Diana Kennedy published her first cookbook in 1972. It was about Mexican food. She has been learning more and writing more ever since. From My Mexican Kitchen takes the reader by the hand and explores the indigenous ingredients that make Mexican food come alive, as well as the techniques handed down through the centuries for the right way to handle those ingredients. It's a book to combine with another, Kennedy's The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, for example.
The chapter headings include: "Cheeses and Cream"; "Cooking Fats and Oils"; "Fresh and Dried Chiles"; "Fresh and Dried Herbs"; "Vegetables, Beans, and Fruits"; "Meat, Poultry, and Seafood"; "Rice and Pasta"; "Making Antojitos"; "Making Moles"; "Making Table Sauces"; "Making Tamales"; "Making Tortillas"; "Making Vinegar"; "Making Yeast Breads"; and "Utensils". You'll find precise descriptions of ingredients as well as glowing illustrations, the techniques you need to prep any ingredients, and classic recipes to pull it all together. There's also a glossary of cooking terms and sources for various ingredients.
This is a beautifully laid out and illustrated reference text. Probably no one but Diana Kennedy could produce such a book, in English. Her voice, as ever, is clear and demanding, her instructions thorough and determined. She's a true instructor. Trust yourself to her care and you can rest assured that the foods you produce will be as close to the real thing as anyone working in print media can get you. It's Diana Kennedy's magic at work. --Schuyler Ingle
Kennedy has often been termed the Julia Child of Mexican cuisine, and the comparison is almost inescapable in this competent, humorous and balanced guide to the techniques needed to create foods indigenous to Mexico. Kennedy, acclaimed author of three other standard-setting Mexican cookbooks, has been studying the country's food since 1957 and now lives there for much of the year. In the first part, the book focuses on ingredients, while the second part focuses on techniques, and both have recipes interspersed throughout. One of the fine qualities that Child and Kennedy share is a judicious outlook on fat: Kennedy instructs readers to "forget about cholesterol when you are next having breakfast in a Mexican market" and indulge in natas, a form of clotted cream. A comprehensive chapter on the many types of chiles could almost stand alone as a primer on the topic, and another on beans offers recipes for several types of refried beans, including Yucatecan Sieved Beans. In the introduction to a chapter on mole in the techniques section, Kennedy corrects the misperception that it's a kind of "chocolate sauce," and then she goes on to provide instructions for Mole Poblano and Mole Verde. The more complicated recipes are accompanied by useful step-by-step photographs, but it's Kennedy's no-nonsense tone that makes her both a trusted guide and a delight to read. This volume is encyclopedic in the sense that it is fantastically complete, but it is also utterly reader-friendly because it is so highly personal and helpfully detailed.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.