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Contemporary flavors of Mexico: Pati Jinich debuts new cookbook
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Contemporary flavors of Mexico: Pati Jinich debuts new cookbook

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Fans of Mexican cuisine have praised the recipes that have come out of Pati Jinich's kitchen through the years.

Jinich, host of the popular PBS Series "Pati's Mexican Kitchen," has introduced food lovers to the multi-flavors of the Mexican table and her own take on the culturally rich cuisine. Her latest book, which was released last week, "Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens," offers a variety of dishes for everything from salads and tortas to sandwiches, soups and one-dish meals to desserts and drinks.

The author/TV host said she wanted to share recipes for more than "tacos, burritos and enchiladas," in her latest book and wants to continue to instill that Mexican food is a lot more than that.

Jinich, who was born and raised in Mexico City, shares her passion for the rich cuisine in the book and through her television show.

"This is a book of recipes born out of passion: passion for my family; passion for my native Mexico and its ancient, modern and evolving foodways; passion for the changing Mexican cuisine within the United States, my home for the past 18 years and the birthplace of my children; and passion for delicious, unforgettable, irresistible food," Jinich writes in the introduction to the book.

Jinich said the recipes are user-friendly and are all dishes that have been favorites of hers. For instance, Jinich's recipe for My Go-To Guacamole, is a dish she "comes back to again and again."

Among recipes in the book are Shrimp, Mango and Avocado Rolls; Rustic Ranchero Salsa; Crabmeat Enchiladas with Peas in Tangy Buttermilk Sauce; Stir-Fried Green Beans with Peanuts and Chile De Arbol; and more.

"As I pulled together recipes and tested them in my kitchen, it became clear to me how many threads there are in the colorful tapestry that we call Mexican food. Some of the threads will be familiar; some will surprise you," said Jinich.

"This is my second book," Jinich said, adding she just embarked on a book tour for "Mexican Today." Jinich will be doing a book signing today at Latinicity in Chicago and at Anderson's Books in LaGrange, Ill.

"I'm looking forward to coming to the Chicago area," Jinich said. The chef/author was recently nominated  for two James Beard Awards in the categories of Outstanding Personality/Host and for Television Program.

The cookbook author said her show "Pati's Mexican Kitchen" is now in its fifth season.

"The new episodes will start again in September, " she said, adding she's enjoyed taping the cooking show through the years.

The following recipe is from "Mexican Today."



12 bacon slices

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegarr

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted, flesh scooped out and diced

2 large ripe Champagne or Kent mangoes, peeled, sliced off the pits, and


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 pounds fresh or thawed frozen medium shrimp, shells and tails removed

6 hot dog buns or soft rolls



COOKING TIME: 15 minutes

DIRECTIONS: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until browned and crisp. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the fat in the skillet,and set aside.

Return the pan with the fat to medium heat, add the shallot and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant, tender, and just beginning to brown. Scrape the garlic and shallot into a medium heatproof bowl, along with the fat. Don’t wash the pan; just set it aside.

To prepare the vinaigrette: Add the vinegar, honey, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste to the bowl with the garlic and shallot. Whisk or mix with a fork until well emulsified. Add the avocados and mangoes, gently toss together, and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter over high heat in the skillet you used for the bacon until the oil is hot but not smoking and the butter has begun to foam. Add the shrimp, without crowding the pan (cook them in two batches if necessary). Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and cook, flipping them over once, until seared and browned, no more than 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Open the buns or rolls, trying not to separate the tops from the bottoms, and arrange a layer of cooked shrimp on the bottom of each one. Top the shrimp with the avocado and mango mix and crown each with a couple of slices of bacon. Close the sandwiches and serve.


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