Cover image for Southwestern vegetarian
Southwestern vegetarian
Pyles, Stephan.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : C. Potter, [2000]

Physical Description:
224 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX837 .P95 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Stephan Pyles is the undisputed master of contemporary Texas cuisine, with world-renowned restaurants in Dallas and Las Vegas, the best-selling booksThe New Texas CuisineandNew Tastes from Texas, and a hit show for public television. He has been praised by everyone from Paul Prudhomme and Craig Claiborne toGourmetandEsquire, and is widely recognized as one of the most creative chefs in the United States. Now, inSouthwestern Vegetarian, Stephan introduces us to a bold new take on two of the country's most popular culinary styles -- the regional specialties of the American Southwest and the natural splendor of vegetarian cooking. From Jalapeño-Cilantro Jelly or Red Chile Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Pesto to Southwestern Vegetable Paella or Smoked Tomato Pizza with Basil and Queso Fresco, every chapter features Stephan's special brand of innovation. Stephan also excels in reinterpretations of traditional dishes, whether it's the simplicity of a homemade Pico de Gallo or the perfect Wild Mushroom Risotto, or even a country-style soup such as Posole -- here spiced up with southern greens, chayote, dried cherries, and pecans. From a breakfast of Huevos Rancheros with Ancho-Roast Garlic Potatoes to a dessert of Mole Cake with Cherry-Almond Ice Cream, Tamarind Anglaise, and Orange Caramel, these dishes will make every meal, in every season, an unforgettable experience.          The nearly 200 recipes are at once brilliantly inventive yet still accessible to the home cook. And although all can be prepared for a strict vegetarian, Stephan's approach is that vegetarian food is a cuisine, not a lifestyle -- and so he doesn't stifle the urge to toss in the occasional ingredient such as shrimp or chorizo sausage (optional, of course). With stunning photographs and a design that perfectly evoke the food,Southwestern Vegetarianis a sophisticated change of pace that opens a whole new approach to two increasingly popular cuisines.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Vegetarian cooking appeals to those conscious of food's many physiological effects on the human body. Some follow a vegetarian diet out of fear; others embrace it joyfully, finding vegetarianism's principles deeply satisfying to more than merely physical hunger. But finding a useful, reliable, vegetarian cookbook can prove more daunting than clinging to a no-meat regimen at the Texas state fair. Some vegetarian cookbooks eschew meat and dairy products completely--no fish, no eggs, no cheese. Other books allow dairy products, following the rubric "If it doesn't look back at you, you may eat it." At the beginning of fall, when the nation's seasonal gardens are overflowing with their accustomed annual bounty of sweet corn, tomatoes, berries, squashes, root vegetables, and fruits, vegetarianism makes a very viable diet. Being vegetarian in February may not be as problematic as once it was, but it's still not a time to discover food's optimum flavors. The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, by Peter Berley with Melissa Clark, follows vegetarian principles, but Berley readily concedes that not every person's constitution is equipped to follow this diet resolutely. Thus, he offers recipes that include meat substitutes such as tempeh and seitan, but he dresses them carefully to ensure a full complement of flavor components. His Seitan Bourguignonne contains virtually identical ingredients to its classic provincial French model but without beef and bacon. Similarly, except for the substitution of seitan for lamb, Berley's shepherd's pie could pass for a well-seasoned version of the genuine article. Berley's experiences with macrobiotic cookery show in his love of Japanese ingredients such as burdock root. Thus, he generates new audiences for ancient Eastern vegetables. Currently popular foods attract Berley's attention, too. Polenta, a North Italian staple of boiled cornmeal, gets a healthy twist by substituting millet for the customary cornmeal and mellowing out with pureed sweet potato. As a brunch presentation, Spinach-Mushroom Quiche's crust gains texture from oats and sesame seeds. The book wisely follows the seasons in order to take full advantage of vegetables at the height of their ripeness. This focus on flavor helps keep vegetarians on track and also helps decrease yearnings for foods outside the diet's strictures. Leave it to chef Stephan Pyles to accomplish the seemingly impossible. His Southwestern Vegetarian (with John Harrisson) takes the cuisine of a territory universally famed for whole hog barbecues and ox roasts and produces recipes observing vegetarianism's tenets. He achieves his goal by first reaching into the wealth of salsas produced through Mexican cooking's influence on the Southwest. Moles, both green and red, flavor a wealth of grilled vegetable combinations. Squash and corn provide backbone for a number of soups. Smoked salmon and horseradish mashed potatoes violate the strictest vegetarian rules, but the attraction of this combination can't be denied. Canyon Cowboy Beans with Mexican corn bread provide complete protein building blocks to ensure proper nutrition within vegetarian confines. The success of Pyles' cuisine relies on his talented sophistication in bringing together many traditions. Just the name Poblano-Dried Fruit Risotto Cakes with Green Mango-Habanero Jam bespeaks a symphonic genius in handling both flavors and culinary traditions. The tyro vegetarian, particularly the teenage one rebelling against the dominant "burger culture," will relish the irreverent tone of Evelyn Raab's delightfully illustrated The Clueless Vegetarian. Raab assumes the posture of a teacher whose audience knows virtually nothing about vegetarian cooking but who believe it may be an appropriate choice for their lives. Raab