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Mexico One Plate At A Time [Hardcover]

Rick Bayless
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 39.99
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Book Description

Oct. 25 2000
Rick Bayless has been acclaimed widely as America's foremost proponent of Mexico's thrillingly diverse cuisine. In this companion book to his 26-part Public Television series, he takes us, with boyish enthusiasm, through Mexican markets, street stalls and home kitchens to bring us the great dishes of Mexico, one "plate" at a time. And each "plate" Rick presents here is a Mexican classic. Take guacamole, for instance. After teaching us the essentials for a perfect, classic guacamole, Rick shows how to spin contemporary interpretations, like his Roasted Poblano Guacamole with garlic and parsley. Rick's cuisine is always lively, but rooted in strong traditions.
Always the teacher, Rick begins each "plate" with some never-before-found features: traditional benchmarks (Rick's idea of the best guacamole), when to think of the recipes (weeknight dinners or casual party food), and advice for American cooks (Rick's insight into the ingredients that make the dish). He rounds out each "plate" with suggestions for working ahead.
To complete the journey into the Mexican mindset, Rick, with help from his testers, ends each "plate" with a question-and-answer section detailing just about everything a home cook might want to know: What are the best cuts of beef for grilled tacos? The best cheeses for quesadillas? Is one grill better than another? Rick draws from his years of living in Mexico, pulling us into the Mexican kitchen, to teach us how to create authentic Mexican dishes in our American kitchens.
Rick is an Indiana Jones of the stove, a Julia Child of Mexican cuisine in black jeans and a T-shirt. Rick's goal: to enable folks all across the United States to create dishes that weave in the rich tapestry of Mexican flavor with ingredients that are widely available. He always provides ingredients that make the dish authentic, but he also delivers with the right substitute if an ingredient is hard to find.
Experience food you can't wait to make in a new and user-friendly cookbook that contains the full range of dishes -- Starters, Snacks and Light Meals; Soups, Stews and Sides; Entrées; Desserts and Drinks. Rick serves up such classic Mexican plates as Tomatillo-Braised Pork Loin, Quick-Fried Shrimp with Sweet Toasty Garlic, Chiles Rellenos, Cheesy Enchiladas Suizas, and Mexican Vanilla-Scented Flan.
And for an exciting taste of the unexpected, try Rick's contemporary interpretations of the classics -- Crispy Potato Sopes with Goat Cheese and Fresh Herbs, Grilled Salmon with Lemon-and-Thyme-Scented Salsa Veracruzana, Broiled Flank Steak with Tomato-Poblano Salsa and Rustic Cajeta Apple Tarts with Berry "Salsa."
Food and friends, food and family. Good cooking, for Rick, is the unspoken animator of friends and family as they gather to share a meal. Rick's recipes lend themselves to weeknight family meals or celebrations. Take part in a tamalada, the tamal-making party before the party, or the ritual of a barbacoa, an earthy experience that Rick has made possible with a kettle grill in the backyard.
24 color photographs of finished dishes Photographs of Mexican location shots throughout

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Product Description

From Amazon

Rick Bayless is Mexican cooking's great American voice. An award-winning chef and author of bestselling Mexican cookbooks like Authentic Mexican, he's found a way to present honest recipes in a friendly, relaxed fashion that nonetheless touches every technical base. One Plate at a Time takes his approach a step further. Bayless offers more than 120 recipes, providing traditional versions of much-loved classics like Green Chile Chicken Tamales, modern renditions of the basic repertoire, and dish "anatomies." These detail what a given dish should taste and look like, when it's best served, and how American cooks should approach its preparation. This goofproof strategy will appeal to old cooking hands and culinary gringos alike.

