The New Southwest by Megan Micozzi
Valley newcomer Megan Micozzi's new book builds on her highly successful "Scarletta Bakes" blog documenting her introduction to and passion for Southwest ingredients and food traditions. For Micozzi, the Southwest extends from Southern California to Texas and from the Mexican border to Colorado and Utah, allowing the inclusion of ingredients such as avocado in her classic pantry.
As the book title suggests, with the exception of an initial chapter on classic building-block recipes, all of Micozzi's dishes have a twist. It's American comfort food meets Southwest spice: Think chipotle in grilled cheese, fried sage in the smashed potatoes and the aforementioned avocado in sweet glazed doughnuts. Turnabout is also fair play with mushrooms and leeks in the migas and sweet potato in the sopes.
The cookbook includes plenty of the author's signature baked goods, whether it's the Sonoran honey streusel coffee cake for breakfast or the impressive dulce de leche layer cake with sweet pecan "pesto" for dessert.
The New Southwest: Classic Flavors with a Modern Twist
by Megan Micozzi (Hippocrene Books, 2013)
Appeals to: Fans of Southwest cuisine. Lovers of comfort food with a spicy kick.