takes care to define terms and to present recipes that presuppose no prior cooking experience. Her recipe classification system, rendered in icons, will also attract the computer-minded young adult. Despite her simple approach, Raab's recipes reflect a range of cooking styles and cater to today's multiethnic tastes with an emphasis on Italian and Mexican dishes and such Eastern exotica as pad Thai. So eager is she to expand her readers' horizons that she gives extensive instructions on managing the intricacies of phyllo pastry, a base for many Middle Eastern appetizers and entrees. Vegans, the most disciplined of vegetarians, consume neither dairy products nor eggs. They have to watch their diets particularly carefully to avoid protein deficiencies. Myra Kornfeld explores this regimen in The Voluptuous Vegan, determined that such a diet need not mean bland cooking. Her Mushroom, French Lentil, and Chestnut Ragumakes a rich, satisfying entree, and she manages to create a shepherd's pie using tempeh and zucchini under a blanket of potatoes mashed with horseradish. Although some people are attracted by vegetarianism's ethical and health claims, others argue that the central principle of good eating is that foods be organic, raised without pesticides or chemically enhanced fertilizers. Jesse Ziff Cool's Your Organic Kitchen has recipes including red meats, but her emphasis on organic produce skews her toward a diet lower in meat use than customary. Her recipes, arranged by seasons, attract with smart, simple ideas such as enhancing ordinary creamed peas and potatoes with Gorgonzola and chives. When it comes to a beverage suitable for vegetarians to enjoy at mealtime, what could be more appropriate than wine? It's an ancient drink, its health benefits have been know since biblical times, it contains no animal products, and it's nearly universally available to adults. British oenophile Oz Clarke has produced a new primer on wine that combines some of the best approaches from previous books into a highly useful reference. Oz Clarke's Introducing Wine groups all wines into fifteen categories that define each one's major characteristics. Well-structured tables organize additional data for easy accessibility. Shunning the high-flown language of many books for the wine novice, Clarke teaches practical, useful terms and techniques that demystify without sacrificing pleasure. His approach benefits further from a nonexclusionary stance that embraces equally all the world's wines, not just those from France, Italy, and California. All but the most disciplined vegetarians relish sweets of any sort, especially desserts. Maria Bruscino Sanchez follows her two earlier treatises on Italian cakes and cookies with Sweet Maria's Italian Desserts. Although most dinners in Italy typically close with fresh fruit, the Italian kitchen has produced beloved dessert classics on the order of cannoli, cheesecake, and gelato. Visitors to Sicily remember fondly the pound cake and ricotta layers of cassata spiked with local liqueur and robed in dark chocolate. More spectacular still are those Italian cakes based on devastatingly rich chestnuts blended with cream and served with flourless cake turned ebony with massive amounts of bittersweet chocolate. The Italians have also perfected a dessert called semi-freddo, a "half-frozen" version of ice cream much less laborious to prepare at home. Sanchez's apricot-almond version may convert even the most obstinate gelato mavens. In similar vein, Bruce's Bakery Cookbook offers recipes from Bruce Zipes' eponymous Long Island bakery. Zipes makes his own riffs on standard dessert items. For example, he ensures an ultratender crumb in his pound cake by insisting on confectioners' sugar in the batter. His Linzer torte improves the Viennese original with a layer of fresh red raspberries. Irish Soda Bread, normally innocuous, secures significant texture from whole-wheat flour and a sprinkling of currants, not to mention a flavor boost from caraway seeds. Lemon Meringue Pie, an American favorite, has a layer of sponge cake between the rich filling and the airy meringue to keep the meringue from disintegrating as rapidly as it might otherwise.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Right up front, in the first paragraph of his introduction, Pyles (New Tastes from Texas and host of a PBS series) points out that he's a fifth-generation Texan. It could be that the James Beard Award winner is a little nervous, presenting a Texas-inspired cookbook that leaves out the meat. But times and tastes are changing, even in the Lone Star state. This collection offers a variety of dishes that use traditional Southwestern ingredients in newfangledÄand occasionally eyebrow-raisingÄways. Dishes feature chiles and nopales (the pads of the prickly pear cactus), tortillas and beans, and there are slaws and fritters, refried beans and empanadas. All demonstrate Pyles's comfort with a range of cuisines. The chapter on preserves, for example, is eclectic enough to include the old favorite Bread and Butter Pickles as well as Chipotle Aioli, a Southwestern take on the traditional French dipping sauce. And so it goes throughout the book, from soups and salads to main course casseroles, brunch ideas and desserts. There is Jicama-Mango Tortilla Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette and Roasted Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder with Fried Scallions, plus a variety of mashed potato dishes. There are times, though, when Pyles ought to leave well enough alone. Green Chile-Pineapple Risotto? Cilantro Ravioli? This book isn't for those who prefer quick-and-easy cooking, but the recipes will surely grab the cook's attention, bringing vegetarian cooking to a whole new level. