cloves, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper into a foil packet and roast at 350° F for about 30 minutes.
-adapted from The New Southwest
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This post is part of The New Southwest Cookbook Spotlight sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef.
To see 14 other food bloggers thoughts, reviews, and recipes they've tested from the book, click on the "cookbook spotlight button" to the left!
I received a free copy of this cookbook from Hippocrene, and they are also providing the copies for the winners of the giveaway. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.