Mexican Light: Exciting, Healthy Recipes from the Border and Beyond

Martha Rose Shulman, Author Bantam Books $29.95 (432p) ISBN 978-0-553-09631-6
Rife with lard and cheese, Mexican food (at least as it's often served in the U.S.) has always seemed the least reformable of high-fat cuisines. Shulman (Mediterranean Light) has managed, however, to reconstruct it successfully. With its focus mainly on the food of border towns and from the southern states of Oaxaca and Veracruz, this is not a comprehensive Mexican cookbook, but Shulman has a knack for spotting fresh foods and unique combinations. The chapter on salsas features such variations as Cooked Tomato and Black Bean Salsa and Green Tomatillo Mole with pumpkin seeds and ground toasted corn tortilla that are surely good enough to eat with a spoon. Each recipe includes nutritional information, as well as helpful tips for advance preparation and quick alternatives when appropriate (usually replacing dried beans with canned). There are some clever low-fat alternative methods such as cooking lard-free Refried Beans in a broth reduction and crisping tortilla chips in the microwave rather than frying them. The latter appear often, and the author, or her editor, courteously repeats the instructions in small-type footnotes rather than constantly sending the reader back to an index. An extensive list of suggested menus is offered in a final chapter. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1996
Release date: 09/01/1996
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