Pati Jinich was a political analyst, living and working in Washington, D.C., when she surrendered to persistent daydreams of food and the relentless draw of her home kitchen. Six years later, she is an educator, TV show host, and now cookbook author, making the rounds with her recently released book, Pati’s Mexican Table: The Secrets of Real Mexican Home Cooking.
“My book shows the wide breadth and range of Mexican cooking, and shows that it’s healthy and wholesome,” says Jinich, who assures us that home-style Mexican recipes are nothing if not accessible, and they need not be too heavy or spiced and sauced to excess.
A wife and mom, Pati cherishes time in the kitchen with her three sons, ages 14, 11 and 7. “I love messy cooking and messy eating,”she says, “They’re just like me. The boys express their personalities in the way they cook and eat. They love foods that can be dressed and garnished at the table,” she says, making versatile recipes like Chicken Tinga ideal for their favorite time of day—family time.
—By Alissa Harb
See below for a menu of our favorite recipes from Pati’s cookbook, supplemented with some of our favorites from the Relish.com recipe archives.