We’re living in an age when a burrito from a chain around the corner can weigh upwards of one pound (guacamole is extra, of course), and sometimes Mexican fine dining means mole and little else.

But Pati Jinich wants to change our relationship with food from south of the border. Rápidamente.

The former Dallas resident, who once worked for chef Stephan Pyles and now resides in D.C., has just released Pati’s Mexican Table, a cookbook offering keen insight on how best to cook the popular fare in your own home.

For the adventurous, Jinich shows how to make corn tortillas and pickle your own jalapeños. But she even elevates the everyday. Bored with your standard sandwich? Who knew tortas (filled with a meat such as chicken tinga, refried beans, cheese and avocado) were so easy to make?

The Mexico City native has always held fast to her food memories. After a brief stint in D.C. as a policy analyst, she returned to her first love--food--and now passes the enthusiasm on to her three young sons, serving them fried chicken Milanesa and Mexican alphabet soup.

And with Passover and Easter coming up, who could say no to her recipe for beef brisket topped with a spicy pasilla and tomatillo sauce?

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