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Southwestern Vegetarian

by Stephan Pyles

ISBN 0609601180 / 9780609601181 / 0-609-60118-0
Publisher Clarkson Potter
Language English
Edition Hardcover
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Book summary

Stephan Pyles's Southwestern cooking, featured most famously at his Star Canyon restaurants in Dallas and Las Vegas, is widely applauded for its flavor-intensive appeal. Southwestern Vegetarian, a follow-up to his cookbook New Tastes from Texas, ingeniously explores the nonmeat possibilities of this Texan chef's colorful cuisine. Finding a truly satisfying way to meld Southwestern, Mexican, and European culinary approaches, Pyles (an omnivore) has produced vegetarian fare that leaves traditional Western kinds in the dust. Dishes like Tortilla and Three Onion Casserole with Tomato Ginger Jam and Black Bean and Queso Fresco Quesadillas, among others, should appeal to eaters of all stripes while filling various menu and meal slots, from breakfast to dinner, as entrees, sides, or starters. This flexibility is mirrored by the book's organization. Eschewing the usual recipe categories, Pyles divides his cookbook into chapters by gratins, casseroles, stuffed vegetables, tortas, sandwiches, and pizzas. Winners from these categories include the Polenta Gratin with Wild Mushrooms and Three Cheeses and the Tortilla Vegetable Napoleon. Readers should be aware that while most of the recipes are easy enough to execute, many of them require multiple ingredients and subpreparations. Pickled Vegetable and Deviled Egg Salad Torta, for example, requires cooks to pickle vegetables (17 ingredients needed) before merging them with a salad spread on homemade brioche (13 more ingredients, not counting those in the brioche, which, presumably, could be store-bought). Despite the added preparation time many of its dishes require, Southwestern Vegetarian is a truly innovative take on meatless cooking, one all food lovers will enjoy. --Arthur Boehm [via]