The Southwest Table by Dave DeWitt
Part history, part travel guide, part food guide, The Southwest Table: Traditional Cuisine from Texas, New Mexico and Arizona (Lyons Press, 2011) by Dave DeWitt is a cookbook that tries to put Southwest food in context. The author is known for his advocacy of New Mexico chile and spicy food and this book doesn't disappoint on that front, but it also pays homage to native foods, Texas barbecue, the Arizona frontier and Southwest resort dining.
Traveling state to state and city to city with DeWitt as he highlights quirky local food traditions is a fun ride (what does chimichanga really mean?), but his recipes are seriously good eats. All of your favorite enchilada, bean, chili and chile dishes are here along with recipes for homemade chorizo and machaca. Some of the newer dishes (tamale-stuffed game hen, avocado bread and chiltepine vodka) are worth experimenting with as well.
Appeals to: Fans of Southwest Cuisine, History buffs, Chile heads