Ranging from soups and starters to entrees, light meals, desserts, and drinks, the chapters present a wide range of dishes, from the simple (such as guacamole, updated with roasted poblanos, garlic, and tomatoes) to the more complex (a classic red mole with turkey, for one, followed by Roasted Cornish Game Hens with Apricot-Pine Nut Mole). Other winning recipes include Seafood in Mojo de Ajo (with toasted, slow-cooked garlic), Smoky Chipotle Beans with Wilted Spinach and Masa "Gnocchi," and, for dessert, a definitive vanilla flan with instructions for preparing it in three versions: light, creamy, and rich. Throughout, recipes are followed by paragraph-long "postmortems" (is Mexican vanilla worth searching out, for instance) that further extend reader understanding. With 32 pages of color photos and an extensive glossary, the book is an inspired place to start or continue a Mexican cooking journey. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

Rarely has a cuisine been so epically dissected, analyzed, pined over and exemplified in the name of a tasty dinner. Indeed, cookbook is perhaps too tame a description for this latest venture from Bayless, the popular chef and author (Salsas That Cook, etc.). Each recipe begins with a stream-of-consciousness consideration that at times runs a bit too jolly. "No food translates into more carefree fun than a singing dish of queso fundido," declares the author. Following the lead-in, a paragraph provides the "Traditional Benchmark," wherein the ideal version of the dish is captured. Thus, readers learn what makes the perfect flan or Pozole (Pork and Hominy Stew). Next come a few words on "When to Think of These Recipes"DChiles Rellenos when you're pulling out the stops, Tamales for hanging out with the gang. A third paragraph offers "Advice for American Cooks," such as what peppers you can substitute in your Adobado Chicken. Then, at last, come the recipes. Bayless provides both a traditional and contemporary version of most dishes. Among his many happy surprises are a relatively unknown "street-style" enchilada, which is dipped in chile sauce and quick fried, and a grilled Cactus Salad. Each recipe is followed by answers to Frequently Asked Questions. How saucy should the filling be for your taco? Or maybe just tune in and read along to the PBS version, with one of Bayless's Mango Coolers in hand. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bayless falls short of former books Nov. 17 2001
Rick Bayless knows a great deal about authentic Mexican cooking. This book, however, reads like an edited version of a TV introductory cooking show (which it probably is). His former books introduce the cooking of Mexican and Oaxacan cuisine with admirable quality and depth.
The book is primarily basic corn kitchen and a few standards. Consisting of, essentially 34 recipes with two or three variations on each, the book is far less than it appears.
He has some good sections on ingredients, but rarely complete: for example he has a section on tequila which never mentions pulque or mexcal (from his beloved Oaxaca) and while he calls for such things as avocado leaves and epazote he does not provide a source. On the other hand, he has a good section on internet resources.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Although not all the meals in this book are whip it up quick, EVERYTHING I have tried so far has been simply spectacular (And besides, true art takes time!) If you love traditional Mexican dishes, and recipies that have it all explained for you, I strongly reccomend this cookbook!!
Not only are the recipies filled with tips for success, but each section has a wonderful narrative on the history and the origins of the foods on the following pages!
My Husband always exclaims "Wow! this is JUST LIKE my Grandma used to make!!" even if it is my first attempt.
Again, easy to execute instructions and wonderful results have made this my favorite cookbook, complete with chile-splattered pages!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Guide to a Fascinating Cuisine Oct. 10 2001
Mexican cuisine is difficult not merely because the ingredients are often hard to find, but also because it represents an almost wholly original approach to these ingredients. As a truly indigenous cuisine, it represents an approach to cooking almost totally unfamiliar both to home cooks and classically trained chefs. This is why Bayless' book is such a valuable contribution for those interested in getting away from American interpretations of Mexican food. While he emphasizes traditional recipes, Bayless is not doctrinaire. He also adds contemporary interpretations of classic dishes which at once preserve the authentic quality of the originals, while exploring and incorporating new ingredients. Moreover, he offers more than simple recipes, but also a guide to understanding what it is about traditional Mexican cooking that leads to its unique flavours. This helps inspire substitutions for ingredients not readily available and greater skills in creating notoriously difficult to reproduce Mexican standards like refried beans or ceviche.
If I have any complaints about this book, they come down to the following. There are relatively few recipes in the book, which is largely a function of the explanations I endorsed earlier. There are also many recipes in this book which are quite similar to dishes provided in his other cookbooks. Somebody already familiar with Bayless' work might find this somewhat frustrating.
