Friday, April 1, 2011

Cookbook giveaway: Mod Mex

Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Fiesta Flavors at HomeMexican food is among my most favorite cuisines, and it's really hard to give up a cookbook with such delicious recipes for old favorites and new twists, but this week's offering is "Mod Mex: Cooking Vibrant Fiesta Flavors at Home" by Scott Linquist and Joanna Pruess. It has recipes from Dos Caminos Mexican Kitchen in New York.

I know this post is dated April 1, but it's no joke! The book is from Andrews McMeel Publishing, published October 1, 2007, 224 pages and has about 125 recipes. It's hardback and has lots of great photographs.

If you want this week's book, "Mod Mex," be the first to click the PayPal button (Buy Now) below, follow the directions to deposit a payment to my account, AND leave a comment at the end of this blog item with some way to contact you for your address or in case you were not the first one (I have only one copy of each book). I will send the book by Priority Mail. Offer good in the United States only at this time. You don't need a PayPal account, but you will need a credit card to pay with the button.

If this isn't the book for you, keep checking back on Fridays. I offer a different cookbook each week. I'll edit the post to indicate when a book is no longer available.

If you live in Charlottesville, you can save the money by coming to pick up the book. Be the first to leave a comment, with a way to contact you.

To give you an idea of the recipes in "Mod Mex," here is a sample recipe.

Wild Mushroom and Huitlacoche Sopes with Queso Fresco and Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
Makes 12 (2 ½-inch) sopes

The most difficult part of this delicious recipe is actually finding the huitlacoche (also spelled cuitlacoche). This corn fungus, also called "Mexican truffle" or "Mexican caviar," is greatly revered in Mexico. The kernels have a smoky-sweet flavor. It is best fresh or frozen, but it is also available canned from some online Mexican food suppliers. Your best option is to purchase it frozen, but even that may be hard to find. Otherwise, try a trip to Oaxaca in the fall! If you can’t find the mushrooms listed here, use portobellos or any combination of mushrooms that you like.

Sope dough (masa)
1¼ cups corn flour for tortillas
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
½ cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa
½ ripe avocado peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 cup salsa verde

Mushroom-Huitlacoche Filling
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup mixed sliced mushrooms (such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms, but any variety may be used)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon ground arbol chile powder
½ cup huitlacoche
1 tablespoon chopped fresh epazote or a combination of flat-leaf parsley and oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
¼ cup crema or sour cream
3 radishes, trimmed and cut into thin strips

Make the Sopes: In a large bowl, mix together the corn flour, lard, water, and salt, and knead gently until the dough is smooth, about 3 minutes. Roll about 3 tablespoons of masa into a ball, and then flatten the ball using your thumb and the palm of your hand to form a 2½-inch-round disk, approximately ¼ inch thick. Repeat until you have 12 disks. Set aside while preparing the salsa and filling.

Make the salsa: In the jar of an electric blender, combine the avocado and salsa verde, and purée until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Make the filling: Heat ½ tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and ½ tablespoon of the butter and sauté until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, turning often. Transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl.

In the same pan over high heat, stir in the remaining ½ tablespoon of oil along with the onion, garlic, and remaining ½ tablespoon of butter. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté until the onion is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chile powder, huitlacoche, and epazote. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Return the sautéed mushrooms to the pan and cook just to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 or 3 masa disks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning once, just to firm them slightly. Remove the disks from the pan, let them cool slightly, and then gently pinch the edges to resemble a small tart shell. Return them to the griddle, and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Remove, wrap in aluminum foil, and keep in a warm oven.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa onto each sope, and then add 2 tablespoons of warm mushrooms. Top with 1 teaspoon of queso fresco, a dollop of crema, and a sprinkle of radishes. Serve warm.

—from MOD MEX, page 24 · Andrews McMeel Publishing

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