Elena's Favorite Foods California Style


by Elena Zelayeta, Prentice-Hill, 1967. Hardback with DJ, 310 pages. Introduction by James Beard, also a West-Coaster, who anointed her with the ultimate Beard -o-pinion: "She knows how to prepare a classic, and she also knows how to give it the Zelayeta flair. In short, she has greatness." A small but neat recipe for Pine Nut Gravy for Fried Chicken," in which toasted pine nuts are added to traditional thickened broth and cream, is a perfect example. To her credit, among her recipes are those with Mexican, Asian and Italian influences.

The author's first book, Elena's Secrets of Mexican Cooking (listed on this site), caused a sensation because hers was one of the first books on authentic Mexican cooking written for a U.S. audience (she was born in Mexico). What I didn't know was that she turned to cooking -- and lessons and books -- after she lost her sight -- pretty amazing.

Book very good; DJ wear at edges. VG+/VG.

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