Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (April 1, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 1.1 x 10.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #87,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #50 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Mexican
I have Santibanez' first book and his Enchiladas Suizas are my go-to recipe. I've seen him occasionally on TV. He is not as well known as Rick Bayless, but he is the real deal. I love the way this book is organized--three notable chapters are (1) SALSAS: recipes using mostly fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, tomatillos, fresh peppers, onions, and sometimes mixed with dried chiles, etc. (2) GUACAMOLES: about a dozen variations to play with; (3) ADOBOS: recipes using dried chilies and very few pantry ingredients such as salt, vinegar, sugar, etc.. Another chapter on MOLES is there when feeling more adventurous to use more ingredients and when the time allows. I jumped in w/the Adobos. Used some guajillos I had stored. I got my feet wet with the dried guajillo adobo paste, then marinated and grilled a skirt steak with it. I am 'jumping ahead' today to a 3-chile blend adobo. Dried chilies are available most everywhere now and tons of places online so no excuse to not make these. Even the layout of each chapter shows thought and clear planning as well. The one-chili adobo recipes come first, then the two-, and 3-chili blend adobos. I find this so user friendly when entering a new domain of cooking with chilies. He explains that adobos can be used as a thicker paste to marinate and coat a meat/fish for grilling/frying, or using more of it with broth it can be used for slow cooking and braising. He gives specific recipes using all kinds of meats while recommending specific adobos for each. The only change I make is to add more sweetener by a tbs. or two (agave, honey, etc) than he lists and sometimes when he doesn't. Unless you're a 'Truly' Mexican chili head, you may agree with me. To my palate, it helps to balance out the heat.
Living in Northern California I have many options for good, authentic Mexican food. However, reproducing some of the more complicated items at home can be a challenge. With regional variations and a different version of common recipes between each family, molé and other things can be tough to tackle on your own.The Truly Mexican cookbook provides a resource to solve this problem. In many ways it seems to reflect a more normal way of preparing these dishes at home. The style and approach is more of an assemblage rather than a more traditional cookbook. In other words, you get recipes for sauces, for meats to go with sauces and a variety of side dishes to combine with your meals as you wish.Most home cooks will find this more accurately reflects figuring out what to fix for dinner. Often the though process goes something like this: I have pasta...what shape...okay, left over tomatoes for sauce so then what style...do I want to use the leftover chicken or some beef? In the same way you can tap the layered, fabulous flavors of traditional Mexican cooking and still use what you have on hand. In a hurry, this cookbook can be a bit frustrating. You are unlikely to be able to get a meal on the table in 20 minutes using this book. Be sure to save your explorations for those opportunities when you have a little more time and maybe even have a glass of wine while you're cooking.You'll find sauces that clearly originated with Spanish settlers, traditional combinations from New World ingredients specifically from various regions in Mexico. Fortunately, the author provides substitutions if you don't have access to the traditional, local ingredients. One of the side dishes turned out to be our favorite.
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