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Jane Butel's Fiesta

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353 pages4 hours

Summary

First published in 1987, this revised and updated edition of Jane Butel’s Fiesta! brings to life the spirit of a region where company is always welcome, where the flavors are always clear and strong, and where creativity finds no more satisfying outlet than in the kitchen. The recipes in this book include both traditional dishes and new interpretations of them. After a helpful introductory section on ingredients and basic preparations, Jane Butel presents a series of festive brunches, indoor or outdoor occasions that feature treats like Bloody Marias, fresh apricot preserves, and a ham and chile omelet rolled into a decorative pinwheel. A group of lunches and picnics includes a Texas Independence Day meal, and twelve special dinners range from a Cinco de Mayo celebration to a New Mexican buffet to an elaborate but simple formal dinner for four.

A cookbook called Fiesta! wouldn’t be complete without a section on Grand Events, and here you’ll find everything from a tamale roll and a Fourth of July fireworks patio party to a wedding feast and, of course, a fiesta. This Southwestern extravaganza, which features colorfully decorated tables piled high with irresistible finger food, begins with a margarita punch and is topped off with delicious buttery pralines.

But Fiesta! is even more than its extraordinary food: it is a complete entertainment guide, offering “game plans” to help organize meals efficiently (including suggestions on what dishes can be made ahead of time), decorating tips that help create ideal settings, and plenty of other helpful hints. With Jane Butel as a guide, meals for fifty at a Texas-style barbecue—or for only two at a candlelit dinner—can be manageable as well as memorable.

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