A Taste of My Forthcoming Book

CoverMy definition of the American Southwest is southwestern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona–those areas most influenced by Native American and northern Mexican cookery, as well as American imports and techniques. These are the traditional locations for a unique cuisine–dating to prehistory–that continues to evolve. We often think of Southwestern cuisine as imported from Mexico, but parts of the Southwest were a part of Mexico for more than 200 years. In addition to nearly 200 recipes, the book includes a “Pepper Primer” and a glossary of Southwestern cooking terms and ingredients.  Historic black and white photos illustrate the history and full-color food photography accompanies the recipes.  The book will release on May 3rd.  Pre-order it here on

Here is a sampling of the book, with food photography by Wes Naman, styling by my niece and food editor, Emily DeWitt-Cisneros.

Margarita-Marinated Game Hens

Margarita-Marinated Game Hens

This is the recipe for people who would like to eat their margarita rather than drink it. The hens can be either baked or split and cooked on a grill with the marinade used as a basting sauce. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

4 to 5 serrano chiles, stems and seeds removed

1/2 cup lime juice

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons tequila

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

4 cornish game hens

Combine all the ingredients, except the hens, in a blender and puree. Pour the marinade over the hens and marinate for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

Place the hens in a 450 degree oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes or until done, basting often with the marinade.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

For more food history and recipes on the subjects of Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, just click on the image below.

AboutDave Dewitt

Dave is known in the media as "The Pope of Peppers" because of the 36 books he's written on chile peppers and spicy food around the world. He's also co-producer of the National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show and editor and publisher of the Fiery Foods & Barbecue SuperSite at His latest book, with chile breeder Dr. Paul Bosland, is The Complete Chile Pepper Book.

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