The Essential Cuisines of Mexico (Paperback) ~ Diana Kennedy (Au... Cover Art

The Essential Cuisines of Mexico (Paperback)

By: Diana Kennedy (Author)


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Review

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 à 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

Short Desription

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 Mexican food.

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.


From the Hardcover edition.



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