Mexico One Plate At A Time Hardcover – Oct 25 2000
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by P. McMinn
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 morePublished on Oct. 9 2003
If you want to prepare real Mexican food, this book is a must.Published on July 26 2003 by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on July 17 2003
Overall I think this is a good book and devotes a great deal of time discussing the history of Mexican cooking. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2003 by Jacqueline Bomar
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 morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by theholmboy
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 morePublished on July 30 2002 by Mary King
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