Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking Mexican
The Essential Cuisines of Mexico : Revised and updated throughout, with more than 30 new recipes.
Published: October 17, 2000
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Can it be 30 years since Diana Kennedy's first cookbook was published? Since then, and due largely to her, Americans have learned that Mexican food isn't just burritos and combination plates, but a subtle, highly developed repertoire with
roots in European as well as native Mexican cooking. The Essential Cuisines of Mexico combines in one book Kennedy's first three works, The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking. Updated and revised, and with 30 new recipes
to make more than 300 in all, the compilation is instantly the definitive English-language exploration of Mexican cooking.
In 20 chapters--from appetizers to sweets and drinks--the book presents old friends like Pozole de Jalisco and chile con
queso, and new delights, including pico de gallo with peaches, Arroz ŕ la Tumbada (rice with seafood), Pollo en Cuiclachoce (chicken in a sauce made with cuitlacoche, the wonderfully exotic corn fungus), snacks from Yucatán cantinas, and a delicious
barbecued chicken from Chiapus. The recipe revisions reflect increased ingredient availability and our evolved appreciation of the Mexican palate (Kennedy now requires fresh poblano chilies in her Sopa de Elote, for example, and instructs that they be
charred). The sections on masa "fantasies" and tortillas bring together a wide range of these corn-based treats, including Garnachas Yucatecas (delicious filled masa tartlets). With a comprehensive glossary and essays such as "A Weekend Barbecue in
Oaxaca," the book reminds us of Kennedy's great contribution to our culinary pleasure, and the recipes that made it possible. --Arthur Boehm
More than twenty-five years ago, when Diana Kennedy published The Cuisines of
Mexico, knowledge and appreciation of authentic Mexican cooking were in their infancy. But change was in the air. Home cooks were turning to Julia Child for an introduction to French cuisine and to Marcella Hazan for the tastes of Italy. Through Diana
Kennedy they discovered a delicious and highly developed culinary tradition they barely knew existed. The Cuisines of Mexico, Mexican Regional Cooking, and The Tortilla Book became best-sellers, and Diana Kennedy was recognized as the authority on
Now a new generation has discovered that Mexican food is more than chimichangas, that they can find fresh hierbas de olor (pot herbs, including marjoram and Mexican bayleaf) and chilacas in their markets. The book that will become
indispensable in their kitchens is The Essential Cuisines of Mexico.
Diana has combined her three classic books in one volume, refining recipes when possible, bringing them up to date without losing the spirit of their generation. Old friends will
be delighted to revisit these refreshed classics and to find more than thirty new recipes from different regions of Mexico. Among these discoveries are the very popular arroz a la tumbada (rice with seafood) from Veracruz, a pico de gallo with peaches
from the state of Mexico, and tasty snacks from the cantinas of Mérida.
Newcomers will delight in Diana's "word pictures" -- descriptions of her travels and discoveries -- and in her off-the-cuff comments. Whether they turn to this book for the
final word on tamales, recipes for tasty antojitos to serve with drinks, or superb tacos, they will find there is no better teacher of Mexican food. How enviable to attempt for the first time Calzones del Diablo (yes, the Devil's Pants), and what a
pleasure to succumb to Diana's passion for Mexican food.
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