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Pyles was one of the first young chefs cooking sophisticated Southwestern food; now, with three restaurants in Dallas, two in Las Vegas, and several popular PBS series to his credit, he's becoming well known across the country. His latest cookbook, the companion volume to his upcoming television series, features flavorful dishes like Charred Tomato Soup with Garlic and Red Chile Linguine with Pumpkin Seed Pesto. Southwestern flavors predominate, but there are also dishes inspired by Pyles's favorite Southern foods. Although the recipes are primarily vegetarian, some do include fish, and some of the headnotes suggest meat or poultry as serving options. Sure to be in demand, this is recommended for most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Red Chile-Citrus Zest Pesto This is a decidedly Southwestern pesto! Try whisking about 2 tablespoons into a cup or so of plain vinaigrette for a flavorful and spicy salad dressing. I also like to brush it on fish or chicken before it goes on the grill. 6 dried ancho chiles 2 tablespoons grated lime zest 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest 3 tablespoons grated orange zest 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds 1 tablespoon sugar 1/4 cup grated queso fresco or crumbled feta cheese 1/2 cup corn oil Salt to taste Preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the anchos on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 3 or 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the anchos to a mixing bowl, cover with warm water, and weight down with a plate or pan so the anchos remain submerged. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just pliable. Drain the anchos; stem and seed them under running water. Transfer to a food processor and add the citrus zests, cilantro, garlic, pumpkin seeds, sugar, and cheese. Process until smooth, then drizzle in the oil with the motor running. Season with salt to taste. Keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. Makes 1 cup -------------------------------------------------- Posole with Southern Greens, Chayote, Dried Cherries, and Pecans Posole is a thick, hearty stew typically containing corn and pork that originated in Jalisco, Mexico. Since I wanted to make this recipe vegetarian anyway, I decided to take it in an entirely new direction. The dried cherries may seem a little odd at first, but they lend a pleasant sweet-tartness to the dish while the pecans take it a bit deeper into the South. In the United States, we call the dried posole "hominy." 1/2 cup dry posole, soaked overnight 6 cups Vegetable Stock 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup diced onion 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 pound greens (such as mustard greens, collards, and/or Swiss chard), washed and roughly chopped 2 chayotes, cut in half, pitted, and julienned 1/2 cup dried cherries 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans 1/4 cup cider vinegar 3 tablespoons unsalted butter Salt to taste Drain the posole and place in a saucepan. Cover with the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, or until the posole is tender. Drain and reserve the posole and cooking liquid separately. In a stockpot, heat the olive oil until lightly smoking. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute over high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the greens, chayotes, and 1 cup of the posole cooking liquid. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender. Remove the lid and add the dried cherries, pecans, vinegar, and reserved posole. Cook over low heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and season with salt. Serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6 --------------------------------------------------- Grilled Vegetable Couscous This is a variation on the classic "couscous au sept légumes" that I experienced frequently on my travels in Morocco. Grilling the vegetables gives a smoky dimension to the dish, which contrasts with the traditional steaming process that tends to make the vegetables bland in flavor. Couscous is not only the name of the dish but also the main ingredient, which is actually granular semolina. In North Africa, couscous is nothing if not versatile: it is cooked in milk and served as a porridge, and mixed with fruit and sweetened for a dessert. For the Vegetables 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick "planks" 1 small yellow squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick "planks" 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and quartered 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch rounds 1 portobello mushroom, stem removed Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves 1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 6 tablespoons olive oil For the Couscous 2 cups couscous 4 cups Vegetable Stock Salt to taste 2 teaspoons unsalted butter 2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, and diced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 limes, zested and juiced 6 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese Prepare the grill. In a large mixing bowl, place the zucchini, squash, bell peppers, onion, and portobello and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In another mixing bowl, combine the oregano, parsley, chives, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk to combine, pour over the vegetables, and toss to coat well. Place the vegetables on the grill or under a broiler and cook until tender, turning every couple of minutes, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the cooked vegetables from the grill, let cool, and reserve. When cool, chop the vegetables. Meanwhile, place the couscous in a 2-quart mixing bowl. Place the stock in a saucepan, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Pour over the couscous, stir in the butter, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the couscous stand for 10 minutes. When the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork, making sure there are no lumps. Add the tomatoes, basil, cilantro, lime juice and zest, pine nuts, and cheese and season with salt. Mound the couscous on a platter. Pour the chopped vegetables on top and serve. Serves 6 to 8 Excerpted from Southwestern Vegetarian by Stephan Pyles, John Harrison All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.