Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider

We are a salsa loving family. Seriously. Salsaholics! And it goes beyond the simple restaurant style red salsa too. We're willing to try just about anything, which makes Deborah Schneider's Salsas and Moles: Fresh and Authentic Recipes just about the perfect addition to our cookbook collection.

Don't mistake this for a book full of dips. Yes, there are plenty of those - red, green, fruit and everything in between - but there's much more than that too. Hot sauces, salsas that work as side dishes, sauces for stewing, and the moles of the title.

Schneider provides detailed instruction and ingredients - down to the number of sprigs of cilantro (and they're dead on!) - as well as a chile guide that includes dried and fresh varieties (to help you keep them straight).

This is greatly helpful throughout the book but with the moles in particular, something I've long been intimidated by based solely on the number of ingredients! Schneider breaks those recipes down into manageable steps, taking away some of the mysticism behind the different varieties and making them fairly easy for the home cook to execute.

One of the things that I loved about this book is how Schneider illustrates that the same basic set of ingredients can be transformed by tiny variations. Adding a bit of oregano to recipes like the  Northern-Style Tomato Salsa makes it taste completely different from the Yucatecan Tomato Salsa, for example. Cooking the ingredients in the Salsa Verde versus leaving them raw as a base for the Spicy Avocado Salsa creates not only a different texture but also changes the flavors in subtle ways.

Each of the recipes comes with a bit of information on its history or heritage as well as recommendations for their uses - suggested meat pairings and such - which are both useful and incredibly inspiring.

If you love traditional Mexican food and salsa, this is the cookbook for you! It will open your eyes to a whole array of salsas and their potential uses and might even inspire you to begin making your own variations as well. I expect this is one book that will be getting much heavier use in my own house in the months to come. We've planted tomatoes, chiles, and herbs galore in our garden and I plan to put them to good use with even more of Schneider's recipes!

Rating: 5/5

Per Blogging for Books requirements: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

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