Pati Jinich is the host of the popular PBS show Pati’s Mexican Table, the official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the author of the new book Mexican Today: New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchens.
Pati's approach makes Mexican home cooking accessible and easy on an everyday basis. Here are some of her tips for home cooks:
1) Don't fear failure. The nice thing about cooking is that if you make a mistake, there's always a second chance. The next meal is an opportunity to try again. Trying new recipes and ingredients opens up your cooking repertoire.
2) Respect and learn from the classics, then innovate. Pati draws from classic Mexican ingredients, recipes and techniques, but adjusts for the contemporary kitchen—without losing the soul and the story of where the recipes come from.
3) In a family where different kids have different preferences, don't try to force it. One of Pati's three sons was a picky eater growing up, but when Pati let go and gave up on trying to get him to try new foods, he saw how much joy the rest of the family took in cooking and eating, and ultimately began wanting to participate.
4) Don't be afraid to use salt! Salt brings out the flavors of tomatoes and avocados, and is really the finishing touch on many Mexican dishes.
5) Invest in a good blender. Pati uses her blender for smoothies, soup bases, sauces, salsas, moles, flans, and more. She says it's like her third hand!
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