Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Scribner (October 21, 1996)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #51,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #7 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Caribbean & West Indian #34 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Mexican
`Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen' is restaurateur / PBS show host Rick Bayless' second major book on Mexican cuisine in cooperation with his wife, Deann Groen Bayless, and the first with collaborator, JeanMarie Brownson.The primary point of view which distinguishes this book from both his earlier `Authentic Mexican' book and his later PBS tie-in, `Mexico, One Plate at a Time' is that it deconstructs major aspects of Mexican dishes by breaking them down into `Essential' recipes and recipes which use these essential preparations as an ingredient.This has a lot in common with Ming Tsai's technique in his latest book, `Simply Ming', with the difference that while many of Ming Tsai's preparations were of his own devising, Senor Bayless is presenting us with the fact that the Mexican cuisine by its very nature, lends itself to this `modularization'.Almost all of the essential recipes are sauces and salsas. As Rick explains, the notion of a salsa is much broader to the Mexican mind than it may be to us gringos looking at the notion from the outside.
Hats off to Bayless, this is one of the best cookbooks I have ever come across - regardless of culinary topic. He really does provide everything you would want in a cook book...he reveals the story behind the food with valuable insight, provides a good balance between finished dishes and understanding the raw materials and techniques, and he provides you with great sources for deeper research.Its interesting that I was hesitant about Bayless's book in the beginning because my only previous experience with him was watching a few episodes of his show. From what I saw, I thought he spent way too much time on Antojitos...and that was definitely not what I was interested. See, I was born in Mexico City, and have dined on most of the regional cuisines of Mexico so what I craved were the incredible savory, complex dishes that I could not even dream of finding in California, where it is relatively easy to find authentic Mexican "junk" food.To that end, this book really delivers. I have successfully prepared the Barbacoa, utilized his method of simmering chicken straight in a rich sauce, his basic sauce recipes answered a few lingering questions that allowed me to perfect my own recipes. In addition, I am exclusively dry roasting garlic on a griddle, and rinsing chopped onions which has improved just about every dish I prepare. Finally, he has given me valuable insight for deeper research on Mexican cuisine...such as identifying a Mexican cookbook that is entirely devoted to Mexico's wild mushrooms & truffles.And those who don't think the foods he presents are traditional are completely wrong. If anything, he steers clear away from Contemporary trends in Mexican cuisine.
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