Savor the Southwest

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The ingredients may be down-home, but the recipes that more than a dozen Southwest chefs have put forward in Barbara Pool Fenzl's Savor the Southwest are decidedly upscale. There's something about Silver Dollar Crab Cakes on Corn Pancakes that cries out "home on the yuppie range." And that's another way of saying "food for entertaining."

This book moves, chapter by chapter, from one delicious-sounding dish to another. Very few of them, however, have that certain fix-something-for-the-family ring. This is the book to pull off the shelf when you want to pull out the stops and really put on a different kind of spread.

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup may well be the tamest-sounding recipe in the book. That's not to say that the addition of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce isn't going to have an impact. How about Salmon Mousse Tamales with Edible Flowers? Put those nibbles out at a party and people will go home talking.

Fenzl divides her text into chapters on appetizers and salads; soups, stews, and chilis; main courses; vegetables; breads and tortillas; desserts; and salsa, sauces, and relishes. The contributing chefs are the cream of the southwestern crop who have yanked the foods of the Southwest into the 21st century.

Green Chile Fettuccine with Shrimp, anyone? Ancho-Glazed Chicken? Chocolate Tacos Filled with Hazelnut-Chocolate Mousse? This may be not everyday fare, but it's sure a great way to plan a party. –Schuyler Ingle

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