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Synopsis

"Tabasco sauce is an indispensable ingredient, and always on my kitchen counter. I am a loyal Fan."

Pierre Franey

The world would be a much blander place without that familiar little red bottle with the white diamond label.

Ever since Edmund McIlhenny introduced his soon-to-be-famous pepper sauce in 1868, raw oysters and Bloody Marys have depended on that definitive dash to make them complete. Now, Paul McIlhenny unbottles the authoritative cookbook on this very special sauce. It's no surprise that a generous amount of Tabasco sauce adds heat and bite to foods, but The Tabasco Cookbook reveals that a judicious amount will add "roundness" to flavors in a multitude of ways.

Tempting recipes range from contemporary offerings such as Potato, Artichoke, and Leek Soup, Devil's Chicken, and Lemon Sesame Asparagus to a host of Tabasco Classics -- regional favorites such as Eula Mae's Cajun Seafood Gumbo, Grillades for Brunch, Shrimp Creole, and Dirty Rice. Each recipe is rated from (gives flavors a lift) to (not for the meek) according to its piquancy level, and simple tips on using Tabasco sauce to heighten the flavor of everything from popcorn to polenta are sprinkled throughout the pages.

The Tabasco Cookbook is filled with vignettes describing the venerable history of the pepper sauce and the family-run company behind it, as well as bits of trivia and lore revealing elusive facts, such as what a "petit baton rouge" is (page 130). With more than thirty-five duotone photographs from the McIlhenny archives, The Tabasco Cookbook brings to life the history behind one of America's most classic ingredients.

So don't just reach for the Tabasco sauce when you're thinking "hot": Tabasco sauce is the perfect solution whenever flavors need a lift.

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