Breakfast Santa Fe Style: A Dining Guide to Fancy, Funky, and Family Friendly Restaurants
(Sunstone Press, paperback, $19.95)
By Kathy Barco and Valerie Nye. Two librarians take on the tiny, twisting streets of Santa Fe in search of New Mexico's favorite meal. (That's breakfast, of course.) Close to 60 spots are packed into useful, digestible nuggets with a literary slant--each review comes with a list of like-themed recommended reading, presumably to mull over during breakfast. Ideal for Santa Fe outsiders who still want to eat like the locals.
Salsa and Tacos
(Gibs Smith, hardcover, $12.95)
By Susan D. Curtis and The Santa Fe School of Cooking. Salsas I get, but what's so complicated about tacos? Do tortillas and filling really warrant an expanded explanation? The Santa Fe School of Cooking seems to think so, and it may be right. I've never considered roasted wild mushroom tacos with queso fresco, as the school has, but I think I might try it now. And I can already imagine how well the bing cherry-pistachio salsa might fare with a Thanksgiving game bird. Use this lightweight book for inspiration, or send it as a gift to friends in the Midwest. You'll blow their minds.
Southwest Flavors: The Santa Fe School of Cooking
(Gibbs Smith, hardcover, $34.95)
By Susan D. Curtis and Nicole Curtis Ammerman. The pre-eminent school on Southwestern cooking releases a follow up to its 1993 primer on Santa Fe cuisine. Despite the title, Southwest Flavors is a globe-trotting collection of recipes from shredded pork tacos to Argentine empanadas with aji amarillo salsa, and tandori fish with coconut chutney. Like a good cooking school should, it has expanded sections on technique where the mysteries of stuffing a tamale or making sopaipillas puff are stripped away with plain talk and step-by-step photography.
Cooking with Cafe Pasqual's: Recipes from Santa Fe's Renowned Corner Cafe
(Ten Speed Press, hardcover, $29.95)
By Katherine Kagel. Through stories, recipes and beautiful photographs by Kitty Leaken, Cafe Pasqual's almost 30-year history is presented in rich and hunger-provoking detail. Recipes like red chile- and sugar-cured bacon are appealing revelations of simplicity. (They recommend twisting the bacon strips a few times to make a candied, porcine “stick.”). This book is a reminder of how far good ingredients, a little technique and a sterling philosophy can take food.