Style and Spice: Over 200 Recipes from the American Southwest

Spicy. Smoky. Savory. Sweet. These quintessential flavors of the American "lower left" shine in Style and Spice: Over 200 Recipes from the American Southwest by chef Larry Edwards (The American Table; Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey’s Elegant Meals).

Edwards eschews processed ingredients, and begins with recipes to stock a Southwest pantry--homemade versions of marinades, salsas, flavored oils and more. In the subsequent Southwest Kitchen section, party hosts and meat lovers will find much to love, with Jalapeño Tequila Bombs and Baja Flank Ribs with Tequila and Honey Glaze. Vegetarian and vegan options include dishes like Whiskey Grilled Portobello Salad and Casa Vegan Cornbread.

Desserts from the Southwest Oven span breads and desserts of all stripes. Standouts include Puff Bread, sweet Cactus Pear Sorbet and rich Applewood Smoked Bacon Ice Cream. Finally, Southwest Cantina spotlights cocktails.

Absent are photos of hyper-styled tables with thimbles of salt tumbling over silk napkins. Style and Spice is devoid of pretense, relying on photographs of meals that look beautiful yet attainable to accompany many of the recipes. Practicality is key, and as such, the instructions are simple. Most of the recipes yield four servings and are easy to halve or double. Edwards offers simple tips and concise instructions throughout, and his humor and personality sneak in even in sections light on commentary; e.g., the cocktail Q.F. note: "As for the name of this drink, the initial 'Q' stands for 'quick,' and the initial 'F' stands for a word never used in a cookbook." --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

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