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The Essential Cuisines of Mexico [Paperback]

Diana Kennedy
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 20 2009
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.

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The Essential Cuisines of Mexico + Authentic Mexican 20th Anniversary Ed: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico + Mexican Everyday
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From Amazon

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

HThe prolific Kennedy revisits her adopted homeland in The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, a compilation of her first three books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book and Mexican Regional Cooking). From Nuevo Le"n to the Yucatan, Kennedy strives to retain the authenticity of regional recipes: "I have simplified the recipes when possible, bringing them up to date without losing the spirit of their generation." Chapters reflect an assemblage of courses, including appetizers, corn dough cakes, vegetables, meats, egg dishes, light meals, sauces and relishes, sweet pastries and drinks. The concluding "general information" section provides helpful tips on equipment, chiles, cheeses, spices, herbs and other ingredients indigenous to Mexican cookery. Chapter introductions and detailed anecdotes (e.g., "A Weekend and Barbecue in Oaxaca") offer engaging glimpses of local Mexican life. Recipes will beguile aficionados searching for the "real Mexican deal," with a cornucopia of earthy ingredientsDlike calf's tongue, pig's feet, tripe "of different textures," pork lardDand exotic flavors, such as machaca (dried salted beef), nopoles (cactus paddles) and cuiclacoche (corn fungus). For novices, there are appealing, easy-to-make comfort foods, like Angel Hair Pasta in Tomato Broth and Chiles Con Queso (Chiles with Cheese), while seasoned cooks will appreciate challenging dishes such as Stuffed Chiles in Walnut Sauce and Turkey in Mole Poblana. Vivid prose chronicles the sojourns of Kennedy's curious palate, painting "word pictures" to describe "a Mexico of the past." Her efforts yield yet another classic, one that masterfully documents the rich diversity of Mexico's gastronomic heritage. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should have been better Feb. 1 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I'm the biggest Diana Kennedy fan ever. I wouldn't be without her earlier books except MY MEXICO, which is good but for me not essential. This is a compilation and some things are cut, some are added and some recipes refer to the earlier books that this one volume is supposed to replace. An example is tamales. Her earlier books have pages of instructions and theories in addition to stories. Here, we get the same story but then are referred to CUISINES OF MEXICO for detailed instructions for tamale masa. CUISINES has overly-pedantic recipes in the style of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING so the update in style is welcome, but I wouldn't dream of not having the complete versions of the earlier books. Personally, I think her editor needs to be spanked.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book is the best Mexican cook book on the market. If you seriously love Mexican cooking, this cook book is absolutely essential.
I first discovered Diana Kennedy from a friend who was also seriously addicted to good Mexican food in 1973. I immediately bought a copy of her first book, The Cuisines of Mexico, and authentic Mexican food began to appear in my kitchen. Mexican food is the only food I make, other than something that can go directly into the microwave. Believe me, if I can get good results with this cook book, you'll be a regular Julia Child by comparison.
In fact, Diana Kennedy is a lot like Julia Child in many ways. Ms. Kennedy is an American who came to live in Mexico after she married a New York Times foreign correspondent. There, she learned Mexican food from the local people. Her book is full of beautiful tales about how people prepare and enjoy each dish. For years, she has offered cooking instruction, so she knows the kinds of things that people need to learn. For example, the book contains general information about what kind of equipment you need, basic descriptions of the various ingredients (which can get pretty complicated with the various chilies), and how to handle various ingredients for advance preparation (something I always do), storage, and freezing (something that always happens because I make so much).
The reason I say that this is the book to have is because this book contains the essential material from her three earlier cook books (The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional Cooking) updated and improved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipe Enciclopedia Dec 28 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is the first book written by Diana Kennedy that I read, so I don't know how it compares with her previous books. I can say, however, that this is one of the most complete books on Mexican cuisine that I have found. I also like the fact that all of the recipes are as authentic as can be. My only dissapointment is that some recipes call for hard to get ingredients and are very labor intensive, but this is not Ms. Kennedy's fault, that is just the way aunthentic Mexican food is. Even if you don't prepare any of the recipes the book is highly enjoyable.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very convenient repackaging of Dianna Kennedy's tomes on classical Mexican cuisines that belongs on any serious Mexican food afficionado's bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Essential Cuisines of Mexico Nov. 21 2000
By B. J. S
Format:Hardcover
This is a marvelous complete collection of Diana Kennedy's Mexican recipes and is updated for current cooks. I love it .
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