[pinit] Considering that I write them, it should come as no surprise that I’m a cookbook junkie. I spend hours in the bookstore (since there are still bookstores for the moment). I call it research. If I were still a practicing lawyer, that would be the line item on the bill. Some of my favorite cookbooks are ethnic ones, and Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking (aff. link) is no exception. Pati Jinich is the official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute and stars in her own cooking show on public television. She’s a mom of 3. Like me! We’re, like, twins. Except for her TV show and Mexican heritage. Her publisher was kind enough to give me permission to share her recipe for a Blissful Corn Torte that is naturally gluten free (it uses only rice flour) and is a very traditional sort of Mexican dish. It does mean turning on the oven, but maybe the heat has broken a bit where you live (like it has a bit where I live). And I can’t think of a better way to make use of the freshest, sweetest corn of the summer.
The first photo is directly from Pati’s book. Gorgeous, right? Above is my rendition of this lightly sweet, simple Mexican side dish. Pati’s recipe notes say that she makes it for dinner (and serves it with Creamy Poblano Rajas (page 209 of her cookbook) how good does that sound?), and then hopes for leftovers so she can have a piece for breakfast. Now, not to be presumptuous, but I may just have solved her problem nice & easy. I just made it for breakfast. Try serving it with a dollop of rich, plain Greek-style yogurt (ethnic fusion!), and a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar. And then I got ready to make my recipe for gluten free churros, since I was feeling quite Mexican.
Here’s the cover of Pati’s book (gorgeous photos by Penny De Los Santos). So many ethnic cookbooks, like so many ethnic cuisines, rely upon flours that are gluten free if they’re sourced carefully. Pati’s authentic Mexican recipes for everything from refried beans (why don’t I make those more often?) and authentic salsa of every kind to pozole and red rice (already a family favorite in my house) got me super excited about being in the kitchen—even to make dinner (yup – it’s a chore for me most nights, too). There’s even a whole chapter of Mexican drinks like Agua Fresca and Spiced Sweet Mexican Coffee. And I have already learned tons about Mexican ingredients like dried hominy and how to make it into pozole, plus all about different Mexican chiles. She explains it all in plain but precise language.
Pati’s publisher sent me a copy of her cookbook gratis so that I might shares its deliciousness with you. But I reached out to them, not the other way around. I loved what I had heard about her book so far, and I knew she could teach me a ton about how to make authentic Mexican food. Once I had the book in my hands, I quite literally started cooking right away (the Red Rice on page 224 was my first, and I’ve made it 2 more times since). I guess bloggers say things like that all the time about other authors’ cookbooks in hopes that they’ll curry favor, but I refuse most everything anyone ever wants to send to me. And I never, ever say things I don’t mean. Free trip to Italy as long as I try to sell it to you? No thanks. Free cereal in exchange for selling it to you? I’ll pass. I value our relationship, and I won’t recommend something to you unless I truly believe in it myself. Pati’s cookbook (aff. link) is a true gem. I hope you’ll give it a try.