However, as a first book on Mexican cooking, I can think of none better placed to produce a better meal. This is an expensive book, but one that is nicely adorned and marvelously designed. I would recommend it to any seriously interested in coming to knwo one of the finest cuisines in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bayless makes a new convert June 29 2001
By Carole
When I was growing up my idea of Mexican food was having to eat those terrible Mexican TV Dinners - YUCK. (The same went for Chinese food.) As a young and middle aged adult I refused to go to a Mexican restaurant based upon my childhood cuisine nightmares. Now I am married to someone who loves food from all around the world. He has been responsible for introducing me to many ethnic foods that I would have otherwise never tried.
Several years ago my husband and I went on a vacation to a place about an hour south of Cancun on the coast near Tulum Beach...Puerta Aventura. It was a 5-star all-inclusive hotel. Among other things that impressed me was the exquisite food. We both must have gained ten pounds on that trip. That was my first taste of good Mexican food. What an eye opener.
Not long ago I was watching FoodTV and saw Rick Bayless, heard about his book, heard the rave reviews on it, and watched several popular chefs prepare authentic Mexican regional cuisine. I was fascinated and wanted to try it out. So I bought this book. Let me tell you folks, if you have never had good Mexican food, this is THE PLACE to start. If you have only eaten it in restaurants, this is THE BOOK to start cooking it.
I began with his Classic Guacamole (to die for), then his Shrimp Ceviche (double to die for) and went on from there. Just the reading and learning itself is a treat. In addition to the recipes, Bayless often goes into detail about the source or inspiration of the recipe; for instance, he talks about the Tortilla Soup...it's his Mom's tortilla soup and he gives the background of the many uses for tortillas. I didn't know this stuff!
He also includes a section on the many types of equipment, spices, herbs, tools and anything else you can think of in preparing and seasoning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every recipe worked the first time I made them! Feb. 9 2001
And how often does that happen? This cookbook is the BEST I have ever ever used. (I owe 100+ cookbooks) Why? Instructions are clear and easy to follow. The Q and A section really does answer the questions that occur to the home cook. The recipes themselves have been carefully tested in quanities that work for home cooks. Hats off to the proof readers - I have found no typos in the recipes. And lastly,these really are dishes you would want to make. I've bought sooo many cookbooks that were just too complex, too far reaching that have left me wrung out and too stressed to enjoy the meal. This cookbook is different. I've come home and have made Pork Loin in Tomatillo Sauce from scratch to table in hour with the last half hour in the oven leaving me free to set the table and make a salad....And when my husband takes leftovers to work - he always has a crew of coworkers asking him "Where did you get that takeout?" I have had no problem in finding the ingredients. Further, I've had no problems with fumes or smoke from roasted peppers - I just turn on the fan over the stove top and they quickly dissipate.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great cookbook
This is a great Mexican cookbook. I can't recommend it enough. My husband asked for it on his birthday and since we like the dishes so much I plan to send a copy to my sister for... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by P. McMinn
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
This is a great book, no doubt about it. Unlike one of the other reviewer's, I did not find the recipes to be complex, just accurate. Read more
Published on Oct. 9 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
If you want to prepare real Mexican food, this book is a must.
Published on July 26 2003 by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Yummy but time consuming
We love mexican food and heard rave reviews about this book. Be warned, though - you'll need some time to prepare most of these recipes. Read more
Published on July 17 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars You'll need some free time to try these recipes...
Overall I think this is a good book and devotes a great deal of time discussing the history of Mexican cooking. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2003 by Jacqueline Bomar
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipes and more
This is an excellent companion to the PBS series "Mexico One Plate at a Time". It has many wonderful recipes, but Rick also discusses the history and culture behind some... Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2002 by R. Holman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good eating!
My husband and I love Rick Bayless and enjoyed his show. Whereas there are some dishes in the book we wouldn't eat, we do love this cookbook. Read more
Published on July 30 2002 by Mary King
1.0 out of 5 stars ric bayless one dish at a time
unfortunately I never received this book although I paid for it the seller e-mailed me that they were out of the book.
Published on Nov. 19 2001 by Viki Marler
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic and EASY
I saw Rick on PBS and ordered the book. The recipes are easy to follow, with nice color photos of finished products. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2001
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