With a successful food blog, PBS TV show, and now a cookbook, Mexican-raised but D.C.-based Pati Jinich describes herself as an "overloaded soccer mom with three kids and a powerful blender." She's out to prove that Mexican home cooking is quicker and far easier than most people think. Pati's Mexican Table (2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) isn't filled with heavy, fried dishes blanketed with cheese or complex sauces. Surprising in their simplicity and freshness, Jinich's recipes incorporate fresh produce and grains. Most important, they fit perfectly into an everyday family cooking schedule and use just a handful of ingredients, most of which are already in your pantry. Try her chicken tinga over tortillas or rice (pictured above), pork-filled empanadas, or traditional Mexican piggy cookies.
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