Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (July 5, 2010)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #187,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #91 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Mexican #688 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Entertaining & Holidays #745 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Quick & Easy
I view this book as a complement to Bayless's other books: once you are comfortable with Mexican cuisine, this book is a big help when you want to show off your skills for a crowd. He and his wife Deann (co-authur of the book) deal with the logistics of centering a party with various Mexican themes, from a "Luxury Guacamole Bar Cocktail Party for 12" to a "Classic Mexican Mole Fiesta for 24." Included are drink recipes, salsas, guacamoles (the roasted garlic and orange guacamole in particular is excellent), as well as many main dishes and desserts. Included are a surprising number of vegetarian options, important so that those guests don't feel left out of the party. The recipes also scale down well, if you aren't feeding 100 guests. Winners are the enfrijoladas, the guacamoles (not your typical guacs, these!), the Cochito Chiapaneco (grilled pork roast), the Tacos de Arrachera al Carbón, and his twist on Enchiladas Suizas. I didn't care for the Queso Fundido al Tequila, but so far most of the recipes have ranged from pretty good to great.If you are looking for an introduction to Mexican cooking from a beginner's standpoint, I'd suggest either "Mexico One Plate At A Time" (by Bayless), or "The Art of Mexican Cooking" by Diana Kennedy. Either of those will provide you with the solid fundamentals that you need before you can get the most out of Fiesta at Rick's.
I own every other Rick Bayless cookbook. The first one I bought in the 80s flops open to several recipes, and the pages are honored by many food stains. Even if you don't watch his PBS TV shows, Bayless is an absolutely reliable cookbook author, with understandable instructions, educational explanations, and yummy recipes. Best of all, he is accurate: If he says something will cook in 12 minutes or so, then you can be pretty sure it'll really be done by then.Fiesta at Rick's is, however, a *party* book, and I wasn't sure if I really needed to add it to my collection. I usually cook for two, occasionally four or six. Some of the recipes in Fiesta are for _25_, such as a posole party. Even though I had a big party coming up (10 people at a holiday pool party, with a menu which we had declared would be Make Your Own Tacos) I wasn't sure I *had* to have this. In such circumstances I turned to my Book Triage, usually relegated to authors of less certain adoration: I went to the library. (My rule is that if I cook three things from a library book and still want to cook more, I may permit myself to buy the book. This has saved me from several unfortunate purchases.)The bottom line: I'm almost certain to buy a copy of Fiesta.Granted, I've only made a couple of the recipes here. As it turns out, most of the tacos I made came from Mexico One Plate At A Time, doubled up, (and the zucchini tacos, from that cookbook, were the biggest hit). I used Fiesta for the recipe for the roasted tomatillo salsa and for the grilled garlic and orange guacamole, which earned a few Wows.
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