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    Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Mexican

    El Charro Cafe: The Tastes and Traditions of Tucson

    Flores, Carlotta

    Perseus Publishing
    Published: October 1, 1998
    ISBN: 1555611214

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    Book Description
    From Booklist
    It may come as something of a shock to fans of El Charro Cafe , Tucson's famous Mexican restaurant, that its origins are more French than Spanish. Monica Flin's parents both came from French stock, but when she opened her restaurant in Tucson in 1922, it was Mexican food she chose to serve her customers. The restaurant has moved several times since its founding, but it has remained a family business. El Charro's southwestern cooking relies on chilies, garlic, rice, corn, and a seasoning mixture called pico de gallo, a spice rub used much the same as voguish Cajun blends. It also calls for sun-dried beef, impossible to duplicate outside Tucson, but for which the book offers a complex method of creating a substitute. El Charro's salsas and stews are more readily duplicated, especially for those with access to Mexican produce markets. This book usefully documents the noble traditions of U.S.-Mexican border cuisine. Mark Knoblauch

    Product Description:
    El Charro Café is famous throughout the United States and the world for its vibrant, fresh Mexican food and fiesta-like atmosphere.

    In this beautifully illustrated color hardcover cookbook, owner and chef Carlotta Flores shares her recipes, her family history and her love of this flavorful cuisine.

    Carlotta includes prized family recipes as well as those that make El Charro a Tucson delight and tradition. She tells stories of the four generations of her family who have worked at El Charro since its beginnings in 1922, making it the oldest family-run restaurant in the Southwest.

    A glossary of Spanish terms and foods helps you learn your way around a Mexican menu. You'll learn the secrets to making authentic, traditional Sonoran Mexican dishes and also ways to make light, healthy and equally delicious newer ones.

    You'll absorb tortilla etiquette along with the recipes for El Charro's savory sauces and soups.

    Photographs of the patio and restaurant are interspersed with "notitas" (little notes and tips) and Carlotta's stories. The heart of the book: Wonderful recipes, including all the classic dishes you expect from a Mexican restaurant as well as ones that may be new to you such as Puerco con Mangos (pork with mango sauce), Tacos de Camaron (shrimp tacos), Almendrado (almond meringue pudding), and Capirotada (Lenten bread pudding).

    Vegetable dishes such as Rajitas de Nopalitas y Cebollitas (sautéed prickly pear with onions and green chile), Enchiladas de Hongos (mushroom enchiladas), Papas Molidas de Navidad (mashed potatoes with green chile and salsa) will open your eyes and tastebuds.

    A book so representative of Tucson that is was chosen for the City of Tucson's Millennium Time Capsule.

    You will enjoy your visit to El Charro Café, sampling Tucson's heritage as well as its cuisine ... Bienvenidos!

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