August 05, 2007

Recipes with Picante Sauce

I don't consider myself a hot sauce or salsa addict, nor am I in any way, shape or form a chile expert. I haven't tried every single commercial hot sauce of the thousands available on the market. I've got my own personal preferences about this perfect food group and I must confess that most of my favorites are of the homemade, whipped-up-in-the-kitchen-this-morning variety. If I don't feel like making it myself, I can easily bring home a quart or so from the restaurant that makes one I do like.

I must also confess that the brand featured in the cookbook here today is not even on my list of those that I even mildly like. However, I know that there are many, many people who do like and enjoy this brand, and that tons of it is probably shipped out and served at many restaurants nationwide every day. The fact is, a favorite hot sauce choice comes down to personal preference.

I think the folks who do enjoy the Pace brand will find the Pace Picante Sauce 40th Anniversary Recipe Collection (1987, 158 pp.) to be very much to their liking. Heck, I like the cookbook, even if I don't really care for their sauce.

Maybe you're wondering how I can like the cookbook if I don't particularly like the brand name product that's featured in every one of the recipes.

Firstly, I like the look of the book. It has a glossy, black hard cover with bright red, white and yellow lettering and graphics. There's a photograph of a spread of Tex-Mex on the front that looks pretty good. This copy is spiral bound, with the wire spiral hidden inside which makes it lie perfectly flat when you have it open. It has a lot more of those taste tempting photogaphs inside. The pages are slick and glossy too, with the recipe titles in red and the recipes in black text. It's, well, cheerful. The presentation is good.

Secondly, it has a lot of recipes (I quit counting at 200) in a variety of categories--Appetizers, Soups and Stews, Main Dishes, Grilling, Side Dishes and Salads and even some menu suggestions in case I were stumped on what to serve with what.

I believe the recipe ingredients can be easily found in most supermarkets no matter where you live. Perhaps even more so today than 20 years ago when this book was first published. Depending on where you live and what you normally cook, many of these ingredients might already be staples in your kitchen.

While the recipe directions are not exactly of the numbered step-by-step variety, they are concise, complete, and easy to follow. I think even a novice cook could successfully prepare all of the recipes, which means it's just that much easier for experienced cooks.

I may not use this brand of sauce, but I can substitute a brand I do like better in place of theirs in the recipe. I can use the recipes in their book for inspiration. I can modify the recipes to suit my own purposes.

And of course, as all cookbook collectors and gatherers know, one doesn't necessarily have cookbooks around the house just to use for cooking. Sometimes we just have them around just to read.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home